Saturday, June 24, 2006
Use your Gmail account as an external harddrive for backup or data-portability
Let's paint you a picture of what happened to a friend of mine. He backed all of his stuff up on DVD-roms. He put these DVD-roms in a shelf next to his computer. Then went to Cape Town for a month. When he got home, burglars had cleaned the place out. Including the backup disks.
Now what was ON those backup disks, you might ask?
All of the music he had ever written and recorded over a period of twenty years.
The lesson? Back your stuff up OFF-SITE! Somewhere the burglars or the fire or the flood can't reach.
Here's a little hack that allows you to do this using my favourite paradigm-shift of the decade... Gmail. Someone's written an application that converts your Gmail account into a harddrive.
If you don't know anything about Gmail, the one-line summary is that it's a free online email service, like Yahoo or Hotmail, but it's run by Google, is awesomely innovative and paradigm-shifting, and allows you around 2.5gigs of storage online, and this keeps on increasing.
This hack works by seamlessly sending emails to Gmail containing your data, and then offering an interface in your file-explorer window showing Gmail as just another one of your harddrives. You don't even realise that it's interfacing with Gmail. It all happens in the background. As far as your computer is concerned, it's just like any plug and play external media you might plug into your computer.
Which brings up a very good point... what happens if your computer is stolen with the hack on it? How do you access your Gmail-harddrive from another computer? Easy... just pop the hack on your USB memory stick, and install it on some other computer. Whammo! That computer will see your Gmail drive as if it never left home.