Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Box of Clouds

  • This post was originally scheduled for May, but fell off the schedule. A lot has changed in the cloud, as it is known to do. {Insert your own aside as to how you feel about Google+ now that it's opening and Google's plans to rebrand Blogger. Does any of it matter?}


If anything's magical, it's the cloud.

.MacImage via Wikipedia


In Start Trek, you simply asked the computer to answer a question and it would compute the answer.

In Star Wars, you'd enter coordinates for you jump to light speed and the Navi computer would get you there.

We're getting there. Google borrowed the name "Wave" from Joss Wedon's Firefly universe. The Wave was a lot like the internet and broadcast networks rolled up together.  {Now, the wave is still waning, but working it's way into Google Docs... very nicely done.}

Our Google + Hulu + Cable television + Wikipedia, etc. is all content, but what about online storage? There you have your YouTube for videos, Flickr for photos {Picasa/Google Photos}, but how do you put your other files in the cloud?

Macintosh people like Apple's MobileMe or (me.com) and I suppose Windows people like the Microsoft version of that. But there are other very cool online storage and backup tools, but don't confuse the two.

The online back up tools scan your files and quietly in the background back them all up for you. There are a ton of competing services that I'm currently investigating. Which ones do you use?

Millennium Falcon approaches Bespin Cloud CityImage by futursimple via Flickr
Is everything going to 'the cloud'?
Will we live in the clouds?
The online or cloud storage services are like extra hard drive space that you can access from any internet connection. You can access the files from your desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone.

I really like the free-ish DropBox.com service. We've been using if for several months now and it's very handy for a small company and coworkers sharing files between mismatched computers. {If you don't have an account, clicking the link and signing up will expand my storage capacity.  I will be magically granted a few more megabitxels of storage.}

Amazon is bursting with innovations in cloud storage and hosting features for the ubertechy, but they're starting to play with us regular people again now too. When you purchase music from Amazon.com, you now have the ability to store in your CloudPlayer.

Explore that and tell me that it's not cool. Not only are they cool, but a lot are free and they have some really worth-while albums for only $5.00

They allow you to upload your music library to stream from anywhere... at work, from the laptop that you don't want to copy all the music to, from your parent's house when you're visiting on vacation.

Apple is also doing their version of this with iCloud. But that's a whole other post.

You may be spending a lot of time online. Does that mean that you are already in the cloud? Is your head in the clouds along with your files, videos and music? Will they charge us extra to store our heads there? Would that be a flat rate or recurring fee?
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