The cloud can’t come fast enough ….

Migrating from one PC to the next (never mind going from a Mac to a PC or vice-versa) is one ugly, nasty, stupid experience. From moving my corporate persona from one laptop to the next, to reconfiguring all my favorite non-corporate apps (Adobe Photoshop Elements, Flickr uploader, Office 2007, blah blah blah).

It feels tedious just beefing about it.

The days of locally resident applications is so ripe to be shotgunned from existence the way the world finally croaked 50 lb. CRT displays and is in the process of doing away with spinning hard drives in favor for solid state.  The optical drive just needs to go away, maybe preserved for some old DVDs to watch on the flight, but other than that — I want my software up in the cloud where someone else can upgrade it, patch it, and deal with it. Just give me my user name and password and be done with it. Digging around closets for my official copy of Office 2007 — and then having to patch it to the latest service pack? Life is too darned short for such stupidity.

Oh, and give me free broadban WAN while you’re at it please.

Pretty please?

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

5 thoughts on “The cloud can’t come fast enough ….”

  1. David,
    We need the cloud thingy to replace more than just PC hard drives. We need it to power phone apps as well. Sprint’s service technicians fully cracked the back casing lock on my Blackberry. “Everything’s fine, don’t worry, we’ll get you a new one,” they reassured. I’m a heavy user of Gmail, Google Maps and TwitterBerry — not to mention my personal contact database which syncs with Entourage (sorry, Mac user here). Downloading all the apps again, setting them up, and reinstalling all my personal contacts was a big hassle. There ought to be a single code I can enter to have some mobile cloud re-install and re-activate my applications and databases. This issue will only cause more user pain as mobile matures in the next few years.
    Max

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  2. Ah, but remember, when you lose one set of problems, you gain another set. Most of our apps at work are web based. We’re moving datacenters over the past couple weeks. IT sent out a message “We’re taking ‘Foo Server’ down for 2 weeks.” No one had any complaints. As soon as the power cord was yanked out, the trouble tickets started to flow. Apparently it housed not one, not two, but three mission critical apps.

    It’s fun when you find out your must have data is on the back of a tractor trailer somewhere in the Pine Barrens, and won’t reappear for weeks. Really fun…

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  3. David,

    Well yes, I agree that is the vision. While we head in this direction at top speed, I think, as Cahill pointed out that there are a few points to keep in mind.

    1) The PC was born because people wanted independent computing power, not just to have a terminal hooked to a mainframe where all the applications were housed. If all the apps are in the cloud, do we risk our independence when their is no connectivity? Will we have a bunch of nice electronic paper weights if the broadband goes out?

    2) The eutopian vision of someone else taking care of our applications and configurations is great as long as that someone is benevolent. Today, we have some choice in terms of what gets pushed back to our box unless we operate under the auspices of a very heavy handed IT organization. If it’s all in the cloud, do you ever get to decline “upgrades”? Sure, one can argue that choice is an illusion today – XP is being sunset and we will move to Vista and beyond. People dug in their heels on Dos/Win 3.11 before the first days of 95 and 98 too. It’s just that today, you can elect to continue to run that system on XP. In tomorrow’s world, one day it just changes for you.

    3) Not related to cloud per se, but have we given much thought as to what passes for history today? We have books that say and show what was. They sit on a shelf and the story and content do not change. They have fidelity. Perhaps your kindle even has some perminance in terms of what gets downloaded, but even that is more temporal. One day, when much of our collective societal knowledge lives in the cloud, how do we protect it from revisionism?

    Mark

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