I'm glad to see that Wade Roush's Continuous Computing blog is back, jump-started in part by his recent article, "Your World on a Flash Drive:"
Programmers are creating versions of the free Linux operating system small enough to fit on — and boot directly from — a USB flash drive. And now several companies are marketing and developing ways to use these ultra-portable storage devices to carry all of one's data and applications — including personalized desktop environments resembling mini-operating systems. In this way, you can have all your data with you at all times — ready to plug into any computer you happen to be near.
I've been wearing a 1 GB keychain drive around my next for over a year now, on which I keep pretty much everything I've written in the last five years. It's more a totemic object than anything– keeping my digital life close to my heart, as it were– but it also comes in handy for swapping files and moving things around more often than I expect.
On his blog, Wade adds a postscript that points to a nice phrase.
One person I interviewed for the story, but wasn't able to quote, was Liam Breck, director of a Boston software lab called Network Improv. Breck is working on a fascinating Wiki-based personal information management and file-sharing system that fits on a flash drive; he calls it a "mobile webspace." Liam has a great name for this whole phenomenon of portable computing environments: always-on-you computing.