My Live Mesh Use Cases

I’ve been talking about this with colleagues of late, and realized that beyond repeating myself .. there’s more than enough goo here for a few blog posts.

Bear in mind, my Live Mesh usage is not fancy; in fact, it’s quite rudimentary. I am not running any Mesh applications on my Live Desktop, nor have I written any code. I am using only the folder synchronization and remote access features of the platform at the moment.

That said, once I see all the cool things these guys are doing .. I get the itch to write code. Some talcum powder, and it (almost) goes away. 😛

Okay. On that, here’s how I use Live Mesh today:

  • Mobile Phone Camera DCIM Folder Synchronization: You take a picture with your mobile device and then what? You can upload to a variety of services (I’m guilty of publishing the “Pancake Shape of the Day” (among other things) on TwitPic). That said, a good amount of the time, I’d like to work on the image before I toss it to the cloud. Thanks to Live Mesh, I have my DCIM folder synchronized to a folder beneath my “Pictures” folder on my laptop. I capture images, synchronize and the files are available to me when / where my image editor is available to tweak it. The end result? The ability to generate a higher-quality image and push it out to the appropriate places for my audiences to access. The best part: Live Mesh synchronizes your My Pictures folder on your phone when you first install it. It’s a simple matter to synch the DCIM folder from here (this is an annoyance for me .. I store my DCIM folder on my storage card, but: write me if I may assist).
  • Windows Live Writer Drafts Synchronization: I use Windows Live Writer for the posts on my blog. I work on multiple PCs .. the most common scenario for me is riding my bicycle to work and leaving my main laptop at home. I may find myself having time to finish a post I started the night before. Before Mesh, I’d have to push files to SkyDrive or onto a USB key. As you can guess, the latter options create a synchronization / version nightmare. Thanks to Live Mesh, I can “Sync Your Live Writer Drafts With Mesh”, ensuring the multiple PCs on which I work have my draft blog posts in sync.
  • Microsoft Office OneNote Synchronization: As with Live Writer above, I keep my OneNote notebook in sync across multiple PCs. I posted “Use Live Mesh to Synchronize OneNote to Multiple PCs”(hyperlink removed: OneNote 2011 supports cloud synch) with step-by-step operations on how to set this up. I am deliriously happy about this one, btw. Makes my life so much simpler, as I’ve a plethora of content in OneNote.
  • Offline Consumption: I have been known to be offline (bus, train and plane) now and again (and again and again). I receive email and content of interest constantly. Thanks to Live Mesh, I have a folder on my PCs and my phone into which I can drop the files. After sync, they’re available from wherever I find myself with spare time to catch up.
  • Offline Printing: I’ll am constantly away from a printer and having the need to print a receipt for an event, a boarding pass, my cell bill .. or something. I print to an .XPS file into a folder called “print” in my Mesh, and it’s waiting for me when get to a machine with a printer.

Some random thoughts about synchronization:

  • Outlook has an amazing set of synchronization features built in. My mail is available to me on a laptop client, over the web and on my mobile device. Anything I read on one device shows up as read on another. If Live Mesh had existed when Outlook was building out their synchronization features, the team could have offloaded these functions to the Mesh.
  • Ditto for FeedDemon and the NewsGator services. My feeds are available across multiple PCs and on my mobile phone. Their teams went to great effort to synchronize reliably across platforms .. with Live Mesh, they could also have avoided building their synchronization framework.

While not the end-all-be-all, the concept of synchronization has come a long way. The convergence of bandwidth, hardware and capable devices has created the opportunity for some powerful on-line / off-line / “Cloud-Line” experiences using the synch framework to improve the user experience.

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About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

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