The following has nothing to do with genealogy but I consider it to be a neat gadget and thought that others might be interested.
There are dozens of methods of copying files from one computer to another, such as from your desktop to a laptop PC, or from your computer to your cousin's computer, or from your home computer to your office computer or vice versa. You could copy files to a floppy disk (if anyone still uses those) or to a CD disk or to a flash drive, then take that to the other system and copy the files to it. This is sometimes called "sneaker net" as you transport files by walking from one system to another. It is low-tech, but it works well.
Other methods involve plugging in cables to transfer files or copying files across a network or even copying files across the Internet. Many commercial services are available to help you copy files from one system to another. Copying files across a network or the Internet is perhaps the better method, but it typically involves some complexity with creating accounts, user names, and passwords. I know many people who simply email files to themselves or to someone else and then save the attached file on the second computer. That works well if you don't have too many big files. However, today I found a neat gadget that greatly simplifies the process of copying files.
The iTwin system is a simple solution: plug it in and start using it. No configuration or passwords are required. Instead, this system consists of two devices that look like flash drives. The manufacturer sells them as matched pairs – twins! The two even connect together for storage when not being used.
When you want to copy files from one computer to another, you separate the two devices, plug one into the first computer's USB connector, and then plug the second device into the second computer's USB connector. As long as both computers have internet access, they will have access to each other's complete hard drives via an AES 256-bit encrypted connection. You can securely copy files from one computer to the other. Speed depends on the speed of the Internet connection(s) used.
The above picture shows the iTwin devices being used on two laptop computers that are side-by-side. However, the devices work equally well on desktop computers or even Windows "netbook" computers that are separated by thousands of miles, as long as both are connected to the Internet at the same time.
Should one of the devices get lost or fall into the wrong hands, it can be remotely disabled. An easier solution is to simply unplug the second device if the first one gets stolen or disappears. If the second one isn't plugged in, the first one is useless to a thief.
The big advantage of the iTwin devices is simplicity: just plug them in and start using them. You don’t have to configure anything, so very little technical expertise is required. Anyone who can find the USB connector on a computer and copy files to a drive should be able to use these devices. The remote computer's hard drive simply appears as a new disk drive in Windows on the local system. You could send an iTwin to your distant, non-computer-literate friend or relative and be up and running easily. Another big advantage is that the file transfers are free, other than for the purchase price ($99) of a pair of iTwin devices. Again, security is top-notch; all data is encrypted via an AES 256-bit encrypted connection before being sent across the Internet.
One restriction: the iTwin only works on Windows; Macintosh and Linux users are not able to use these. Another restriction is that they only work in matched pairs. You cannot share files with three, five, or fifty other people unless you purchase matched pairs of these iTwin devices and share those matched pairs with each person. Files can only be transferred between matched iTwin pairs.
At $99 for a pair of iTwin devices plus shipping, this is not the cheapest solution although it is one of the easiest. I probably won't purchase a pair of these as I have the technical expertise to use other, lower-cost solutions. However, for the person or persons who are not computer experts, the iTwin might be a great solution.
You can learn more about the iTwin or even order a pair of them at http://www.itwin.com/
"Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon filled with magtape, or a 747 filled with CD-ROMs."