Also, I have CloudComputing.ie if you want to acquire it from me.
Sunday Tribune Jan 2008
At the recent Steve Jobs lovefest known as Macworld, a new super thin laptop was unveiled by Apple – the MacBook Air. While the laptop is just a piece of hardware, it revealed the future of how we will use computers and where we keep our data.
While it was expected Apple was going for a lightweight and thin laptop, many were surprised that the laptop didn’t contain a port to plug it into a computer network and didn’t contain an optical drive. Apple billed it as the thinnest laptop ever. While the Apple fans reacted like pavlov’s dog to the announcement, many others were sceptical and the scepticism grew over time. “We need to plug our laptops into our network.” said the sceptics. “Pfft, it has a wireless connection, connect to the network that way” said the fanboysandgirls. “Laptops still need a drive so you can load software on” added the naysayers and the fanmob pointed out that Apple provided software that allowed you to access the dvd or cd drive of any PC or Mac over a wireless network, once the software was installed. The laptop too doesn’t allow you to eject the battery, something many of us are used to doing if nothing else makes our computer shut off. This laptop was more like the iPod than ever before, a device which really doesn’t want you having a peek at what does on inside.
Apple was one of the first computer companies to drop the use of floppy drives and the rest of the computer world followed eventually. It now seems they think the CD and DVD drive are also dead. With the amount of data we use and store each day increasing drastically every day, even the CD isn’t capable of holding even a fraction of a percentage of our digital data and now too it seems that DVDs are the same. You’d think then that Apple would offer Bluray drives which can store much more on one disk. Apple though is probably thinking a few steps ahead. They now are kings when it comes to distributing music digitally. They’ve made the experience easy and cheap and they have now started to do the same with TV shows, movies and movie rentals. If your hard drive dies, Apple will even allow you to redownload your purchases, though sometimes it might take a little arguing. If Apple help impact on movie piracy by creating a better alternative, the studios and their bottom lines will be happy if media drives which allow the sharing of pirated media are obsolete, that too is a win. But what about moving our data?
A big switch will probably happen down the road thanks to Apple’s links with Google. Google’s CEO sits on the board of Apple and they have worked together on small projects but nothing substantial yet. There’s long been talk that Google will release their internal online storage system to the public. They already allow the public to store 6 gigabytes of email with their Gmail system and the upper limit increases every day, meaning most people will never fill their space. Google too are doing the same for Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents with another Google documents. Apple have very good backup and file-syncing software, so how long before there’ll be an option to backup to your online storage space while all your media goes to your iTunes Google backed storage space?
The MacBook Air is another step closer to what is now being billed “cloud” computing where our data will reside on servers, somewhere on the planet and very probably in Ireland judging by the amount of data centres being built here by Google, Amazon, Microsoft et al. Goodbye cables, scratched disks and virus infections and hello to total data portability. Once we have quality broadband of course.