‘The Cloud’ is real and will soon play an even larger role in our personal and professional lives.
There… I said it, and I didn’t even vaporize into thin air.
Let’s face it, ‘The Cloud’ is a freight train coming to a home and business near you. As I write this I am sitting here next to a pool on Singer Island in Florida. This morning my dear wife came to me and said that the memory card on our video cam is full. I love her to pieces and she is everything I could ever ask for in a companion, but I knew that she was now transferring the pressure to me and I was being tasked with finding the solution. Seriously? I mean I’m really focused on making this first Jack & Coke of the day just right… I know, I know, I should have brought a backup card. You don’t think I heard that a few times this morning. I digress.
Soon thereafter I find myself looking for the nearest Best Buy store to score a new media card. As it turns out I decided to do a copy/paste of the data and then wipe clean some room on the card. Not a solution I prefer, but it’s better than going to Best Buy where I’m confident I would walk out with much more than a memory card.
The real solution certainly seems to be to eradicate as much hard media and enter into ‘The Cloud’ age. I mean, why should I have to make trips to the store when my products (cameras, iPad, etc) should be able to instantaneously store this data in a cloud location? In the age of always on data connections, why not do away with all of these archaic forms of data transfer and simply push the data to ‘The Cloud’? Yup… I said it again, and I’m still here with half of my Jack & Coke still bubbling.
The good news, IMHO, is that there are already media cards that support this type of wireless communication. See some of the Eye-Fi memory cards when you have a chance. But I’m really looking to do away with the media card all together. The device itself should have the 3G/4G capability to handle all of this for me. It should also have enough onboard memory to cover any disconnect I may experience from ‘The Cloud’. Heaven forbid I get disconnected from “The Matrix”!
Interestingly enough I came across an article from 2006 (yeah not that long ago), and it described how flash drives would be eliminating the need for some standard hard drives.
While this has begun to happen for some consumer devices, I think one could make the case that flash memory will soon fall victim to the same fate as floppy drives. In fact, that has already started. It is much easier for me and some of my colleagues to transfer and share data using tools like Dropbox than it is to dig up a thumb drive, clear some space and then transfer the data. If you haven’t checked out Dropbox, I would strongly encourage you to do so. In fact, SolidWorks Corporation is in a Beta test period for a ‘Dropbox-like’ tool for sharing 3D parametric files with a product called n!Fuze. That is seriously the name and isn’t just the Jack talking. Check it out for yourself at http://blogs.solidworks.com/solidworksblog/2011/01/saturday-nfuze-update.html
So as I approach the end of my tasty adult beverage I’m getting ‘the look’ from my dear companion that it is time to set the technology aside and play with my daughters.
In closing, I know that most of you still relish talking to your kids about the days of vinyl and 8-tracks, and for a few decades my generation has been able to enjoy CDs, but it won’t be long before those days are behind us as well. We’re certainly in some interesting times.
From talking with many people about this topic I know that it isn’t ‘The Cloud’ that keeps you up at night. It is actually the sharing and posting of the data to an ‘unsecured portal’, and that is a fair concern. BUT… it’s time for me to replenish this beverage and jump in the pool, so I’ll need to save that for my next vacation post. Rest assured though, cloud storage of this data may not be as scary as we all think either.
Tell me what cloud-based applications you use in your personal or professional life, and what do you like/dislike about them?