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Marshall's Web Tool Blog

Training and Consulting in New Tools for Effective Web Use

This site is an archive of posts that I hope you will find useful. Please visit my new site at Marshallk.com.

Bye-Bye Hard Drive OS - Web Apps to Take Over

More and more people are talking about web applications (web email, web data storage, web based RSS readers etc.) taking over the old way of doing things - installing software on your hard drive that runs inside your operating system. I know that I operate completely independent of a single computer. I use many different computers all over the town I live in; all my software and data storage is done online or on a thumb drive I carry on my key chain. I only use my computer at home when that's most convenient, and it's often not. I think that's the future of computing, and many people seem to agree.

In the future you will have easy, fast, automatic access to highly pertinent information you've already captured and new information as it becomes available via ubiquitous fast computers in any resource rich place you visit. That future is very close, but you don't have to wait for it. You can learn to use those tools now, as they emerge.

Super-blogger Jason Kottke has written a long blog post that summarizes many of the speculations, arguments and evidence that Google, Yahoo or Firefox is likely to soon offer a web browser that you use for everything. Bandwidth is so fast, storage so cheap, AJAX (if you are not familiar, here's my definition) is so groovy that there is no need to store or run data or programs on your own computer anymore. Likewise, security is better when there is one team of professionals watching one giant database instead of millions of users failing to pay attention to the security of their individual computers. Back-up of data operates similarly.

The information gap between those using these types of systems and those not using them will only continue to grow. I can't encourage you enough to begin employing them in your endeavors now.

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