When you're at a computer that's missing a vital file or application, like an office workstation that's locked down, a friend's system or coffee shop computer, you can still get to a desktop that contains your essentials—on the web. A "webtop" is a virtual desktop that you access using only a browser, and it can include much of the stuff you'd expect on a local computer desktop: like file storage and management, a calendar, RSS reader, email client, and photo viewer. While there are several web desktops available these days, the free and open source EyeOS application is the most accessible, useful, and promising one out there. Follow along to see what a web-based desktop looks like, and how it can help you get things done when you're locked down or out of pocket.
Tagged With online file storage
Online storage web site Box.net keeps rolling out new features, but opening up stored files to online collaboration adds a whole bunch o' new potential uses at once. Any file you store at Box.net can now be shared with collaborators (who, it must be said, must also have Box.net accounts) and manipulated through any of the sites' web service partners. That means you and your friends could all crop and edit your weekend getaway pictures in Picnik, or edit a trip diary in Zoho, and so forth. Added to desktop mounting and free iCal publishing, Box.net is vying to become almost as handy when you're away from your computer as your trusted thumb drive—maybe even more so. Announcing Box.net Collaboration Beta
Free file-sharing drop box Drop.io has added a call-and-record service that makes the dead-simple sharing service even more helpful. Those signed up at Drop.io can call the number and extension listed at their page and record as long a message as they want—assuming it stays within the overall 100MB limit for free accounts. Very soon after, the recording shows up as an MP3 in your Drop.io box. It's a handy tool that helps create "ubiquitous capture," like Jott, and while it can't do as many things with your voice, it's certainly useful for podcasters and making verbal notes longer than 30 seconds.
Free note-taking web application Springnote offers a method of jotting down thoughts and organizing projects that require more than just a little text. Its markup-friendly text editing resembles a TiddlyWiki in some ways, but the Ajax-y interface allows you to drag and drop pictures, import and export files in nearly any handy format (HTML and Word docs included), and there's a wealth of nice-looking templates for creating to-do lists, calendars, and the like. All the now-standard features, like 2GB of file storage and collaboration, are there, along with a growing number of mashups utilizing Twitter, Firefox, and other tools. Springnote requires a free sign-up to use, but OpenID users can log in with their existing accounts.
Online storage website Box.net has thrown open the doors and let all sorts of webapps in, giving users a handful of one-click actions and exports for their files. That means MP3s stored at Box.net can be sent to Myxer for ringtone conversion, documents can be opened in ThinkFree or Zoho or faxed through eFax, and the list runs to eight more services at this point, with more likely to come. Along with RSS file sharing and desktop mounting, the free 1GB of space offered to everyone is becoming a handy tool. Box.net requires a sign-up for its free service, as do all of the web services it currently links to.