The amazing portable OS of the future

I’ve been lugging my MacBook Pro back and forth on my 5 block daily commute to work for a couple of years now. I finally got sick of it, and decided to set up a second MacBook Pro that was identical, so that I could keep one at the office and one at home.  I used Carbon Copy Cloner, and it took just a few hours and a spare external hard drive, which in typical Mac fashion, worked flawlessly on the first try.

I’m a Mobile Me subscriber, so I tested the multi-machine sync plus iPhone, and everything worked great. I can now update contacts, calendars, etc on either laptop or the iPhone, and they all sync beautifully. I was already using a cloud based IMAP email service so that worked easily too. My Pogoplug connection, my DropBox, my TextExpander snippets – everything was ready to go and worked just like they did on the source machine. A true clone – really easily.

One of the byproducts that I got out of doing the backup/restore with Carbon Copy Cloner was a bootable USB hard drive with the same cloned MacBook image on it. As part of the process, I had booted up the target (new) MacBook Pro from the external hard drive, and I was looking at the source machine exactly. This got me thinking.

There’s really no reason why everyone couldn’t use one of these portable hard drives as their primary computer image, and just boot any machine using that image. You’d just have to carry that around.

Then I started thinking about the iPhone. If only it had a 200 GB hard drive on it. I could dock it at home, at the office, or at my mom’s house, and boot my OS right from it. You can easily see the future heading in that direction. I’ve had a strange feeling that maybe we’ll even see Apple heading in that direction when it makes the much anticipated WWDC announcements on Monday. That would be a great direction. This seems likely to be how things will be done sometime in the next 5 years or so.

This seems like a good interim step between the OS in the cloud and what we have today. Would you like for things to work that way?

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