Living in the Cloud

OK, this was eye-opening.

At last night’s GeekMeet meeting at AltamontCowork, member Phil showed us how he could boot up his new Netbook with several different Operating Systems (Chrome OS, Android OS, Windows 7, and three flavors of Linux) each loaded on their own SD memory card (4 Gig).

Very impressive.

Since I use Google Chrome as my main browser now (super fast!) I was really interested in seeing Chrome OS, but, was not sure how I felt about NOT having my files on my computer hard drive.  There is something comfortable about having my files on my hard drive…

What I found out is that there is no appreciable difference between having my files parked on Google Docs versus being on my hard drive.

Phil let me fire up my Google account on his Netbook.  With a click of the mouse, I was in MY Google Docs and could work on any document I wanted.  Wow…

I was expecting something different…harder?  uncomfortable? weird?

What I found was extraordinary, and I realized that I had just taken  a peek at the future of working in the cloud.  Cool.

Old Way

I am soooo used to opening a folder, looking for my documents, opening the one I need (or make a new one), making changes, saving it.  Then I go home and back it up once a week.  Now the information is on two drives, just in case something goes wrong with one.

By the way, before all that…paying a couple of hundred bucks for the software (both application and operating system). Ouch.

The Cloud Way

Using Chrome OS, I landed instantly on MY  (yes, that is amazing to me…I was using Phil’s computer) Google Docs where, for FREE, I had access to pretty much all the applications I need on a daily basis and all my files.  I opened a document, made changes (or made a new one), and saved it (I could also share it with a friend or colleague, easy as 3.14).  No need to back it up…Google will do that for me.



What happens if my Internet connection goes down and I am at home in my PJ’s?

But then again, how often has that happened since the emergence of DSL and Cable?  Hmmmm, maybe twice in umpteen number of years….and I now have a wealth of Internet access alternatives if I want to get dressed (or I can grab Bob’s wireless connection in my backyard, shhhhh, don’t tell him).


I am almost ready to take the leap into the cloud.  Google needs and easy way to synchronize / backup all the stuff on my hard drives up to Google Docs and then I am ready to go.

The new way of computing…Phil says “its’ the death of the local file”.  I tend to agree.  Move on, move up, keep changing!  This is great fun, folks.

Wait a second…what ever happened to Wyse terminals?  Is this back to the future?


Story: Back in 1995, I left a good job (what an idiot) to join a start-up (Zydacom) that was developing a way to access applications via the Internet.  To rent them.  Sound familiar?  That company only lasted 9 months….but the concept, although early, was sound.


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  • I agree this is just the return to the old client server paradigm…That’s the first thing I thought of when I ran it.
    I think the main stumbling point will be to convince consumers to give up their local files, users will not be able to install their own software or applications on Chrome OS devices – so that means no iTunes, no Skype and no HootSuite.

    Google released the code hoping that developers would build new products, services and applications. The same way as they build apps for the iPhone or Android (also a Google product). But the sad fact is most Web apps just aren’t good enough right now to replace the desktop programs we rely on. Web apps will, of course, keep getting better, and perhaps soon the vast majority of our programs will be online. But that’s the crucial sticking point: Because it’s based on a Web browser, every app developed for Chrome will also run perfectly on Windows or the Mac. By definition, then, Microsoft and Apple machines will always be able to do more than Chrome machines—they’ll be able to run Web apps and the processor-intensive desktop programs that we’ll still need in the future: movie-editing software and CAD programs, for instance.

    And that’s not the only issue Chrome OS faces – its reliance on always-on web connectivity might be possible in large cities, with good mobile phone network coverage and plenty of Wi-Fi hotspots, but in rural areas or on a flight, Chrome will be hobbled.


  • This isn’t likely to be a “good” thing for those of us who value our privacy, not to mention rights as individuals.

    Cool or not, I don’t want MY data on anyones servers… and certainly not Googles. It’s not safe, wise, secure, or smart to allow a major data-miner to have complete access to my data.

    Before “The Cloud” takes off into the mainstream of corporate greed & profit, I hope everyday people will take more concern over their privacy and intellectual property.

    We (Americans/ANYONE) can not trust Google, Corporations, nor even our government with this nature of power…and potential for profit.


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