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).
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.
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.