It’s amazing of fast computer hardware changes. Seeing an ad for Best Buy, there were two WD internal hard drives on sale, one for $100 for 1TB and one for $149 for 2TB. It doesn’t seem too long ago that hard drives were increasing in size in multiples of 100GB, but now we’re up to multiples of 1TB. Incredible.
My over enthusiasm yesterday for EverNote was shortlived once I worked out that the desktop client apps do not transfer files over SSL unless you pay for the premium service, which seems a little high for my planned usage of a service like this.
I have spent a few hours looking at a number of other note and file sharing services, and here’s some of my findings:
- Apple’s MobileMe has always seemed rather expensive, but the iDisk service was looking attractive, plus the other features that are bundled in. Accessing any of the services over the web-based interface though is over HTTP not HTTPS, so this is a deal breaker for me (for online storing of some of my files anyway)
- box.net appears to support HTTPS for your logon only, then switches back to HTTP to access your files.
- Dropbox (www.getdropbox.com) seems to only pass files over a encrypted connection, plus offers awesome file synchronization across multiple machines and the online web client. Logging on to the webapp over HTTPS keeps you in HTTPS for all other subsequent page hits (unlike box.net) … I’ll be checking this one out further. Plus free account has 2GB of online storage. Only feature I’m not finding right now is the ability to edit files online via the webapp, but you can browse their content.
Once in a while you come across an app or utility that knocks it out of the park. I stumbled across EverNote on this article over at LifeHacker, and it really made me think twice about how I store, keep and organize my notes.
I have a lot of notes in a lot of different places, on my desktop (Windows XP), on my laptop (MacBook Pro), on a Windows CE palmtop (HP Jornada), and a Windows Mobile phone. Of all these, the lack of interoperability between the Windows CE gadget and the Windows Mobile phone flat out infuriates me. They’re not able to sync to the same PC because one uses an old version of ActiveSync and the other uses a later version, and you can only have one version installed at a time. Great job there Microsoft.
EverNote got my attention because of its seamless syncing to ‘the cloud’ from desktop versions on the PC, on the Mac, plus Windows Mobile phones, plus the web access. You get access to the same info where ever you are, on what ever gadget. Very neat. I haven’t played with it extensively yet, but this solves a big problem for me for having info in too many places.
Next I want to find an app that consolidates all my different calendars.
Update: on second thoughts, the only provision for encryption and security is to encrypt selected passages of text from the desktop app that are then not visible in the web client, and accessing your notes and information from either the desktop client or the web client goes over HTTP unencrypted, not over HTTPS. For the purposes of making my information available so I can access it anywhere, passwords etc, this makes this service unusable for me.
Update 2: I just had a quick look at Google Docs and checked that you can access all your docs over https just by prefixing the url with https. And same goes for EverNote too, so maybe this isn’t as much as an issue as I thought.
Update 3: the catch with HTTPS/SSL though is that while you can access the web app over HTTPS, the desktop clients will connect and sync unencrypted with the online server, unless you pass $45/yr for the premium service. Hmm. Maybe back to Google Docs then.
The launch of the private beta of the Java Store was one of the major announcements at JavaOne this year. Although not publicly available (unless you sign up for beta access) and not live yet, there’s a Q&A with Josh Marinacci over on the java.net site to find out more.