Thanks to cloud technology, you don’t have to be tied to your computer in the office or at home. There’s no need for copying settings for your e-mail client when all of your mail is somewhere in the cloud, USB memory sticks are obsolete because all of your files are waiting, securely in your Dropbox.
Personally, I switch a lot between my desktop and my laptop computer and I keep all of my work in my Dropbox and Evernote cloud. Sometimes, I wonder how people used to work without this centralized architecture. To think that you had to carry around a USB or external hard drive… Ugh. Thanks for the cloud, this new and revolutionary technology that lets us work from anywhere and store our data somewhere else. Is it really that new and revolutionary? Spoiler: it isn’t.
Hype, Hype, Hype
Cloud computing, as we like to call it these days is just a new name for something we called client-server architecture 15 (or so) years ago. Companies had their mainframe computers to which client computers were connected. When laptops became popular and affordable, VPN networks boomed! Designers uploaded the drawings to company’s FTP server, backup server and what not.
Today, it’s the same old story; you upload your files for a secure backup and collaboration and you call that cloud computing. Sure, the Internet today isn’t the same as the Internet of the 90’s, but seriously?
Why The Fuss?
So, why do we love cloud so much? What is so special about this client-server technology today that we love it? The evolution of applications has a big part in it. Everything is so automated, secure, nicely designed and easy to use than before. I can’t imagine writing my blog posts in some text editor and then uploading it to a FTP server for my editor to check it. We use WordPress for that.
Not centralized enough? Well, one more reason why I can’t imagine writing in text editors is that I’m bound to finish it on the same computer where I started it, right? Today, with Evernote I can start my work on my desktop and finish in on my laptop. No hassles, no uploading or manual syncing, everything gets done as I’m working and that’s just great! I’m sure every one of you can identify with similar scenario, regardless of the work you do.
Life and work today isn’t based only on one physical machine and it shouldn’t be.
Cloud, We Love You
We really do, but too much of anything makes it bad. Same goes with the cloud computing. Yes, it is helpful and we can’t live without it, but we had “you” long before desktop e-mail clients and all other kinds of applications we’re using today in the cloud. There was a time when people used desktop RSS reader applications; today – Google Reader is a synonym for an RSS reader. It’s an online app available to you everywhere.
That’s kind of a point here, the technology itself isn’t something new and it isn’t worth the hype it has; we should give our thanks to great applications and developers who have had an idea for making apps that will run on some server online and we could all use it. We should celebrate the ability to work from whatever place we want and not the servers and routers that are behind it. Because that ability comes from the way we use the tools we’re given.
Title image credit: http://www.geekwithlaptop.com