Walking around with my head (and stuff) in the clouds

When I was younger my Mother always said that I walked around with my head in the clouds.  I guess she must have been onto something because the big IT pro’s went and made a whole industry and buzz word around ‘clouds’ or cloud computing as it has became known.

Last year whilst travelling on a regular trip to London, I took my laptop from my bag to place it on the scanner in the Airport.  I set it on the wrong side of the roller’s and 30 seconds later it was on the tiled floor with a failed hard drive and smashed screen.  I back up regularly so I was able to re-cover most of my stuff, however I lost around 4 weeks of important work.

What a nightmare, it was time to embrace cloud computing……… on a budget !

If you are IBM or some other big firm you can spend any crazy amount of money on virtual servers, shared disks and whatever other unnecessary extras the big boys will sell you.  I wanted to do it for free, or as close to free as possible.

The first thing to tackle was my email and calendars.  After some looking around, Google Apps was the only solution and originally I also used Google docs a fair bit to.  Google docs is handy for small document or for coaborating on a document but for large files and keynote presentations, it just doesn’t cut it.

Dropbox has the answer.  2gig online storage for free, added space if you recommend and friend and even more if you pay a small fee.  All my documents now live in Dropbox.

Our system in work is fully online based, it’s a simple ticketing system ran by RT which gives anyone in the company a full overview of everything that is going on at any time from any Internet connected machine.  There is a small fee for the service however it is worth every penny.

My music comes mostly from Youtube and Spotify.

My notes are all on Evernote which is possible the best notepad I have ever used, all notes are backed up to the Evernote server which I can access through desktop apps, online or via iPhone&iPad adds.  Lovely.

Photo’s is the only thing I have struggled to find a solution for.  I have Flickr pro but only choose to put certain images up there and Dropbox is too expensive to store hundreds of gigs of files.

So after a few small changes, everything is up there (look up) yes up there in ‘the cloud’.

The benefits of this are fantastic.  Suddenly I don’t need to have a certain device with me at all times, I can leave the house with an iPad, MacBook, iPhone or quite often than not, nothing at all.  If I need some info, I just need to get Internet access and everything is there.  No more wondering which machine I saved a document on and if the worst does happen again and I loose or break my laptop I can just get another one and work on with no data loss.


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