Day 16 – Thankful for Da Cloud

This is part of a series called 24 Days of Thankfulness. These posts are in RANDOM order, NOT priority order. Each is something I am thankful for leading up to Thanksgiving.


DAY #16: Da Cloud

I might lose some people on this one, but I am incredibly thankful for cloud technology, and while I’m enjoying watching a lot of my friends starting to use it, I’ve been using it, and dependent on it, for years.

Michael Chanley and I did a workshop together on Cloud Technology: What is It? at CPC last year and you can listen, watch and get the handout at the link above.

In a nutshell, what this means is that all my files are no longer stored on my computer. Because the days of having only one computer (or device) have been long gone for me for several years, I needed to be able to access any file at any time from any device, update it and have that updated file be on the other devices, AND (this is key) NOT be online when I needed it.

While MobileMe got a lot of flake (even from Steve Jobs) I used MobileMe to the max even puzzling Apple Genuies at the Apple Store with what I got it to do, and have been very frustrated that the iDisc is being discontinues as of June 1, 2011. Nevertheless, I have swithched to DropBox.com – and turns out I like it better, as it has an add on feature that backs up EVERY file you EVER delete, unlimited and forever

This is different that web-based file sharing, because with those, like Box.net, you have to be online, and they are slow. (Which is what iDisc is if you don’t turn on the Local Copy feature which a lot of people never discovered.) Dropbox keeps a local copy of the files and syncs them with the others local copies on the other devices, updating each copy as changes are made.

To join, use this link please and I’ll get some extra space free for the referral: http://tinyurl.com/dropbox-tryit

Because I use a MacBook Pro as my main machine, but an iMac for all my media and video production, an old Mac Mini for all my photo storage, a MacBook Air for travel and working remotely and an iPad for carrying with me everywhere in my Scottevest and of course an iPhone – it is essential to have up to date files at all times available on any machine, that are also available on ANY OTHER MACHINE simply by logging on to dropbox.com. Plus, you can share files or folders with others colaboratively.

In addition to files, “the cloud” enables you to have all your contacts, calendars, and a host of other information also synced between all your events.

It used to be that if my laptop was stolen my company and data would be at great risk, and I would lost incredible amounts of work. Now, while I certainly would NOT want that to happen, I would lose nothing. I would immediately pull out my iPhone or iPad, go to dropbox.com and unsync that laptop and all that data would be unsynced and unavailable to the thief and all my data secure and backed up and available on all my other devices.

I haven’t even gotten into what Apple’s new iCloud service will be doing, I haven’t even made that transition yet! (Looking forward to photo stream!)

It is truly an amazing era we live in, and since I run an electronic company/ministry with employees and contractors and volunteers all over the country (and actually all over the world) this cloud technology has really made my life simpler and work flow smarter.

Lastly, if you haven’t made the transition from POP e-mail to IMAP – you need to find out what that means and make the switch. IMAP is like “cloud” it means all your email is stored in the “cloud” (on the server) and synced between all devices/computers, and again safe from anything happening to one computer/devices. Instead of “POP”ing into your computer, your computer just reads what is on the server. If you “read” on one, it is marked read on all devices. But it isn’t “webbased” it is still pulled down so you can work offline. Web-based limits you to when you have Internet, I still like the flexibility of being able to work when I have no Internet, like on an airplane.

Da Cloud is why I am on Cloud 9 today!

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2 Comments:

  1. I agree with you completely with the love toward Da Cloud. I also love dropbox and was using it even as a beta tester long..long time ago. I have been maxed on my free amount of referral space for some time now.

    My top 3 and most used tools today are Dropbox, Evernote, and SugarSync.

  2. I should have mentioned Evernote – excellent tool, however, I prefer SpringPad for synced note-takking since it is free and has a better looking notebook based interface across iPhone, iPad, computers, etc. SugarSync I’ve never tried.

    I’ve been using DropBox since it launched, but like you, was only using my free 3GB until Apple announced they were killing iDisc, so I have paid up for 50GB of DropBox and found it is much better than iDisc was, so I’m very happy. (iDisc did not have collaborative tools or the unlimited forever backup of all files deleted.)

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