Monday, September 05, 2005

Loving being disconnected in a connected world

Over the last week I have been working here and there and many times without any internet. I am cheap frugal and do not want to pay for the small amount of time that I want to connect at Borders, McDonalds, whereever.

I really would like to get back to some old school programs that do not require the internet to work. Back in the old days when we had to pay per hour for internet connectivity, and even further back when you paid long distance to direct dial BBSs (and only had maybe an hour of time on them a day) we had a lot of programs that would allow us to jump on line, grab what we needed, send our new stuff up, and get off.

However now a days it seems that everything depends on a constant internet connection. Sure you can snag/send email offline, you can even grab some pages to read later sometimes. Even now this entry is being done offline and will be uploaded when I get home.

My gypsy ways over the last week has showed me that there are a lot of stuff that could be done offline but is not. One of the first things is Netflix queue management. Now I just started working with a program called FlixQueue that does work with the Netflix queue locally and then sends the changes up to Netflx. It is easier to use than the Netflix site, but it still grabs the queue everytime you start it up. I was hoping that it would keep my copy of the queue that was already on my machine and allow me to delete some movies that I wateched over the weekend.

I have yet to try Feeddemon to see if it works offline for XML feeds. I know there are aggregators that work on mobile devices, so it is doable on the PC as well. That would have been great this week had I thought about it so that I could snag the feeds in the morning and then sit at Borders or wherever and read them.

eBay has some offline management tools for sellers. I have not checked to see if it has anything for buyers, mostly because I do not use eBay that much.

To me though, the ability to work offline has really hit home. Given I have used a Palm or other palmtop device for over 10 years I have seen how synching technology is finally maturing. I even have a few items that synch with the internet if the internet is one. What I miss on the PC is the ability to hit a button and have all the things that I want to synch to synch. It could run out and send/receive email, update my Netflix queue, update my eBay information, get info on my shipping/packages, etc. Maybe if we had some kind of scripting this would be doable.

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