My poor netbook (Samsung NF210, which you might remember from my issue with the Grub 2 menu) has been dying under the weight of Matlab, LabView, and all the other normal programs that I run on a constant basis such as Acrobat Reader, TeXnicCenter, and Chrome.
I have had to pull my old laptop (Acer Aspire 5670) out of retirement. After a couple hours of setup, I had two laptops set up on my desk. This is when I found out that I am not an embarrassingly parallel procedure. By effectively doubling the number of processors that I was running on, my productivity went up about 50%.
The key to all of this has actually turned out to be a piece of software that I admit I turned my nose up to a bit when I first saw it…
I installed Dropbox on both laptops and told them to sync my folder full of work files. A couple minutes later everything was mirrored on both computers as well as on the online system.
Since I have wireless Internet on both laptops, they can both connect instantaneously the the online Dropbox repository and sync files with one another. The total lag time from when I save a file on one to when it shows up on the other is on the order of mere seconds.
This allows me to work on highly technical material on one computer, and be completely confident that all of my progress is saved elsewhere. Additionally, it gives me great mobility and freedom of mind.
I admit, I should probably be a poster child for Dropbox at this point.
Care about your files? Not too worried about putting them in the cloud? Try Dropbox. It impressed me.