Our means of receiving software has changed so much over the years. A literal big switch would look a lot like the one above. We have gone from getting into our cars and driving to the nearest Best Buy to bring home a new copy of Microsoft Office to having the means necessary to get any software we need with our greasy hands and a computer. A parallel made by Nicholas Carr, author of The Big Switch, is one of power production. In the olden days, people used waterwheels, windmills, and even their own muscles to produce power. Nowadays, our good friend Electricity does everything we need, thanks to Thomas Edison. It really does make a lot of sense, though. I mean, hobbling into a car and drive a few miles is no big chore compared to operating a steam engine some other physical way to produce a product, but the analogy fits. It could sound absurd but that is because the current generation has never seen life without light switches and computers. Plus, the way in which electricty is produced is a much less vague topic than the various ways to obtain software.
Has this big switch desensitized America? Are we no longer human because we would rather find the exact, most relevant answer to our questions in seconds instead of flipping through a 3000 page book? I think not. Just as the people of past generations have learned to do things such as “Tweet” or “determine the speed of their wireless access point”, this generation will learn to live the way we always as more or less, and take our fast download speeds with us.
“Cloud Computing Will Be As Influential As E-Business” -Gartner
Cloud Computing is a hot term among techies across the world. One can hardly flip through a Wired magazine or even watch Jimmy Fallon’s late night show without catching word of all the neat benefits of “the cloud”. However, Cloud Computing has “pulled a global warming” on America: most are aware of its existence without having much knowledge of what the catchy title actually entails. A web phenomenon that continues to grow every day (with the help of major website such as Facebook and Youtube), it can be beneficial to understand the term. As a quick and easy icebreaker to the potentially arduous topic, check out this video for a basic rundown of Cloud Computing:
As the young man in the video explains, there are two major benefits to Cloud Computing. So let’s just get right into it, shall we?
1. Cloud Computing allows users to access web sites from any device. But I lie: it it limited to web sites… kind of. In all actuality, one can access anything served up in the cloud from any device that has web access. Sounds simple, right?
As an example, take the Google Android phone:
Sexy, I know. The Android is a great device to explain cloud computing. Out of the box, with a web access plan, the Android walks you through a series of menus which, when finished, allows for many very useful aspects of cloud computing. Within minutes, users can access their email, download applications, and visits web pages easily. So there you have it: one facet of cloud computing that you have invariably already used.
2. Cloud Computing reduces the cost for web developers and entrepreneurs because back in the day all web content was put on physical servers that you would have to handle personally. Naturally, a quick gain in popularity would lead to web developers having to run out and buy various other servers to support all of their new found users. With cloud computing, one has the ability to claim a piece of a cloud and release a piece of the cloud instantly. No wires and no boxes, just a few browser clicks and you’re there. Essentially, it is possible to scale up your server space on a whim. This leaves web developers, specifically those not extremely well versed in technology, to focus more time and energy on their website, as opposed to server space.
If you were to describe cloud computing in two very important words, they would be “instant” and “scalability”
So there you have it: Cloud Computing in nutshell.