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Author Topic: Have any web-based applications replaced desktop apps for you?  (Read 13905 times)
Dr-Leech
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« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2007, 05:10:47 PM »

I've replaced:

  • my local email with Gmail
  • my local calendaring with Google Calendar and 30 Boxes
  • my bookmarks with del.icio.us
  • my todo lists with Remember The Milk
  • most of my docs with Google Docs

and many more that I can't remember now..
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zxcvbn
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« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2007, 09:25:17 AM »

About three weeks ago here at home in NE UK we discovered we had no telephone, no broadband, no nothing.  We managed to report the fault to BT using a mobile phone after being warned that 0800 numbers incur a charge when used on a mobile.

The PC functioned admirably, but had I been using any or only web-based applications they would have been totally unavailable.  It seems to me that in the world as it is today, a few well placed explosive devices could scupper our communications entirely, and that to put ourselves in a situation where we rely on them is very unwise.

The ironic sting in this tail, or tale, is that the Orange phone network seemed to go defunct at the same time as the above mentioned fault - in fact I wondered if the two events had some common factor.  Once the phone line was mended Orange came back too !   huh
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zxcvbn
algy
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« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2007, 11:36:31 AM »

I use Gmail for most email. I got so much spam from my web site email even though it was encrypted (too late). I get no spam with Gmail.  I've tried probably all the online apps and I think Zoho is the best, Google docs is good and Thinkfree has the advantage of synchronising with a local disk. The Google app for creating web pages is very good, very easy to use though not flexible enough for a large site.
DAG
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digitalzen
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« Reply #28 on: October 17, 2007, 05:30:02 PM »

It's been at least a year and a half since I used a desktop program for anything substantive except photo and video editing.

I was an early beta tester of Gmail, and have continued to use it ever since.  I back it up onto my 320 GB USB hdd using Thunderbird, just for the sake of having it there -- no good reason, really, but there's plenty of room. Apart from the backup, I haven't used a desktop mail client in over three years.

I have backed up everything I've written on the Web (probably 800 columns for various sites over the years) onto Google Notebook.  I now do virtually all of my writing in Google Documents, storing it on their servers to back up the servers on the posting site.

When I need to open a .ppt file, I do it in Firefox.  It's safer, and I never want to keep the damned things anyway.  It's always cute kittens or purple sunsets, it seems.  If I want to create a .pdf, GDocs will do it for me.  Same goes for other formats.  The only complaint I have about Documents is it doesn't have margin control.  That's not critical for the kind of thing I do 99% of the time, but I do keep Abiword around in case I need to format a formal letter.  I have OpenOffice on the #1 drive if I have to get complicated with something, but I tend to forget it's there.

About the only thing I use the PC itself for on a regular basis, outside of being a vehicle for Firefox and Web applications is for photo editing.  There are no competent online photo editors, and I doubt that there will be for a long, long time due to the extreme data crunching needed.  I'd use Google for storing images, but I don't like their interface.  I use SmugMug for serious display.

It's going to be a long time before I discard my PC (or the coming Mac) completely, because of the image and music editing (I know you can do it in Linux, but I'm 63 years old and don't want to bother),  but as far as the other stuff is concerned, I might was well have a high-speed pipe, a simple OS, and a lot of RAM.

I used all the Zoho products, and they're great.  Too slow on a dialup, however, which I have to use often enough to make it a problem.  Takes 'em forever to load and react.  Google's slow enough.  If I ever solve that issue, I might give them a serious try.  I also like the fact that my stuff is on (arguably) the biggest server farms in the world.  If Google loses my stuff, we've got other problems too. 

And no.  I don't worry about security.  There's no security on the Net anyway.  If I want to be secure, I use strong encryption.  So far, over the years, I've accumulated about 250 KB of encrypted data, so that gives you an idea of how much I worry about that stuff.  Of course, others may have bigger things to worry about.  I'm a pretty boring guy.

I also use Carbonite for backup.  I could literally go to China, buy a new computer, and set up shop online.  I'd miss a lot of my stuff, but nothing I use to make money.
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terribleterryc
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« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2007, 06:26:15 PM »

Firefox, Del.icio.us, Google Apps and OpenOffice(work in OO. transfer to .Doc) are all I require for many many computers and OS's. A dumb terminal with subscription service would be perfect if priced reasonably. I have promoted this idea for thirty years.  It was tried in France.
Anything important I make a paper copy of.
All financial and personal stuff kept on separate computer that is NEVER connected to net.

