'Cloud Computing' - Yes/No ?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by entatlrg, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. entatlrg macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

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    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #1
    'Cloud Computing' is becoming more popular it seems. Certainly is the answer if you don't like networking or syncing your doc's among multiple computers.

    Is anyone using cloud computing as a solution? If so what app's are you using for things like, I use the following right now:

    Email - gmail
    Notes - Evernote
    Calender - Google
    To Do's - Remember the Milk
    Projects - Backpack with Curio
    Journal - I like MacJournal but there's no online option so I'm using Evernote for now.


    For Photo and Video editing that has to be run from your computer, for that I use the Mac Software ... for everything else I'm 'in the cloud'.

    But, am I missing out by not running app's computer bases like Pages, MacJournal, iMail etc? So far I don't really think so....

    I like it mostly because I use multiple computers and it's the best way to have your data up to date regardless of the computer when you're used web based app's...

    Agree? yes/no?
     
  2. devburke Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    #2
    Personally I don’t like web apps. But as for Mail, using Mail.app doesn’t prevent you, in any way, from syncing just as well as if you used the web interface for your e-mail.

    You might wanna check out Dropbox too.

    Also, loosely related, I’m always bothered by the term “cloud” in this sense. People talk as if their data is just out there floating around in the air and their computer grabs it down. No, it’s all stored on a server somewhere. You’re just remotely accessing files. There is no cloud. If a server goes down, so does the data on it. But that’s just a pet peeve.
     
  3. ymarker macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    #3
    It's not one server. it's usually a server farm. wikipedia has a great article on it. One way to look at it is if you were to build you're own backup strategy for your company that does load balancing/shadow copies/etc than abstract that to higher levels on a more massive / global scale - you'll end up in the clouds :p
     
  4. Buzz Bumble Guest

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    Oct 19, 2008
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #4
    "Cloud computing" is plain silly for many (most?) ordinary people ... it's often bad enough using an ISP's webmail system via dial-up and cheap broadband plans aren't much better (not even counting the silly data capping!).

    It's mainly a term used by big business and / or usually those with more money than sense who don't live in the real world. The only real benefit is that you would always be using the latest version, almost certainly at a cost! (Companies like Microsoft are not going to have free web-Office when they can sell the CD/DVD version at $100+ a go ... there will ALWAYS be a catch somewhere.)

    It's going to be a long time yet before "cloud computing" is actually workable and useful for the average Joe & Jenny Public.
     
  5. devburke Guest

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    #5
    Well still, the point is it exists on physical servers, it doesn’t just float around in the air. I know no one actually thinks it does float around, but that’s what the term implies.
     
  6. broken-chaos macrumors regular

    broken-chaos

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    #6
    I dislike cloud computing, on the whole. I dislike certain limited facets of it for such things as synchronization, e-mail, and other things that are internet-based - namely the free providers always having a catch (like them having rights to your data, not having a uptime guarantee, using your data to sell you stuff - something like those). This is alleviated by paid services, which I can see the use for - keeping your important e-mail, contacts, calendars, etc. in sync across multiple computers. Something like MobileMe, essentially.

    The part of this 'cloud computing' concept that I intensely dislike is the idea of only storing your data there. Using online editors, online storage, all that nasty stuff. If I'm going to be keeping my data in a 'cloud', I'm damn well wanting my own copy in as many places as possible too - i.e. synchronization, not exclusivity.
     
  7. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

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    #7
    wow ... it's almost a unanimous dislike for 'cloud computing so far ... I'm surprised.

    Maybe I'm missing something, please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm in the process of setting up a solid system finally, I'm choosing applications and folders to get organized.

    Email - Gmail is great, no? I mean I can see many benefits over outlook, I never settled in with iMail AND I can access my gmail from any of my 3 computers plus my iphone ... I can't think of a better solution ???

    Notes/Journals - I prefer Evernote and/or Backpack, it's simple, straight forward, has tags so Project info can be organized in a snap ... Google Doc's and Zoho Notes are also good options. All accessible from any computer or iphone, I'm hard pressed to think MacJournal or Pages would serve me (or anyone) else better?

    Calendar - online, gmail or whatever service, sync's with iphone, it works perfect and is seamless, from my experience 'better' than any downloadable software I've used ... and I've tested a lot over the years...

