Have you heard of â€˜Cloud Computing’?â€™ It means using applications on the web rather than on your computer. Blogging is one example, itâ€™s all web-based, any computer will do. As long as you can connect to the Internet (the â€˜cloudâ€™) you can use the blogging applications. And, there are more web-based applications every day. Now, you can even create spreadsheets and letters in the Clouds with Google Docs.
Home is Where You Park It
Cloud computing holds the same appeal to me as living in a motorhome. A home on wheels means Iâ€™m not tied to any particular block of ground. Cloud computing means youâ€™re not tied to a particular computer. You could use a desktop computer at home, a laptop on the road, and your smartphone anywhere, with no thought for what is on each device because everything is in the cloud instead. Grab a computer, any computer, connect to the Internet and thereâ€™s all your stuff â€¦ in the clouds. The obvious drawback is that you need a good Internet connection. With Wi-Fi, Satellite and Cellular, it is getting easier all the time for travelers to stay connected.
If youâ€™ve ever bought a new computer and had to transfer everything over from your old one â€“ you might appreciate cloud computing! It takes me several weeks to get a new computer up to speed with all my old stuff â€“ especially all my email settings. Each application that I start using in the cloud means one less thing I need to transfer.
Recommendations for Cloud Computing:
Email: we recommend Gmail â€“ a free email program by Google. You donâ€™t even have to use the @gmail.com address because the Gmail application can gather email from other addresses and put them in your gmail inbox. It can also backup everything to your laptop just in case something goes wrong in the cloud, or you want to compose some email when youâ€™re offline. See a past article: Why we like Gmail for travelers.
Website Favorites: If you’re like many people, you mark your favorite websites to make it easier to get back to them at a later time. Those â€˜favoritesâ€™ are stored on your computer. If you switch to another computer, you either have to know how to transfer all your favorites, or you do without. But, if you put your favorite links â€˜in the cloudsâ€™ you will have access to them anytime youâ€™re connected to the Web. There are *lots* of applications for storing your favorites online. The two we use are iGoogle.com and Delicious.com. See past article, Keep your Online Favorites â€¦ Online!
Web and Internet Basics
If the concept of â€˜Cloud Computingâ€™ is still eluding you, maybe a refresher on Web and Internet Basics will help. Hereâ€™s one of our original Geeks on Tour Show-Me videos on Web Basics:
For the full size version and more of our computer basics tutorials, see Geeks On Tour Essentials