In the Cloud

Since 1982 I have had some sort of “local computing” capability. Mind you the earliest stuff was pretty primitive. Limited software, limited storage, slow processing. But it worked.

I couldn’t really get into “cloud computing” at that point because the Internet did not exist then. That didn’t happen until I got online in 1996. And then it was the cloud’s turn to be primitive. We had mostly text-based stuff that we downloaded and read offline (emails, forum posts) and our connect time was expensive and restricted.

Well I don’t have to tell you that times have changed. Now we have broadband Internet, Google Drive, Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, high speed routers, smartphones, Roku…you name it. We’ve been online 24/7 for years.

The main difference between local computing and cloud computing is the way you do stuff – write, calculate, store photos. If you still do that on your home computer you are a local user. If you do it through a Web browser you are a cloud user.

My grandkids are cloud users for sure. Their school provides them with a Google account and GSuite – a bunch of calculation, writing and communication apps they use through Google Chrome. They can work anywhere, on any computer – even a cellphone if Dad lets them.

In Grandpa’s case, it’s a bit more complicated. Things like this blog have to be cloud-based – I don’t want to host an Internet server in my house. We store our email on the provider’s servers.

But I don’t use a cloud model for photography. I still download my photos to my main desktop and back them up locally. I upload what I need to my website or to Google Drive. The main reason for this is I have a lot of photos and my upload speed to the cloud is very slow compared to download, Each photo would take a couple of seconds to upload and that is a lot if you have a couple of hundred to store.

I also prefer to use my own software to write documents, do calculations and – to a much lesser extent now – make slide presentations.

Do I anticipate a move totally to cloud computing in my future? Never say never I guess. But right now I believe that I get faster speeds and more security by keeping things local. It will take quite a massive increase in upload speed before storage on a remote server can match the speed of a hard drive, let alone a solid-state drive.

Now if we ever get speeds like some fiber-based ISPs in the US. 1Gb down, 1Gb up…hmm.

Midcentury Journey

Well, not quite – but he’s getting there. Today marks another birthday for Dave and the kids have been getting ready for it most of the week.

It’s been a busy six months for him, trying to work at home, ride herd on 3 youngsters, and look after an equally busy wife who’s taking a deep dive into theology. But he should be used to it by now, and frankly keeping calm in the midst of chaos is one of Dave’s greatest strengths.

It’s over 25 years since he and Sarah started dating; they’ve been married close to sixteen. Through it all he has been a rock of stability and love for her and their family. We can depend on him too – it’s a comforting feeling to have him around when you need it.

Add to that a wonderful sense of humor, responsibility and hard work, love of travel, and a keen interest in the world around him and you have a pretty good package.

Happy birthday Dave and remember that no matter how old you get you can stay young at heart. Or so they say.

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