    Tasks - Remember The Milk is great, google Tasks is simple, same as the Calendar comments above, I've tried many List Programs, these online/ in the cloud applications just work.

    Other than photo and video editing I sincerely wonder why isn't everyone rushing to 'work in the cloud' ... the arguments of loosing data, or being unsafe I think are less of an issue now, almost all the online app's sync, or back up to your computer, you can work in offline mode etc. ..... They've got back up's for back up's, I'm happy enough with how secure the data is ... so what's wrong with the idea of cloud computing?

    Is it because it's a somewhat new concept and people resist change or am I wrong with the thoughts about the whole idea and should I instead be looking at software that runs from my computer?

    It's an interesting topic, I appreciate any comments/tips.
     
  8. BobZune macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    The part you may be missing is: You give up control of your data/information. The information thus mined by others is normally used without it being clear to you for what is used and how it is used (irrespective of the so called privacy disclosures in legalise -- and all it takes is one unethical employee with access to the information). And it is generally used ways to manipulate you (e.g., advertisements conveniently arriving a few days/weeks before someone's birthday if you bought them a present prior year).

    Services where you can encrypt data end to end are few and far between (so such data mining is impossible/hard), and are usually less convenient.

    /skeptic mode off
     
  9. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

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    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #9
    Thanks, that does make sense.

    I have to admit, 'cloud computing' is very convenient, that being said it's always in the back of my mind that it's 'weird' not having the data or program on my hard drive.

    There's a lot to like about gmail, backpack, evernote etc.

    Please, can you suggest or mention what app's you use on your computer for email, doc's, notes, calendar, to do's etc and how to you sync everything, I'm guessing SugarSync or similar software.
     
  10. broken-chaos macrumors regular

    broken-chaos

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    #10
    Plain old IMAP with a properly configured server offering a basic webmail interface works at least as well - of course, as far as free solutions go, yes, Gmail is fairly good. Gmail is also accessible with IMAP, so you don't have to rely solely on the Gmail interface/access either. There have been times that's been down but IMAP/POP3 has been up, as well as being able to make an easily-usable local backup copy of your mail.

    Overall, on the rest of the things, I've already spoken my bit. I don't mind the idea of a paid service (so their revenue comes directly from you, not from control of your information) for the purposes of synchronizing multiple disparate devices. The only reason I don't use one such service is that my setup isn't complex enough to need it. One laptop, one iPod, one cellphone. I can sync them all to the laptop, and back it up with Time Machine and a big external disk.
     
  11. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #11
    I use MobileMe (mostly Web Gallery and iDisk, the other components I use the desktop counterparts), and Gmail. That's pretty much it.
     
  12. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #12
    +1. I think right now companies think its huge but its really not. In the future, yes maybe but right now broadband speeds arent high enough IMO for this kind of thing. Not to mention when you don't have internet your screwed.
     
  13. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

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    #13
    Cloud computing may be convenient but will start to suck when they start charging for it. Its only a matter of time! :eek:
     
  14. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

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    #15
    The app's mentioned above don't have the downfalls mentioned here so far .. they're either free, or a very fair price, secure, backed up and have offline options ... so why not 'cloud computing?

    Sure, many company's already charge for their 'cloud computing', I don't have a problem with that, it's like paying for any software and isn't my point.

    Rather, the convenience is nice especially if you use more than one computer, no syncing, no backing up. The high speed internet I've used is more than fast enough to run the cloud app's, no delays, no problems.

    Yet, some people really do resist the idea of cloud computing, some accuse big business of using it as a cash grab.... I see it as the future of computing, more convenient, easier to use and accessible anywhere ... in most cases you can got work done offline too ... the arguments against is so far aren't very good imo?

    google and google app's is what brought the idea mainstream I think since then a lot of people even companies do all their computing 'in the cloud'.
     
  15. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

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    #16
    Cloud Computing seems to be gaining in popularity, so far for me it's working well, especially when working from multiple computers.
     
  16. devburke Guest

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    Oct 16, 2008
    #17
    I like desktop apps, so as long as the services can use desktop apps and store files locally too (and just keeps them in sync, like Dropbox or IMAP e-mail), I’m all for em.
     
  17. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    Boston
    #18
    I forget where I read it, but there was an interview I was perusing that was quite insightful. One of the points was cloud computing and the individual made this point (which I paraphrase).

