DropboxAh Live Mesh. Grand concept. Not so good in practice. I’ve been a big fan of Microsoft’s Live Mesh since it came out in beta earlier this year. I love the way it syncs multiple computers seamlessly, and I love being able to get to my data from anywhere. All of this for free–if you can fit all of your data in 5 GB storage space, which most people can.

Problem is, the program is buggy, and no one seems to know why. I have spent hours combing the Live Mesh forum and the Microsoft Connect help center in search of a fix for the multiple issues Live Mesh has on two of my computers. I have waited for about two months for a response and even did an angry-guy email, to little avail. The standard response is “we’re working on it.” Bill Gates gets $1,000 per second for this? As you can tell, I am still a little riled.

Riled because I hate paying for applications that I can get for free. But today, I finally switched over to Dropbox, which will back up everything and sync multiple computers for free (2 GB) or $99.00/year (50 GB). I went with the 50 GB and am now in the process of backing up my data. Unlike Live Mesh, Dropbox runs quietly in the background without consuming all of my processing power.

But an unfortunate dissimilarity to Live Mesh is the ability to selective sync–that is, on Live Mesh, I could have computer X synch folders A, B, and C (but not D) with computer Y. With Dropbox, all folders are synced automatically. This means that all 7 GB of digital pictures that are currently stored on my wife’s laptop are now downloading onto my work laptop. I liked her photography, but I don’t need to store all of it on my work machine. Dropbox promises to fix this in future releases. Guess I have heard that before.

At least all of my data is safe–no more floppy backups. I’ll use Logmein to substitute for the cool remote desktop feature Live Mesh offers.

I guess I’m a little Scrooge-y today. Cloud computing? Bah humbug.