A post in two acts

You know, I have all these grand ideas* floating around in my head—I just don’t have the time** to put them into action.

[*Two junky schemes and half a thought]

[**time-management skills]

Seriously, though; after something approaching a full day of work, I don’t have a whole lot of energy to dedicate towards personal endeavors. I’m looking at cheap web hosting that would let me poke around with PHP and CGI without a huge investment, but I can’t figure out a suitable domain name to save my life. (I’m not all that creative to begin with, and I’m even less so when I’m tired. Or, rather, I’m not less creative—but the quality of my creativity drops with a fierce quickness.)

I’d like to learn how to edit video (even if I cut my teeth on boring video; as Brian mentioned, nothing could really top Safari Eric), but digital video cameras are expensive and—in the current market—demand that trade-offs be made. Nothing takes decent video in both good and dim light, has a microphone in port, has decent image stabilization, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Respectable battery life and a good LCD display would be icing.

Even forgetting my interests: just balancing work, dog-walking (I’m supposed to walk Yoshi in the evenings), personal time, and attempts at being social is more than I seem to be able to handle. (And that even ignores any other responsibilities I have towards my family.) This lack of balance spirals on downward: I really must call John and Lee; I rarely talk to Nate, despite the fact that he’s actually in town; so on.

This begs the question: how in the world did I ever get school to fit in my life?

(“…” is the ultimate transition.)

In an interesting new twist on the idea of consumer-level Network Attached Storage, Linksys has recently released its Network Storage Link. I’ve long had a dream of having a hard drive (without the rest of the computer) attached to my network. The idea would be to have the convenience of having my files easily accessible from anywhere, without all the overhead (and especially the electricity drain) of running a server constantly. This Linksys device is basically a mini-server that takes any USB hard drive and makes it available on a network—as close to my ideal as is currently possible. (Of course, it’s Windows-only.)

I wonder how companies like Microsoft and Apple are going to tackle the issue of having your data at your fingertips, regardless of what computer you’re sitting at. (Have you ever been at school, and wanted an email that was on your home machine?) It’s an interesting, relevant problem—at least, to me—and one that seems to have no good solution, yet. Flash drives are handy and physically small, but they have relatively little storage capacity, tend to be slow, and are too easily lost. Some people store their files on their iPod; I’d imagine that the annoyance of repeatedly needing to plug in an iPod would get old, fast—and iPods can be stolen. Online email solutions—especially in light of Gmail—can make your email accessible from any machine connected to the internet, with a corresponding loss of privacy and dependence on machines that other people manage. NAS solutions are limited by the bandwidth of your network (something which can be quite serious, as anyone who has had to wait for Windows to load their network-stored profile can attest to), and—as with Linksys’ product—tend to use stripped-down unix variants to cut costs. The use of a different OS and file system makes one wonder about file recovery for when something does go wrong.


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