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steeladept
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« Reply #30 on: October 17, 2007, 08:42:06 PM »

I am firmly in the "no use for online apps" camp.  I don't use any free mail services, tried Gmail but hated it instantly and never looked at it again.  For email, a portable install of Thunderbird on my flash drive is perfect for me.
I have to agree with Tekzel on all this.  I am finding more and more a 2GB encrypted flash drive, and access to a machine (preferably with internet access, but not critical) is all I need for most of my work and fun.  I use Yahoo mail mainly for the portability and spam filtering and because I hate the GMail interface.  It also allows me to give one address regardless of where my connections are coming from.  I can then use any internet connection and OWA or INotes (if absolutely necessary) depending on the mail box I need access to.  Yahoo currently just forwards to an Exchange server with OWA access so it works out.  If I change my service, my job changes, etc., I just change where Yahoo points to and keep rolling.  If it is a user I want to be able to contact me (instead of a dealer/supplier etc.) I give them the yahoo address instead of the local server with the local server as a secondary address.  All my mail from Yahoo is filtered for SPAM and my good emails get forwarded wherever I go.  It works for me.  That is the extent of my "dependence", and there is even a backup to that!
No. To me the web based app thing is mostly a fad and like all fads, it will die.  I could be wrong.  Time will tell.
Hmmm...While I truely hope you are right Tekzel, I fear you are not.  The cost and security (read licensing enforcement capabilities) benefits to the developer are VERY strong.  If you stop paying the price (whatever that is - subscription, advertising, whatever) it is simple to restrict access and prevent future useage until you move to comply.  That is a rediculously powerful incentive to many developers, especially for profit developers.

Personnally, I am looking forward to the day where we can all have HUGE USB sticks carried with us wherever we go with ALL our data, OS, Proggies, etc. and we just connect our stick to a generic terminal and run with it.  I don't think we will ever get there, too much against it especially with the gaming industry and their hardware requirements, but I am looking forward to it optimistically anyway.
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Ralf Maximus
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« Reply #31 on: October 17, 2007, 09:09:29 PM »

When computers were handmade, they were rare.

When memory was expensive, programs were small.

When bandwidth was precious, big programs stayed in the box.

When bandwidth gets cheap and big... what happens next?

Perhaps the next big revolution will be a kind of distributed computing where it's not how much horsepower your box has, but how many processors you can rent or lease.  Instead of metered phonebills, you'd get multi-processor bills. 

"Honey, have you been performing fluid dynamic simulations again?"

With enough bandwidth neither the software NOR the hardware has to be contained on your desktop.  Software and data resides everywhere like an organized ocean, ready to be accessed by anyone, anytime using minimal physical equipment.

All you'll need is your Plutonium Visa Card.
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jeffjeff
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« Reply #32 on: October 18, 2007, 02:12:28 AM »

I use:
Google for mail, RSS and use their Documents more and more. If I had any big secrets I probably wouldn't use them in those cases. But its important to make local copies even though I almost always had been able to get to them.

Delicious with Firefox

Moodle- learning management system
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vradmilovic
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« Reply #33 on: October 18, 2007, 05:15:09 AM »

GMail's spam filtering works pretty well (they have much more training data than any local e-mail client), but I use it with Thunderbird/POP3. I rarely open web client.

I also recently started using Google RSS Reader. I'm reading feeds once or twice per day and there's no need to have application active all the time just for this. Additionally, it sounds natural for me that feeds are accessed through web browser.
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wasker
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« Reply #34 on: October 18, 2007, 07:06:30 PM »

Only del.icio.us to store bookmarks (I need to share same stuff between home and office) and also I regularily use SkyDrive for sharing files and tinyurl.com to make shortcuts for files on SkyDrive. For online forums I use imageshack.us to host images I don't care of.
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grandpastan
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« Reply #35 on: October 18, 2007, 08:52:39 PM »

No changes for me yet, but I can see it coming.
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Mandork
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« Reply #36 on: October 19, 2007, 08:56:26 AM »

I sometimes use online apps for portability (like going to visit my in-laws and not wanting to drag the laptop with me) but for the most part I am a bit leery of them.  I imagine that it depends on what you do--if you do a lot of intensive writing (like for a novel or a PhD thesis) I would think you want to keep your words locally; if you mostly write web content or the occasional letter it is probably less important to have it available offline.  Sometimes I unplug the network cable or take my computer someplace with no internet access to stop myself from faffing, so online things really wouldn't work.  On the other hand, I've started using Google Reader to keep track of RSS feeds and I am thinking of setting up a separate email account strictly for newsletters and stuff which I only occasionally look at, instead of downloading them to Thunderbird.  I keep some backup copies on Box.net and a selection of my important photos on flickr, but that's more for convenience when working outside the house.
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PhilB66
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« Reply #37 on: October 24, 2007, 01:04:10 AM »

I really dont think that online applications will ever, truly, replace desktop based applications. Gmail is nice, but I prefer to have my email stored locally as well as remotely. I cannot do this with gmail unless I use pop, which is a pain in the butt and quite an old/outdated protocol. I love IMAP. If gmail supported it, I would gladly move to it permanently, however, I cannot since IMAP has become quite a necessity to me. As far as other online apps, I still think a more full featured desktop application would be preferrable to an online version which is just ok.

Good news! GMail IMAP Support
« Last Edit: October 24, 2007, 01:07:39 AM by PhilB66 » Logged
Grorgy
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« Reply #38 on: October 24, 2007, 02:54:52 AM »

Quote
Good news! GMail IMAP Support

For some, not all, ive tried all ways mentioned to bring it up but it didnt arrive  huh  oh well in the fullness of time no doubt.
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