Cloud Computing – Choosing What and Who

There are many words to describe Heaven. I think immediately of dark chocolate. You might think a little further ahead than snack time. You might conjure up a vision of Heaven as a fluffy home in the Clouds. Which is pretty much what someone must have been thinking  when they came up with the term Cloud Computing.

Doesn’t that make you think of all your precious computer data and applications stored safely in a white cloud somewhere above your house in Podunk, ready to beam down to you at a moments notice?

The reality is, of course, that the Cloud is made up of many, many computers called servers (or some such name), some of which could be sitting in someones damp basement two blocks away. So, Lesson Number One in Cloud Computing is: Choose a reputable Cloud Company to look after your data. You have probably already done that when you selected the people who shuttle your Emails back and forth to you. They keep all your emails in an Electronic Post Office (that computer called a Server). This Server lets you look at your emails from your computer at home, or from someone elses computer.

Which brings us to Lesson Number Two in Cloud Computing – choose a method of backing up all your precious data. Many people download their emails onto their home computer where they can delete all the tedious ones and save all the good ones. Alternatively, you can leave your emails in your Email Cloud. But all Clouds are as vulnerable to disaster as your house is, and the Cloud may be no better at making back-ups than you are. So think about how important that document is that Auntie Margy sent you. Would you be devastated if you lost it forever?

Lesson Number Three in Cloud Computing is – understand how private your information is. Many of you use  Cloud Computing Social Networks, such as Facebook.  A Social Network means you wish to be sociable, but your definition of social might be different than the provider of the service. So be sure to check your privacy settings, and remember that what you divulge to your friends could come back to haunt you some day. “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” doesn’t apply when it is released on a social network.

Lesson Number Four – what you will do if the Cloud takes a walkabout. Sometimes a Cloud Server just doesn’t want to work that day. If time means money to you, will this be an issue?

That’s all the Lessons I can think of for now. Maybe you have some more you can share with me.

What else can you use the Cloud for? Well, I have mentioned Email and Social Networking. Photo Clouds are a very popular way to make photos available to friends or the public. Sales Clouds, such as eBay and Amazon let you buy and sell. To all these I could add Blogging, such as I am doing here. Yes, I send all my wisdomy words off to WordPress.com and they store them on the WordPress Server Cloud which apparently is in about three places in the USA.

Did I use the four lessons above when I chose to blog with WordPress? Yes, except I made up the lessons after I chose WordPress, not before… 1. I think WordPress is a reputable Cloud, 2. I back-up my blog on my home computer, 3. I have no expectation of privacy and 4. Sometimes I go on a walkabout for weeks, so I don’t mind if WordPress takes a few days off!

Post 92

10 comments

  1. I’ve been printing out all my posts and putting them in a binder, just in case. Love it that you described Heaven in terms of food. Heaven for me would be a place I can eat whatever I want and never gain an ounce.

    Like

    • I’ve saved my posts on my computer, but I like the idea of printing them.
      Yes, heaven would be eating fun food without gaining any weight. If I stuck to carrots and lettuce, I’d probably never gain an ounce.

      Like

  2. Where did you read the server cloud was on 3 different servers….?

    I would never want to use Cloud services for my personal stuff..and would appreciate any provider told the customer that they were using a cloud.

    Like

  3. How do you back up WordPress on your home computer? I have my original posts because I type them in Microsoft Word, but I don’t think that’s what you mean (?)

    Other than hosted social sites like this, I have been very reluctant to use Cloud services. I got a “smart” Android phone and an app that looks interesting for keeping notes, calendar, etc., but it’s all in a cloud. I don’t like the idea of so much of my info being “out there”.

    Love your picture!

    Like

    • I write my posts in WordPress while I am online, so after I publish them I copy and then paste them into Word – so you and I both end up in the same place, but from different directions.

      I also occasionally do a WordPress backup. Go to Tools -> Export in your WordPress.com dashboard to download an XML file of your blog’s content. This format, which is called WordPress eXtended RSS or WXR, will contain your posts, pages, comments, categories, and tags. Should you ever need to restore your blog, you would simply upload this XML file (at least, that is what WordPress says will happen.)

      I’m reluctant to use cloud services too, though our family is experimenting with Dropbox to share photos. We are uploading the photos into Dropbox, then inviting family members to view the photos and then download the ones they want. I’ve also scanned a bunch of my recipe cards and uploaded them from my computer. Then I can view them on my iPad anywhere I am, (as long as I can connect to the internet, of course.)

      Like

  4. This is a very good post, Margie. Apropos cloud storage – while I’m happy to rely on WordPress.com as I think they have enough servers not to lose stuff, I also back up my blog from time to time with an xml export file, and yes, they do work. You can try this out for yourself by getting yourself another blog on WordPress.com (with a name that nobody else is likely to use as they’re never recycled), make it private to use as just a test-blog and import your blog into it from the xml file.

    What I am not entirely happy doing is what a couple of people I know, do, and that is put all my photos into the cloud and then delete the originals. To me, that is sheer madness, and aside from anything else, I enjoy having the originals.

    I had a blog on another site til a few years ago, and before I deleted it I printed out all my posts from it (minus comments). I still read it from time to time. I have been meaning to do that with my current blog, as a paper back up. And I also do that with my more important emails.

    Like

    • Thanks for the observations Val. A few years ago I did create a second blog that I use just for testing and I did import the xml file. If I remember correctly, it imported everything just fine.

      I agree – I wouldn’t delete my photos from my computer!

      I think I might print my posts some day, but for now they are backed up in word documents. Each post is in its own file folder along with the photos I used for that post – both the original photo and the resized version. The way I look at it, I went to a lot of work to write the post and add the photos – why wouldn’t I preserve them!

      Like

There, I'm finished. Now it is your turn:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s