iDisk is Apple’s net-based disk drive that’s mountable to any Mac, and accessible from any computer running Windows 98 or better or Unix.
And it rules.
As a writer, web designer and all around geek, I spend my life on computers. And that means that I inevitably start a story or project on one machine, move it to another to continue working, and then send it to yet another to finish it. I’m forever bouncing projects from my work machine to my home machine to my laptop, a process that used to be a pain in the ass.
But now I have iDisk. My laptop is an Apple iBook, and as such, iDisk is one of the free tools I get just for being a Mac addict. Its acts as a twenty meg drive, and is expandable up to a gig for a fee. As such, it’s a nice add on, but initially I didn’t use it much: the drive was only accessible from Macs, and then I’ve still got a foot and a half in the PC world.
All that changed when Apple switched iDisk over to a protocol called WebDAV, which is supported by newer versions of Windows and Unix. That little switch sent its usefulness into the stratosphere, and now I use it every day.
Now in theory, I could always have done this — I’ve got plenty of space on Nuketown’s web server, and I could’ve just FTP’d files up and down when I needed them. But that would get old really quick, and requires logging in an out of an FTP program. iDisk, on the other hand, mounts as a drive on the Mac, and as a network folder on the PC. On the Mac, I just go to ìGo > iDisk and the drive mounts; on the PC I need to double click on a shortcut and then log in to access the folder. That’s not quite as painless, but the bloodletting is minimal. Once everything’s mounted I can just drag and drop my files.
It’s a beautiful thing. And one more reason why I’m damn happy my laptop’s a Mac.