Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Are Information Clouds Fluffy?

“Thirty-nine years of my life had passed before I understood that clouds were not my enemy; that they were beautiful, and that I needed them. I suppose this, for me, marked the beginning of wisdom. Life is short.”
― Iimani David

When I was a kid, I would lounge on the grass and stare up at the sky and make pictures of the clouds...just like every other kid on the planet.  (Well, at least kids of MY generation did this...I think TODAY they lay on their living room floors and play video games that may or may not have clouds in them.  Grumble, grumble, grumble. I am SO FREAKING OLD.) I even do it now, as I drive along looking at the sky to see if that turtle up there ever DID turn into a castle.  Does that qualify as distracted driving?

Clouds THESE days have a whole new meaning.  I wonder if you realize how much of your life is located securely "in the cloud?"  I was setting up my new iPhone recently and was SHOCKED to realized that it booted up AUTOMATICALLY as soon as I plugged in my iTunes account information with ALL the random stuff that was stored in "the cloud."  If any of you reading this are in my contact list, I'm sorry, but your cell phone number and e-mail addresses, and possibly your home address as well, are in my "cloud" and therefore probably accessible to random hackers in the cloud-o-sphere.  Yeah, do NOT give me your social security numbers because I simply cannot be trusted.

I decided to find out what in the heck these clouds were all about.  I put on my Suzy-Q-Investigator hat and started Googling.

  1. One of my favorite all time "I need to know what this is about NOW" sites is How-To Geek  and they broke it down for me.  Cloud Computing=Web Applications.  Even THAT made my brain hurt until I saw that they had awesome diagrams and pictures that helped explain it even to a mind as small and tired as mine.  In a nutshell, the "cloud" is a whole big bunch of servers that IT-minded people keep up in a big giant warehouse (probably located in the sky) so that other IT-minded people don't have to have a little server in each company to hold all the information.  They like the idea of a cloud.  (Well, I assume they do.  I haven't asked them.)
  2. I am a SPACE HOG when it comes to files.  I KEEP EVERYTHING.  I am an electronic hoarder.  On my work server, I have something like 4GB left out of 160GB.  What if I NEED that ad I created in 2004?  And I do NOT want to reduce the file size.  I may need a print reproduction.  If my server were a house, I would be sleeping close to the ceiling precariously perched on boxes of cat food and stacks of newspapers.  Because of this need for space and more space, I like the idea of a cloud. 
  3. I am a little uncomfortable with the knowledge that all my Information is now stored OUTSIDE of my little magic Computer Box.  It's languishing on a cloud somewhere, probably sipping margaritas and talking to Other People's Information.  These little Information guys are having some sort of party with all of our credit card numbers, I just KNOW it.  I like the idea of a cloud party.
After wracking my brain trying to figure out how all this works, I decided that I don't really NEED to know how the cloud works.  I just need to know that it does and try not to be bothered with worrying about it.  My Information can be a little slut if it wants to as long as it remembers that it's MY Information at the end of the day.




  1. I still love to look at the clouds too... guess I'm freaking old too.

  2. Looking at clouds and lobster rolls is a great combo. I saved that file.