10/12/09

The Cloud

I think I know what is going to happen with computing in the next few years. I don't usually write posts like this, but I've been reading about it, and thinking about how much we use the internet and computers now, and it interests me a lot for some reason.

More and more our computer experiences are being routed to the internet. We do almost everything on here. Our pictures used to be locked away on just our hard drives, now we instantly upload them to facebook or that photo website I don't know how to spell. Some people still mostly use an email client (you can tell I've been reading) but others like me have switched to a browser based system like gmail.com. If you want, you can even write papers, make slide shows, keep track of your calendars all online, in the browser thanks to google's suite of applications like google docs and google calendar.

Speaking of google, I think that is where this is all going. Google is working on a new operating system, Google Chrome OS. According to them, its supposed to be really lightweight, and it is designed primarily to get you on the web. And it makes sense, most of the time when I, or any other casual computer users I know, turn on or open up their computers, it is to go online. I think they've got the right idea.

But I think Google Chrome OS won't just get you on the internet, it will be just the internet. I think when you open it up, it would make sense that you are instantly in the browser. No desktop where you have to click on the internet (I should write a post later about how impatient the digital age is making us) to open it up, it is just there. It might open to a home screen like Google's browser Chrome has right now, which would have your favorite websites along with any applications you might use. I say use, not have, because I think they will be all based on the internet eventually. Why have separate applications? There's really no need, if we've all got wireless, and Google has some really big servers out there somewhere to store all of our stuff. When you put your pictures online, they just go right to the internet. You save your documents there, play your games there, record your music there. The internet is getting fast enough that anything done on your computer could soon be done just as quickly online.

Most people probably still want a copy of their files and things on their own computer, just in case they're ever out of the range of the internet. I think the future operating systems will accomodate that, and still allow you to save your stuff on your own hard drive. But you won't even know you're doing it. The primary place you save them will be in the browser, and it will quietly also make you your own personal copy. If you're ever away from a router, you'll still go to the same place in your browser, but it will recognize that you're not connected, and bring up the local file instead. Any changes you make will be saved, and then the instant you're back online, they'll be updated on Google's server.

The whole point of the "Cloud" is that you'll be able to get all your stuff anywhere. If you don't want to bring your computer on the plane, no big deal, just use the one built into the back of the chair in front of you, and you'll be online with instant access to everything. The computer disappears, and the information becomes what is important.

I don't know why that makes me excited. I think I just like technology. I hope its not unhealthy. There are a lot of science fiction books in which something like the above scenario leads to a totalitarian regime where people aren't allowed to have feelings anymore. I don't think that is going to happen. If people don't have feelings, it will not be because the government is going to make them take pills every day to suppress them, it will be because they gave them up for a cheep laugh at a "fat kid gets pwned" video on youtube. I don't like the idea of that. I don't really like the internet at all sometimes. But for some reason, we all use it more and more every year.

I have other thoughts on where the internet will go in the more distant future, but I think Cloud computing is the next step. It may be a rainy day for humanity, or there might be silver dollars in that silver lining.

3 comments:

Jill said...

I want a silver dollar.

Cory said...

NNNNNNNNEERDDDDD!
But yeah, probably not to far from what will actually happen.

Good quote here: "I don't really like the internet at all sometimes. But for some reason, we all use it more and more every year."

Let's start a revolt against the internet.
Join Dumbledore's army.

pretentiouslypreternatural said...

The real question is what is composing this "cloud" you speak of. Perhaps dooby smoke? Car exhaust? Burning hemp Toms?