Posts Tagged cloud computing

Windows Live Office

In the world of education, Apple dominates the field. Often Microsoft is seen as the bad guy. However, Windows Live Office is a service that I began using recently and I really like it. All of my documents are Office documents (Word, PowerPoint, Excel). I’m at that point that I can’t keep track of them at home and at work. I like being able to access the same document wherever I am. The upload to Office Live was easy–I uploaded 10-15 at one time. When I edit them, they open on my computer in the native Office program. Then they save back to the web just like it was part of my hard drive.

I have also tried Google Docs. I could upload only one document at a time and many of my documents didn’t look the same after they were converted. I like what Google is doing with their Google Apps product. I especially like the forms you can create. However, I don’t have time right now to convert all of my literally hundreds of documents to the Google format.

So I’ve decided that since I have Windows Office available at home and at work, why not use the Windows Live Office product. The main downsize is reliable access to the Internet (cloud computing’s main weakness). I’m not sure if I will be the eventual Google Doc convert or if the full features of Office will keep me committed. What I do know is that I really like being able to upload documents on the fly and then access them anywhere. Regardless of the specific tool, isn’t that what networks are for?

PS. I just copied and pasted this text to MS Word to double-check my spelling and grammar. I could’ve logged into my Google Docs account to proofread it but it was quicker to open Word.

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Cloud Computing-the future or doom?

With the recent problem with Gmail (news) outage, many computer users are wondering about the use of “cloud computing.” Simply put, cloud computing is the idea that you save all of your electronic documents, files, pictures, etc. to somewhere on the internet (this is called the “cloud”). You can access them from anywhere.  All you need is an internet connection and your username and password. Ever since computing was born, the dilemma of where to save has one main problem: what if that location goes down. In the early days, we saved to floppies. Then we moved to hard drives, the internet, CDs, flashdrives and other devices. The problem that Gmail experienced is not a new one. What’s new is the number of people affected.

Some say that the idea of “cloud computing” is dangerous. They point to the Gmail outage to call attention to this fear. However, this point seems irrelevant now since so much of our data is now electronic. The question isn’t where to save it; the question is how do we protect that data from loss or temporary disruption. Backup systems need to be in place for quick recovery if needed. There is cause to be careful but let’s be clear what the issues are.

In the case that we can’t get to our data because the “cloud” or other celestial location is unavailable, my advice to you is to relax. If you can’t get your email for an hour or two, have a glass of orange juice. Just sit and enjoy a conversation with a friend.

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