miércoles, 8 de junio de 2011

Mind in the clouds

A Cloud withdrew from the Sky
Superior Glory be
But that Cloud and its Auxiliaries
Are forever lost to me

Was Emily Dickinson predicting Cloud Computing and saying no to it? :-P

The debate about the Cloud is beginning to fire up. Some enthusiasts claim that's the future and assert that control over your computer is a futile worry. Why caring about your OS or data if an angel somewhere up in the sky can manage those for you? Why complicating your existence with such bothers of computing? They perceive computer users as people who do not have any idea of what their OS version is, for whom the computer is useful as long as it works when you turn it on. These users have no idea of the format in which the documents they produce are stored. What's more: for them, any office suite will do.

Some of the thoughts above might be accurate. However, there are users who still have something that is very human: preferences. Yes, for the better or worse, they like their desktops to look one way or another; they cling to an office suite (more because of tradition than because of usability) and they do not trust services that charge you to buy a music file from them (especially if the seller keeps the file!). Call them recalcitrant if you may, but they prefer to stick to Yahoo Mail Classic regardless of how much longer it takes for them to attach a document to an email message.

Then we have those who are cautious and say, "But, what if the elastic cloud falls and does not bounce back up?" And which cloud can you access and which one is barred for you? Are all those clouds available for a vast megalopolis of Care Bears to jump upon freely? Will Microsoft's cloud reject Care Bears that do not flash bellies with a design in yellow, red, blue and green, as it's hinted by the behavior of their newly acquired Sky-pe?

I, for one, grow very suspicious of the Cloud. I plan to avoid it as much as I can. Yet, if one considers Web-based email as the lining of the Cloud, then I already failed at avoiding it. And the content of this blog is stored who knows where...probably in a friendly Google Cloud.

Where I work, we are about to export the database keeping the records of 4000+ people to the Cloud... And I welcomed the change because the native system was made to run only in Windows (XP). The Cloud-based one will let me use the database from Linux and Microsoft will not have any excuse to keep pushing the University to rent more stupid licenses.

Weather forecast: CLOUDY!

Still, I'll keep my personal files inside of my HD. Dropbox does not offer me more portability than a flash drive does. Because that's the entire point: once the file is in the Cloud, it's not yours any longer.

2 comentarios:

  1. Not only Emily Dickinson but this humble blogger commenting right now also anticipated this debate, hehe!

    The cloud is useful...for some tasks. But going further and entrusting all your data to perfect strangers is a careless move...especially if you don't bother to read the terms of use of your chosen cloud services.

  2. I'm not sure if cloud computing could be very useful. Today, cloud computing is pretty much having a skydrive for access to your files from anywhere online.

    I still see little use to it other than that, but makes me wonder if this could be a milestone for something bigger.

    What if we had an application that was multi-platform (like firefox) which was used to load several applications that all they required is to have the big application running for them. I can access Facebook games and apps on Linux as smoothly as on Windows because I have a web browser and Flash Player installed. So I could have access to other applications without installing them (because then I would have to bother with finding the correct version for my OS) and just loading them from the Internet.

    Of course, this is thanks to the fact that the software is built with the same tool rather than to Cloud Computing.... :-P