ICloud – Cloud Collaboration

Posted: April 16, 2009 in General Area
Tags: , , , ,

Im sure a lot of people have begun to hear the term “cloud computing” or “our backup and data infrastructure should be pushed to our Cloud servers” . Cloud storage, cloud computing, cloud this cloud that, it’s really simple to understand.  “Examples include Salesforce.com and Google Appswhich provide common business applications online that are accessed from a web browser, while the software and data are stored on the servers.”The term cloud is used as a metaphor for the Internet, based on how the Internet is depicted in computer network diagrams, and is an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it conceals ”  -wikipedia

MobileMe from Apple , is another form of “cloud storage”. So how does this apply to Mr. Joe Average guy? It’s pretty simple, all your documents, pictures, movies, data etc, is stored in a remote location that you can access from anywhere there is a Internet connection, which these days, means almost anywhere. In the event you lose your laptop, or drop your phone into your martini, or your house catches on fire and you lose all your valuable data, family pics, pron collection, have no fear, it’s all been backed up into your cloud and can be retrieved anywhere. For the Business user, utilizing cloud apps/ interfaces, can be very useful in project collaboration. Your graphic designer in Seattle can upload the logos to your project cloud, your Printing company can log in and grab the design, While marketing can see all updates and get ready to push forward your new campaign, all the meanwhile, the executives can also see, track, modify, suggest, or make any request from any location. Social networkers, can also communicate and share, network and have backups in their cloud.

Icloud is a neat example of cloud computing, basically it provides a “cloud based OS/desktop” with a nice GUI, and easy to use interface even for a complete beginner. So far accounts are free, but obviously it will be charged soon enough as I quickly learned that the free 3gb of storage space was highly inadequate for storage and backup of just documents that were on my desktop. Icloud plans to offer up to 50gb of cloud storage but I couldn’t find any prices at the time of writing this.

I have been playing with Icloud for a couple days now and can see a huge potential once more intensive apps are built into the interface, it’s easy to use, works relatively fast, and again, I can access my uploaded files from within my “virtual desktop” from anywhere, making software like PCanywhere, or seemypc, gotomypc, blah blah obsolete. Because it is written in XML, it doesn’t require the internet connection to be fast, it can actually be ran on a 56k connection if any of you people still exist. This is another plus because “netbooks” have become very popular to those of us that are truly “on the go”, and it wouldn’t require us to have powerful computers and bloated software.

Some cool features of Icloud are the ability to have a ton of Widgets (it comes with quiet a few to add as well) . Icloud comes with about 35 games, I played Pacman and Sonic (you can see the screenshot). You have a clean app with a nice interface to track and manage photos, share and collaborate in. You can select files or folders and grant specific access and permissions, so you can set a PDF to be viewed only by Execs or just soley for your poker buddies. Icloud has MSN messenger included in it, as well as a Wordpad type of app and a ton  of other features that I just haven’t had time to play with.

Some disadvantages are, it’s not 100% firefox compatible, nor is it Safari compatible, and I really f*cking HATE IE…but I have to use it to check out Icloud. Another disadvantage is I couldn’t find anywhere in the interface, where I could see my free space, or used space, which baffled me, so I decided to contact support at Icloud and was returned to a dead link. Reporting bugs in Icloud gave me the same result when I found that using the command interface, certain XML commands cause Icloud to boot you out and restart.

I’ve posted some pics of Icloud for you to check out, and overall I would recommend it to anyone, its free as of now, and it is a unique way of keeping your data backed up into a remote location…perfect for Mr.Joe Average, Mr Business Professional, and my fellow hackers/crackers (your sensitive data is no longer stored on your physical hard drive, making any legal issues against you, impossible to prove that you created or uploaded it there 😉 ) 


-Have Fun

  1. li says:

    thanks for a great post, i may put a link to it in my own blog.if thats ok with you?

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