(bonus points for catching the title reference.)
I’m seriously impressed by SoulPad, an effort by IBM Research to essentially make your computer (mostly) hardware independent.
Basically, it’s like this: You have a portable storage device, say a USB-connected drive. Plug it in to a computer, boot from it, and your computer is in front of you ready to go. When you shut down, your session is stored and the computer shuts down. Take that device over to your neighbor’s house, plug it in to their computer, boot, and watch your computer come up in front of you.
It’s accomplished using plenty of existing technology – Knoppix as a base OS to autodetect the hardware and boot, VMWare to maintain the “guest” OS (whether I want to run Windows, or Linux, or whatever), and some glue to make it all more friendly.
Put simply, rather than have my home computer at home, I could put it all on a portable drive and be on my computer wherever I can find a free PC. Too bad they haven’t released any of their software.