    "Cloud computer is not going to replace existing tasks and programs because of the high latency." Why would a person want to interact with a service that is much slower then if you had the desktop version. For instance, you're editing a large document that has lots of graphics. Using an online tool would be less efficient and more frustrating then if you just used a regular word processor.

    I think cloud computing has potential in some areas but not in the area of making desktops thin clients, i.e., dumb terminals.

    Finally, I'm not willing to trust my data to an online service. That is, I'd rather not put my faith in their ability to back up and protect my data either from theft or calamity. I've read of some instances where some people's emails were lost because the server died, or others lost their entire website because their provider has server issues and they did not back up (both the provider and the client) the website.

    Its my data, and I'm taking responsibility to ensure its integrity. I use a number of services, mobileme, smugmug but I retain the originals on my hard drive that get backed up.
     
  18. BobZune macrumors 6502a

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    #19
  19. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #20
    This has been the #1 reason why I've resisted embracing services like gmail or other "cloud" type products. Its my data and I'm the one who's going to ensure its backed up. While the sidekick problem is a little different (users had no choice in where their information is kept) the problem is the same. Trust a faceless corporation to backup the data or do it yourself. Clearly the faceless corporation is so stupid not to have a backup, especially when doing an upgrade to their systems.
     
  20. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #21
    Currently quite happy with my e-mail, contacts, and calendaring being with Google. It's all free, it all works well, and all syncs nicely with my Android phone.
     
  21. kasakka macrumors 68000

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #22
    As net speeds get faster and web technologies improve I think we will see that there is little difference between a desktop application and web application. I already use Gmail for my personal mail because its interface is miles better than any e-mail client software. Likewise Google Reader for RSS feeds works better than most RSS feed readers and I can easily access it from my phone too. With Fluid or Google Chrome I can have these on both my Mac as well as PC as app icons that open like regular apps but I don't have to worry that the data doesn't match on both. The speed is also just fine. With more complex stuff like online image editors there is still latency but give it a few years and that should be gone too.

    I'm generally terrible when it comes to backups. Right now only my most important stuff is backed up on Dropbox and that amounts to just a bunch of small documents. The rest is not important in the long run (music can always be ripped from CDs, programs reinstalled etc). Services like Dropbox have most likely much better capabilities for keeping my data intact than me messing with an external hard drive or whatever.
     
  22. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #23
    I disagree, the net will always have a higher latency and people will be less then willing to wait for their data to load when they can have it instantaneous. For cloud computer to work, it has to do something new and different enough that desktops cannot. Right now, gmail is the only exmaple and even then its not a good example. IMAP has been around long before the buzz word was created.

    My data is too important, say pictures of my kids and other photogrpahy work. I back up my hard drive on Time Machine, for those moments that I delete a file I shouldn't have, on an external disk via CarbonClonerCopy for those times where I mess the system up and also take an offline backup (portable HD) so I have an offsite backup.

    I use CCC because doing a full system restore only takes an hour or two with that vs, all day with TM. There's really no execuse not to do a backup, especially if your running 10.5 or 10.6 OSX does it for you.
     
  23. EndlessMac macrumors 6502

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    Aug 20, 2009
    #24
    I'm not actually a huge fan of cloud computing because when the system goes down and you don't have a recent sync you are at the mercy of when the company can fix their problems. Also what happens to your data when the company goes out of business suddenly?

    I do use things like Google calendar and have had some problems. I try to sync my Google calendar to my iCal frequently but there was a time when Google's server went down for awhile and I couldn't login in to get recent dates. I really needed access to my calendar for business and I really didn't have the luxury to wait for Google to fix their server problem so that convinced me that I couldn't really fully trust cloud computing. There have also been times when I couldn't login into my Gmail and Yahoo mail accounts so needless to say I'm not totally convinced about cloud computing.

    Cloud computing can be convenient but I need reliability first. If I have created the files on my computer I know that it will be backed up and I have easy access to it if there are any problems. With cloud computing I'm at the mercy of how reliable the company I'm dealing with is especially when it's a free service. Some companies are more reliable than others but even a giant like Google has failed me a few times and if people start using it more for business or other important uses then those few times will cost time and money.
     
  24. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #25
    I'm completely positive we will see a hybrid cloud computing system where users can keep a certain amount of data locally for when there is no connection to the cloud. To rely entirely on having connection to have my data, screw that!
     

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