Where is the Cloud?

Even though I’m over 50, I’m okay when it comes to technology.  Notice I didn’t use the word “savvy”.  That indicates a level of proficiency that I’m not sure I want to advertise.

I used a computer in my business in the eighties.  I sold computers in the nineties, and had one of the first, hardwired “carphones”.  I skipped the bag phone and went right for the cell phone/pager combo.  I used a computer in my home in the early nineties.  Anybody here remember AOL chatrooms?

Anyway, my day job these days is for a “technology” company.  Okay, it’s a cell phone company.  I can help with basic trouble shooting, but there’s a lot going on with cell phones these days.  I like to use words like “magic” and “gremlins” when I’m troubleshooting.   Which is probably why they don’t ask me to do too much of it these days.

I was talking with a gentleman today.  He was about my age.  He said “my phone says it’s out of room.  What does that mean?”  So I starting explaining that the cell phone has a finite amount of storage space.  I start talking about the cloud, and explaining why he should upload his stuff.

He stops me mid sentence and asks “Why are we both looking up? Is that where the cloud is?”  I decided to hand this one off to a coworker.  I know, I forgot I was a badass there for a minute.

Now, I’m really not much of a conspiracy theorist.  My Mom called to tell me a few months ago that her cell phone had been hacked.  I was able to almost convince her otherwise, and I got her the help she needed.  The problem was, as I thought it might be, that she had every app she had ever used open.  A quick lesson in closing stuff down got her back on track.

The thing about me and technology is that I can usually bang my head up against something until I get it right.  In other words, given enough time, I can figure anything out.

But, let’s get back to the cloud.  When I got my last phone, I retrieved all my info from the cloud.  AND two pictures of some random guy I don’t know, in a room I don’t recognize.  I’m glad to report that he seems happy.  How cool is that…..not!  Because, of course, that makes me think.  I’ve got three thousand pictures in my phone.  I really wouldn’t know if I was missing any of them in particular.  Has someone else received any of my photos as the bonus?

If so, I hope it’s one of these:

Because they don’t know the history of holiday butter sculptures in our family!

To the point… I don’t get mad when technology doesn’t work.  To me, it’s amazing that it ever works!  I stand by “magic” and “gremlins” as a reasonable explanation of technology.

  • Cat

4 thoughts on “Where is the Cloud?

  1. the cloud is very much a retro idea. i dont dislike all retro ideas, fig (a thing of mine i blog about) is a retro idea. i dont know if you remember when many people had electric/electronic typewriters instead of pcs at their desks, but the computers people expected to be using in the home in the 1960s looked more like those– from the reams of printout to the tiny under-10-row, grey-text-on-pale-green displays.

    and they would all connect to the cloud– it wasnt called that then. the cloud is like the internet– its a bunch of computers connected together. its easier to say “the cloud,” but you could replace all instances of “the cloud” with “someone elses computer” and you would be always be right (unless youre hosting cloud services from your own computer.)

    whats the difference between the internet and the cloud? nothing, necessarily. but from a business standpoint, it means “some computers used to store your stuff instead of keeping it on your own device.”

    there are ways to make that work for society– technically, this publically-viewable thing im posting to you that youre reading now is “on the cloud,” but wordpress is too classy to get us all talking that way. cloud is a technology thing, and imo its very corporate too.

    if you drop your phone and all your pictures are in the cloud, guess what? you can get those back. but the same for any kind of online backup system. the difference is that apple for example, has tons of customers and is a very large target for hackers that want to get all apple customers. same for microsoft or any company so absurdly huge.

    personally i think a less-centralized, less behemoth (and even less-often used) service would be better, because people trust all kinds of things to the cloud– its not just cat pictures and (very impressive) food sculptures (those are neat, by the way.) the more people trust the cloud, the more they will do things that really are kind of dangerous. people had similar attitudes about seatbelts once upon a time– nothing to worry about, etc. now that cars go faster, people really need to think about seatbelts and teach their kids.

    same with the cloud– for some people its just a convenience and a neat thing– for others, it will save them from losing all their pictures. it allows collaboration and convenience, all from the simple fact that “its on someone elses computer.” but there are real dangers that come with using the cloud, and people should become increasingly aware of those with time. privacy is essential to freedom. we arent taking very good care of it, right now.

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