Friday, 17 October 2008

Cloud computing

After reading Stephen Fry's Technology article in The Weekend magazine of last weekend's Guardian I'm investigating what is called cloud computing. Cloud computing is working at any terminal but saving your work, not on your hard drive on your computer, but on a distant server (the cloud) through a web site and only backed up on your own hard drive. The advantages of this are that if your computer is stolen, damaged, crashes etc. you don't lose your data. It also makes sharing documents that much easier. You can also make do with a simpler, less powerful, and as a consequence, a cheaper computer. Well that is the theory anyway. The current trend towards netbooks (smaller cheaper laptops) are steered us in this direction.

I'm currently writing this on a web based office package at Zoho ( and have posted it directly from this web site to my blog. I'm also playing around with something called Dropbox ( that lets you store up to 2 GB of data for free and makes it available to you on their server. You merely drag and drop your files into the Dropbox window on your desktop and it syncs your data with what is on their server automatically as long as you are on line.

There's never been a time, since we've moved onto the boat, that we've not been able to pick up a signal albeit sometime a very weak one. It would seem that if this is the case then cloud computing could well be the future of computing. I used to teach IT and was always a little bit of a geek for this medium of communication (mobile phones passed me by) but never had the money to indulge myself of the hardware.

I can foresee several problems. With the Web 'n Walk package there is a fair useage of 3GB although we could always get a Wi-Fi signal through the laptop at a local hotspot in order to upload all my files. Also security may be an issue as the server for storing the data may be in another country.

This is my 100th blog post since I started this nonsense. I've got to say that I quite enjoy the experience and will continue whether you want me to or not. We'll see whether I'll still be using this method of computing in the future.

We are off again tomorrow since we have now been in Nottingham for a week or so. We think back to Trent Lock then up into bandit country and the Erewash Canal. It's got such a bad reputation I think the adventure might do us good. It's also half term for Lisa and lets hope that it's not the same in Nottinghamshire.

Lisa just wanted me to mention how wonderful and uncomplaining she is.


Derek and Dot said...

Hi Pete and Lisa
We spent a week on the Erewash 2 or 3 months back with no problems, Great Northern basin at Langley Mill is a great place to sightsee. Don't forget to look at the work done by the volunteers on the Cromford canal.
Take care Dot and Derek
NB Gypsy Rover

tufty said...

Pete, I like the idea of cloud computing and am an avid user of Apple's MobileMe and their hardware, I have a nagging worry about who is holding all of my data and what they could do with it, or what happens when someone nicks it.

I've been enjoying the blog. Did plan on saying hello whilst you were in Nottingham but didn't quite get around to it. Are you going to have a quick play on the Trent as you're here? Keep on blogging.



Pete said...

Hi Deek and Dot. Nice o hear from you again. I've not read anthing bad about the Erewash for a couple of years so it's time to give it a go. Weel let you know how we get on.

Hi tufty. Unfortunately I rarely use software that has to be paid for nomatter how good it is and prefer the free sort. We had a quick trip on the Trent on Saturday before heading towards Trent Lock. See ya.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea when you will see this, but I have spent most of yesterday and great clumps of today reading YOU from DAY 1 or was it Year I act 1?
I've sometimes looked in on the 'current' item for some years, but clearly missed the point! This definitely needs to be done in sequence. Thanks so much for the huge screeches of laughter you've given me................
Then, dammit - you choose to eschew our beautiful language in the post to which I am responding....all pooter geek stuff boo hoo!
Shall I dare to look in to the next instalment?

I still have no idea how you managed those first few 'multiples of 30 days' with no reference to light/leccy, water, poo and cooking?
Jeez- just a 2 ring camping gas cooker? AND Lisa going to work?


I will probably return with comments!
(still giggling)