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Multiple computers...

Multiple computers...

Posted Jun 4, 2009 9:12 UTC (Thu) by forthy (guest, #1525)
Parent article: Activities and the move to context-oriented desktops

What I miss is a way to get a conclusive environment on multiple computers. I've a laptop, a desktop at home, and workstations at work. For the workstations at work, NFS provides a solution - log in on any of the computers, and your mail, newsgroups, calendars, address books, desktop settings, etc. are all synchronized and up to date (actually, they aren't synchronized, they are just stored at one central place). For the other two computers, IMAP-based e-mail is synchronized, but the rest more or less falls apart.

So what is also necessary is a facility to synchronize all those settings across computers, especially mobile ones where NFS is no solution. Putting .kde4 into a git/hg/bzr repository might give some improvements, but for news, the next difficulty is that I'm using different news servers depending on where I am - simple article numbers for which articles I've read aren't sufficient.

So while I like the idea of a context-oriented desktop, the next step is to make sure that a context is something you can transfer and synchronize between computers. And with all the fuzz about "ext4 ate my files", please simply use a DVCS for storing and synchronizing contexts.


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Multiple computers...

Posted Jun 4, 2009 14:14 UTC (Thu) by Duncan (guest, #6647) [Link]

One solution that's actually practical now, and used by many, is the USB
thumb drive. It gets difficult when it's different OSs at each place (tho
individual x-platform apps may still be synced), but when it's the same
general OS or at least the same UI (say KDE on Windows as well as X on
various Linux distributions and BSDs), one's home dir, with all the usual
KDE and etc config, can often be mounted from the thumb drive no matter
what it's plugged into.

Attach that thumb-drive to your keys or ID card and it becomes
your "computer pass key" that brings your preferred working environment,
possibly including open applications and etc, to whatever you plug it
into.

Of course that doesn't directly deal with challenges like the different
news servers you mentioned, but to some extent that can be dealt with
using scripts triggering on that geo-location data, or sensed hardware IDs
or the like if it's only a few machines one switches between regularly.

(FWIW, I'm a heavy news user myself, but while I use KDE (still 3.5
mostly, as my aging Radeon 9200 doesn't cope so well with KDE4's effects
at the 1920x2400 screen size I run) as my desktop of choice, I use the GTK
based pan news client. It does some of what you want with its multiple
server setup, but would still need some tweaking and workarounds as it
doesn't cope well if it can't access a configured server, so some scripts
to change out server config and a but of working around its limitations
would still be needed. You're welcome to drop by the pan user list if you
like, available on gmane.org's list2news for news clients, as I
participate, or with subscription info available from the
pan.rebelbase.com homepage.)

Duncan


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