Living On Cloud 9…

Or cloud 4, or 5,802, it doesn’t really matter. I’m living in the cloud more and more these days. Tonite, I build an Excel spreadsheet. Yes, I voluntarily opened and created an Excel spreadsheet, basically to track the revenue from my website, Symbian-Guru.com. It’s actually pretty complex, with formulas, some of which actually reference other pages in the same ‘book’, and colors, and all that jazz. Once I was done, I saved it to my local machine, and then uploaded it to Google Docs, to see if all of the various formulas and whatnot were supported. Guess what – they are. So, now I can access this spreadsheet anytime, from any computer, and even from my cell phone! Fantastic.

I also write reviews for a living, for MobileBurn.com. We have a template of what those reviews are supposed to look like, and it’s saved as a text document. Guess what? I’ve got that stored up on Google Docs, also. Even better – it autosaves as I write, which means that I don’t have to worry about my computer crashing in the middle of something, or my hard drive going kaput. It’s all up there, somewhere in the cloud.

This also enables me to work from nearly any internet-connected device on the market. XPS M1330 with Windows Vista? Check. Dell Mini 9 with OS X? Check. Nokia smartphone using S60? Check. It’s freakin phenomenal.

So, what’s the downside? Surely, there’s a downside to all this wonderfulness. Of course there is. Initially, the downside is that I don’t have access to my files when I don’t have an internet connection (disconnected? Surely it’s just a bad dream…). However, Google Gears solves that problem. I can work without an internet connection, and then sync everything once I’m reconnected.

So what’s the other downside? Did you notice one word being used repeatedly through this? Yep, the G-word; Google. If I was a private investigator (I’m not, fyi), the first place I would try to go for any information about anyone on the planet is Google. For me, Google knows what type of news I like to read (Google Reader), who emails me (Gmail), who I like to chat with (Gtalk), what types of documents I work with (Google Docs), and even the things I look for on the internet (Google Search). Kinda creepy, no?

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