Opinion Australia

One man’s view of how the world might be.

Posts Tagged ‘google

Cloud Computing – getting closer!

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The concept of ‘cloud computing’ had me very confused for a while, I really had no clue what these buzz words actually meant., or what benefit it would give me. Eventually ‘daylight dawned’ and I not only understood what the pundits meant, I discovered that I’d actually been using it for some time! 🙂

At the simplest level, even a personal website is cloud computing. Basically *anything* you access/store/manipulate etc anywhere online, and off your own hard drive, could be gathered under the umbrella term. In practice however the term has slowly developed to the point where it’s taking on a subtle difference. Now it’s becoming understood as covering any activity you currently do locally, i.e. on your own computer HDD, but can be done online.

So for me, apart from this sort of site, the most obvious use of ‘cloud computing’ has been Google Mail which I’ve been using for some time. However I’ve slowly been getting used to accessing my *data* online as well. I have been using a backup service called ‘Mozy Home‘ and currently have some 45Gb backed up ‘just in case’. It ‘syncs’ overnight when I’m asleep and ensures that if the machine is stolen or destroyed I’ve not lost all my data… photos, music, documents etc. Diverging slightly from the topic, being with Mozy has some added benefits. If the computer is stolen and used by the thieves, it’s possible I might be able to locate who they are and where my machine is by downloading *their* files which Mozy would have backed up! 🙂

Moving on, I’ve just started using an online facility called ZumoDrive. It’s still in beta and ‘invitation only’ but still worth checking out. The free account gives you 1Gb of space to give you a chance to evaluate its usefulness. Basically it’s a hybrid system that creates a ‘virtual drive’ on your computer which you can use exactly the same way as any other drive on your machine, with a few important differences.

To begin with the data isn’t stored on your hard drive, it’s uploaded to the ‘cloud’. Secondly, that data can be accessed anywhere you have access to a computer. Thirdly, you can use it as a ‘file sharing utility’ by giving access to other people via your own, or alternate email address logins!

Naturally it has a few drawbacks, the main one being using it for *all* your data needs a fast broadband account… and if you have no web access you have no access to your data. For the most part tho this just means modifying what you upload and for storage/easy access of images etc it’s ideal. I tried using it to ‘stream’ my Lord of the Rings music to my netbook using a free connection at the local Macca’s and it worked perfectly. I’m seriously considering opening a monthly account (10Gb for $2.99/month) and using it for more file transfers!

There are other ways of achieving the same ends, tho perhaps not quite so elegantly. One of these would be the Windows Live SkyDrive. With the SkyDrive, Microsoft has given all users a 25Gb online storage space which they can access, use for file sharing etc. It isn’t as versatile as ZumoDrive, but is free and of course, works.

The point is that as the cloud develops more and more features and functions will be made available for online use. Already Google online offers tools including a word processor, spreadsheets, presentation software etc. Add in the mail service, blogging facility, photo storage etc and you can begin to see a time closing in where purchasing an expensive computer for ‘home use’ will be a thing of the past.

From my perspective – sooner the better! 🙂

Written by welshdog

February 24, 2009 at 7:12 am

Still here… somewhere.

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Was looking today at the new Chrome Browser by Google and I have to admit to being *really* impressed!! The screen ‘real estate’ is being used to far greater advantage now I’ve lost those controls I only ever used once in a blue moon, and those additional search boxes that cluttered the place. This browser searches from the ‘address bar’ which leaves a *huuuuge* space!! 🙂

I’m not saying it’s perfect but I’ve a;ready stopped using Firefox in favour of Chrome and that alone should convince you it’s worth a look even if you decide it isn’t for you!

Whilst trying out the browser I meandered into Google Groups and found this little snippet of information:


What is a Usenet Newsgroup?

Google Groups contains the world’s most comprehensive archive of Usenet postings, dating back to 1981. Using Groups, you won’t need a newsreader and you can search this archive the same way you’d search on the web. You can also use Groups to post your own comments to an existing Usenet newsgroup.

Usenet is an online bulletin board system that began at Duke University in 1979. Usenet users can post messages to newsgroups that can be read (and responded to) by anyone who has access to the system through a newsreader. Over the years, the number of newsgroups has grown into the thousands; they’re hosted all over the world and cover every conceivable topic.

Well I appreciate this means nothing to most of you but for years I almost *lived* on Usenet arguing and fighting my way around the groups with all and sundry. For years the archive for all this dross was Deja News but after a series of financial blunders the system was all bar wrecked. Luckily Google bought the archive and extended it as far back as 1981 and created the web interface we see today… which is nowhere near as accessible as the old Deja was. Nevertheless at least the archive was saved so now you’ll be able to go and search to see just hopw rude I was to people… if you can find out what my nickname and/or email adress was/were! 😀

Still, the point is that I did all the research and searching using the new browser and apart from a couple of little quirks it’s worked with no problems whatsoever!

As for meself… well I’m slowly losing weight, in part because I’m eating less and alo because I’m moving around more. So do I miss the net?? Well yes. But I’ll get over it. 🙂

Written by welshdog

September 3, 2008 at 4:22 pm