How to synchronise bookmarks between admin-locked PC and mac?
January 4, 2007 5:54 AM   Subscribe

How can I synchronise bookmarks between my work PC (admin-locked, no installations possible) and home MacBook - is portable Firefox the answer?

At work, I use a PC for which I do not have admin privileges - so I can't install anything on it. As a result, I use IE. At home, I use a MacBook with Firefox.

I'd like to painlessly synchronise the bookmarks I use on these two machines - ie, add a bookmark quickly to either machine and have it show up on the other machine, without constantly importing and exporting files.

I want to use something that sits in the sidebar - and other search-dependent web apps just aren't quick enough for me.

The only thing I can think of is using portable firefox from a flash drive at work, and the bookmarks sync extension.

However, I don't have any web-space or FTP server.

Also, does portable Firefox use on a daily basis wear out a flash drive quickly? And is it unsafe to have my passwords remembered by Firefox there?
posted by spiff101 to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I've been using the Foxmarks extension and I love it. It'll automatically update any new bookmarks to a server run by Foxmarks and your home installation will automatically download them next time use use Firefox there. You don't need anykind of server, though you can use your own if you want, and you can log into the Foxmarks server and manually edit your bookmarks if you're stuck using IE or another unsupported browser.

No it won't wear out the flash drive, there's no moving parts. However just plugging/unplugging it everyday will cause some wear and tear but even the cheapest drives are designed for this. You can always get another.

Password security? You run the risk of loosing the drive or course. You could encrypt part of the drive with TrueCrypt keep all the Firefox stuff in that encrypted area and then leave the TrueCrypt app on the unencrypted part so you can decrypt your files when you get to your work computer without TrueCrypt.
posted by Science! at 6:10 AM on January 4, 2007

Google Browser Synch will do this, but I don't know if you'll be able to install the extension. You probably can. XPI Files are usually handled by the browser and can be installed as part of your user configuration. (So they can be installed on a locked down PC).
posted by seanyboy at 6:22 AM on January 4, 2007

Are you aware that you can load your tags as live bookmarks? They get loaded when you start up Firefox and get refreshed periodically so you're not nearly as bothered by the slowness of the site itself. I guess other bookmark sites have the same feature.
posted by Skyanth at 6:23 AM on January 4, 2007

My bad - You can't run firefox at work. eeek.
Portable firefox could be the answer then, with the Google Browser Synch stuff installed.
posted by seanyboy at 6:33 AM on January 4, 2007

I'd use portable Firefox and Foxmarks -- as mentioned above it's fantastic; my favourite Firefox extension. It does exactly what you want. Foxmarks with keywords set up for your often-used bookmarks is the way to go.

I hate Butt ugly and too slow. I don't get the hype, at all.
posted by loiseau at 6:40 AM on January 4, 2007

Best answer: b.t.w. You could simply copy the portable firefox folder onto your desktop or into your "My Documents" folder and run it from there. No need to worry about Flash drives wearing down, etc.
posted by seanyboy at 6:46 AM on January 4, 2007

Are you sure you can not install Firefox? It doesn not install itself into the registry or write to the windows directory, the two acts that commonly disallow program installation on a locked down box. Can you point to and run an .exe file? If so, then you can likely install Firefox. Of course, whether you are allowed to or could get into trouble for this is another story.
posted by caddis at 6:55 AM on January 4, 2007

My portable solution:
1. 1gb flash drive
2. Portable Firefox
3. Every once a week or so I shoot my bookmarks.html to gmail
4. KeePass (for passwords) - it's golden
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 8:36 AM on January 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks all, now running firefox portable from my desktop, and using Foxmarks to synchronise. Praise be for the Hivemind.
posted by spiff101 at 8:37 AM on January 4, 2007

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