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Tech Talk Tuesday: To Cloud or not to Cloud, that is the Question!

Updated: Tuesday, August 13 2013, 11:10 AM MDT

By Lonnie Valencia

Back in the day, when people talked about "A cloud" they referred to the white puffy things in the sky.  Now cloud conversations refer to a digital storage that you wirelessly sync to, for most of your data.  So do you use a cloud or do you fear that Zeus will shoot a lighting bolt from Olympus and wipe all files away?  In today’s tech talk we discuss digital clouds and I investigate why so many people distrust them.

I see a future where all our pictures, movies, music, and gaming can be streamed to anywhere we want.   WAIT!   That’s… Already here!  Smartphones have been doing that for some time now.  What about my computer?  That too!  GoogleDrive, Dropbox, and iCloud have been slowly chipping away at your need for a hard drive.  Almost everything you do can be stored somewhere... out there.  Even now, I can sense some of you grabbing your computers even tighter as if someone was going to take your data away.  Why is that?  What drives this necessity to hold on to a physical thing and call it yours?  I feel as if I’m asking you to, “Come to the darkside!” just by talking about this subject.  If we are to move forward technologically then we need to breakdown this taboo topic.

It’s clever marketing that calls this data holder a cloud.  It’s their way to make you feel non-threatened, but there’s all kinds of threats from what I’m hearing from the non-cloud-conformists.  Evil plots, big brother watching, and a massive solar flare are reasons I’ve heard that people are keeping their data.  It’s funny to me that global conspiracies are the number one reason to keep your stuff at home.  If there was ever an evil plot or big brother wanted to get that resume you’ve been hanging onto, that 4-year-old Dell computer and a $50 router is not going to stop them.  As for a massive solar flare hitting the Earth, your computer would be fried along with everyone else’s computers.

Now that we can put the silliness to rest, lets talk about hard drive crashes.  Most of you out there talk about backing up but rarely do it.  How many of you have lost pictures because a computer crashed or that external hard drive went down?  I know I lost a lot of my oldest son’s newborn pictures because of a hard drive crash.  When my wife found out, she cried as if those pictures were a death in the family.  In a way it was!  Our digital files have become more to us than just random zeros and ones.  They have become memories - events in our lives.  If we lose those, it’s like losing a part of us.  I can see now why people want to grab hold and never let go.  Having a sense of ownership to that data is personal and giving that up to a cloud feels wrong.  To me the question remains:  Who do you think will take better care of that data?  You or the million dollar company that’s reputation is on the line?  It goes against everything you feel to be right, but turning on the iCloud on your iPhone or letting your pictures sync to Google can save more than just your data.  It can save your memories.

I know that this tech talk has turned out to seem like a PSA to use the cloud, but if you consider doing anything at all because of this article... please just backup you stuff.  If you want my respect, double backup, once to a cloud based service and again to an external hard drive that you keep away from your computer.  That is having your cake and eating it too.

That does it for this episode of Tech Talk Tuesday.  As always we would love your feedback/suggestions for this or our next edition, so feel free to send your comments to our resident Tech Guy Lonnie Valencia..

Tech Talk Tuesday: To Cloud or not to Cloud, that is the Question!


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