EID-100 A beginner’s guide on Digital Technology: The Cloud
The analogy of the cloud
According to the dictionary.com, a cloud is a “visible collection of particles suspended in the air”. In our context, the definition of the cloud in digital technology is somewhat similar. Defining cloud computing is generally explained as; accessing data or storing information over the internet rather than using a hard drive. We can compare the cloud to a USB key. The USB has a certain amount of storage where you put all your photos and documents on it. The cloud is the exact same system but you can access with any computer or any device and share it with others. In other words, the cloud is an invisible collection of information and data stored on internet.
How it works?
I am assuming that you own a computer or any other form of digital device and you are interested in storing your documents on a USB key or hard drive. Although, you realized that you do not have any space to store your documents. Why not try to store your documents on the cloud?
Step 1: Open an account on a cloud-based service such as; Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, etc.
Step 2: Click on Upload. You can choose files to upload on the cloud. (You can select more than one file at a time)
Step 3: Wait a few minutes depending on how big your files are.
Step 4: And voila, all your information is stored on the cloud. You can access it anytime and anywhere in the world.
Who can use it?
Anyone who has access to a computer or a device which connects to the internet can use the cloud. A student would might use it for sharing notes and information to another student. A business person can share data to the boss or coworkers. A film director might use the cloud to share the script to the actors. A teacher can share important documents related to the course to the students.
It might seem very easy to use this technology, but users should definitely know the pro’s and con’s of using the cloud.
1. Work from anywhere: With connection to the internet, you can be anywhere in the world and access to the cloud. Whether you are in the car, in the train, in China or in Canada you will have access to your documents.
2. Sharable: If you have any pictures you want to share with your friends or family, you can now just send a link to your documents and they will have access to it.
3. Productivity: Since you have access to the cloud almost everywhere in the world, people are more likely to be on their cellphones which makes them more productive.
1. Costs: Unfortunately, the cloud is not free. However, small amount of storage is free when you create your account. (little trick: you can still open 1 account on different email addresses ;))
2. Security: Nobody knows how safe it is to use the cloud. Anyone who has internet access can may hack your account and steal your information. Leaving aside hackers, the NSA can definitely have access to your personal information on the cloud.
Use the cloud, but just be careful to what you put online!