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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Microsoft Live Mesh

My friend Brian (The Knowledge Base) Kennemer, invited me to participate in Microsoft's Tech Preview of Live Mesh.  Live Mesh allows you to connect your devices in a cloud, share folders across devices and with others, and stay informed about changes to data via a feed.   I am sharing mpFx code with a few colleagues by sharing my source directory out via Mesh.  Unlike a traditional network share, Live Mesh shared folders are peer-to-peer (+ cloud for management), thus allowing my colleagues to have an offline copy of the source code, which they can then synch back up to when they reconnect.  Ray Ozzie and team have been working hard on Mesh for a while and its Groove heritage is apparent but much improved upon.

I have been experimenting quite a bit with Mesh.  I shared out my Microsoft Project local cache to a couple machines so I can take a project offline to work on it on any device.  As long as I am careful not to open Project on different devices simultaneously, this works pretty well (BUT DON'T DO THIS WITH PRODUCTION DATA).  My little problem with sharing my OneNote notebooks is handily solved, thank you very much.

I am off to visit the Mesh team's wish list.  I have a bunch of single-user applications that I would like to restrict access to shared data across multiple machines.  The applications essentially need to be singletons across multiple devices in order for the shared data to not get corrupted.  It would be neat if I could wrap the startup of one of these applications in a shortcut that would be responsible for asking the Mesh cloud for a lock-token for the application.  If I then tried to start the application on another device (also through a specialized shortcut), Mesh would prevent me from doing so in order to maintain data integrity.  Right click on executable and "Run as Mesh Shared Application"...

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