Living Life on Cloud Nine: Nine Ways to Live ‘in’ the Cloud

My online office: I’m going increasingly cloud based as the pile of hard disks on my desk at school is more redundant. In fact, I was looking at my USB key-ring that held (only 4mb of space) and it was bigger than one of my old hard disks from about 10 years ago! The hard disk still works, too. Wonder if the keyring will work in seven years time.

Nowadays, I use…

Google Docs – for straightforward document creation and sharing. I especially like the spreadsheets options, and the fact I can share stuff easily. I use the standard version AND the hosted version with a domain or two of mine.

USB Key or Flash Drives – I use a lot of apps for the USB key, courtesy of PortableApps. There is stuff for most needs there, including Productivity, Internet, Media, and more. Most of the stuff is open source, and even after so many years, there is no sign that Microsoft has created any portable applications at all. Why would they?

EverNote – I’ve experimented a great deal with EverNote, and I really like the features for note creation, and sharing. I also managed to install the software (from inside the main App) on a keyring and use it without any problems. I think the transfer portions even for the paid version are awfully scrooge like, esp. in these days of 10mb of images (and that’s small).

WordPress – I created a couple of private blogs to host the development of my new sites (the Coffee One and another one to come soon). I find it combined with LiveWriter a great way to write notes, posts, stubs, notes, store research, upload photos I want to use, etc.. If anything, I am finding it much more useful overall than EverNote as it makes everything easily accessible.

To create a private blog, simply install one of the Member plugins that restricts access, turn off the publicity, close the registrations, and voila! One secure, private area.

Flickr – Although I don’t post ALL my photos on Flickr, I find it really easy to share the stuff I want, and to post it to my blog or wherever. It’s not free for unlimited usage. But at $24.95pa, it’s a real steal.

Skydrive – I have 25GB of space from MS courtesy of the LiveSpaces Program. I’ve tried to use it but I find the whole idea of uploading a bunch of stuff from a browser pretty clunky, esp. since I’d like to use it for serious cloud storage (not backup!). But the system isn’t fully mature as copying and pasting files or folders doesn’t really work.

So, I am now using DropBox to help with this. It pretty much works as SkyDrive should. The free space is smaller, but you can upgrade to 100GB of space.

Having your own hosting is also part and parcel of this Cloud computing era, and I run a number of sites that reflect my differing interests. No need to brag here about them all, but it definitely helps with the FTP applications, hosting on your personal domains, and much more.;

Lastly, I spend a lot of time listening to Internet Radio in different formats, esp. I like the Radio?Sure software and XMplayer, both of which work as USB apps or can be installed regularly! (In fact, if you use these a lot, simply copy them to your desktop, run them – all faves saved – and delete them when done.

And, I’ll let you into a secret: I’m beginning to like NOT having to install apps and reboot XP (yes, it still happens) each time I want to use them. I can just copy the folder, and it works! It’s a little slower than running an installed app, but it’s a huge timesaver if you’re testing software.

Now, if I could only figure out how to make money in the cloud… then I could travel the world! Anyone?