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!