One of the many tasks a speaker does before presenting at OSCON is prepare his or her presentation laptop. That's one of the many things I'm working right now. Recently I bought a new HP Folio, an Ultrabook. I'm pretty happy with it so far, but what has blown me away is the ability to synch the new laptop up with Mission Control at home. I did it all using the cloud and these tools:
Google Chrome Synch
In May of 2012, Google introduced Chrome Synch. This awesome utility allows you to synch up a Google Chrome installation to N machines. I've been using Chrome for years now and I've gotten used to how it works on my primary machine (Mision Control). With Chrome Synch, the new laptop is already starting to feel like home. You'll need a Google ID to set up the synchronization.
Mozilla Firefox Synch
With a quick search I also found out that Mozilla Firefox has a synch option too. You'll have to set up a Firefox Synch account, but after that it worked just like Chrome. So far, so good, now two of my primary apps are setup just like home.
I have been thinking about this for a while, and after my experience with Chrome and Firefox, I through I would give Google Drive a chance to synchronize my project files. After downloading the Google Drive App, I moved all of my primary project files into the assigned Google Drive. It took a few tries, but I successfully synchronized over 3,500 files between Mission Control and the new Ultrabook.
Now with the exception of synching up my favorite apps, the new laptop will be ready to go. By using these tools, I'm now less hardware dependent, than ever before. There are pros and cons, but I think in the end, every hard-core user has to work towards platform independence. You never know when you're an accident or failure away from disaster. Having a multiple layer backup and recovery strategy is merely standard operating procedure.