When I first started using Mozy last October, I truly enjoyed the service and having a backup service where you just “Set it and Forget it” . However about 4 months ago, I have begun to experience issues backing up my data and have not been able to back-up my data ever since. I contacted Mozy support however, they were unable to help me and told me to do the same thing everytime: uninstall, reboot and re-install. I also realized that Mozy for the Mac, although it is a paid service for unlimited data for $5 per month per computer, the Mac version is still in BETA! I do not want to pay $5 per month for a beta program.
After four months of much wasted time and trying in vain to make Mozy work, I decided that it was time for me to begin to search for a replacement. The first alternative that I looked at was the very popular Carbonite. It provided the unlimited storage that I want however, it did not let me backup data off external hard drives, which for me is necessary because I keep all my video editing files and other very important data on external hard drives and I need to keep that data safe. After some more searching, I found Backblaze. Backblaze, like Mozy, has unlimited storage for $5 per month per computer and allows me to backup my external hard drives.
Don’t get me wrong, when Mozy worked, I loved using it and liked having peace of mind knowing that my data was safe. however, I don’t want to continue wasting time trying to fix a beta product that definitely has its share of bugs. I still like what Mozy is doing and if they repair their issues, I woulod consider going back to them. However, I am very happy with Backblaze and hope it does not have all the problems Mozy has.
Cloudscoop has been a great project and I feel I have put a lot of content on the site but, I have run out of ideas for new posts. I have moved all the Cloud Scoop content on to the Gdovin.net Cloud Computing Section so you can continue to read the content there and I will also write a more about cloud computing on that site. I am also becoming a full-time college student this fall so I probably won’t have a lot of time for multiple websites so, it will now all be a part of Gdovin.net! As for the domain, I will have Cloudscoop.com redirect to Gdovin.net cloud computing section until the domain expires! I would like to thank all the readers andother people who have help Cloud Scoop in it’s run. Please enjoy all my future cloud computing content on Gdovin.net!
Picnik has a lot of features for a web image editor and Adobe, the maker of de-facto photo editor, has now made their own web editor called Photoshop Express. Unfortunetly, it does not live up to the powerful name Photoshop. The only advantage that it has over Picnik is storage of 2 GB, which is able to be upgrade if you pay. Image editing is not nearly as powerful. This is a disappointment that Photoshop is the best desktop editor but, cannot build a web client. I reccommend using Picnik.
A lot of people want to do basic photo editing but, don’t want to shell out $70 for Photoshop Elements and think that GIMP is too complicated. Plus, you need to buy and or install your software on each computer. Cloud computing comes to the rescue with Picnik which takes care of simple image editing and can although it does not do everything Photoshop does, but for average users it should be fine.
Picnik has a simple UI and lets you edit pictures from either the web or from your hard drive. As far as features, it lets you zoom, rotate, crop, modify colors, sharpen and reduce red eye. You can also, get a premium account to further, the features and still starting at only, $2.08 a month. If Gimp is to complicated and Photoshop is too expensive for you then, try Picnik it may be worth your while.
Cloudberry already has made a great FTP-like explorer for Amazon S3 but, what if you want to back up all your data to this server because it is so affordable and everyone should backup their data incase of disaster. Cloudberry Onlinebackup takes care of this need and lets you install it on as many computers as you like and backup your information onto your S3 account and save money over other services and does everything you need. It has all the features you need including scheduling, encryption, verification, notification and much more! Once again it is only Windows but, I hope it will expand and let others be able to keep their data safe on S3.
Many people who move back-and forth between several computers use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to upload data to remote servers and can access the data from any computer connected to the Internet. However, if file transfer is all you need, web hosting can be too complicated and expensive. However, there is a solution one a software program that is currently free called, Cloudberry Explorer the other is a extremely inexpensive service called Amazon S3. First you need to get a S3 account. S3 allows you to upload and store data on Amazon’s servers and only pay for the space that you use and the per-gigabyte price is extraordinarily low, only 15 cents per gigabyte per month. This is great for just transfering files where ever you are and only pay for what you need. The real star however, is Cloudberry Explorer, which looks just like a regular FTP program like Filezilla but, lets you upload files to your Amazon S3 account! There is a freeware version as well as a Pro version that is free for now while it is in beta and adds encryption and lets you move files from a FTP server to S3! The interface is very simple and intuitive and my one and only gripe is that it is Windows only right now and I think inorder to fully grasp the theory of Cloud Computing is to run on all major operating systems but, it is great to move your data with you without having to carry it!
Last week, as all Gmail users would know, Gmail was down for several hours and left many people without access to their email. This is the perfect example of why if you use cloud services, that you should keep a copy of your most important data locally incase of an outage. One of the major problems of Cloud Computing is that if a server goes down or the Internet goes down, then people will be unable to access their data.
One way to do this, is to syncronize you cloud service to your local machine. Email can be done easily by setting it up in a mail client like Outlook or Thunderbird. Same can be done with calendars via subscribing to an iCal feed. Other services like Google Docs and Delicious do not have backup feature, but especially for Google Docs, you should make sure any document you cannot survive a multi-hour outage without, has a copy backed up on your local computer. The other issue is that there is not guarantee that these services will be around forever, so this means that you need to always have a “Plan B” incase one service goes down.
Cloud Computing is great because it allows you to get you applications and data anywhere in the world and share data with others and collaborate with them. But, would it be great if you could have an operating system that will provide you direct access to cloud applications and simulate you operating system but all in the cloud?
Web operating systems fulfill that need and lets you do just that. There are very many Web OSes to list a few there are: eyeos, cmyos and my personal favorite G.ho.st. These sites are a very accurate of a desktop operating system like Microsoft Windows or Mac OSX and does most of what they do but, all in the cloud. These web operating systems allow their users to check their web-based email, use their web-based documents service, store files, play simple games and surf the web. That’s right the web operating system has an actual browser iside your own web browser which is kind of cool. As far as web applications, it depends on they system, G.ho.st, allows the user to use both Google Docs and Zoho which is one of the reasons that I like it.
In my opinion, these web operating systems are integral to cloud computing becoming a standard. Even if it is not your primary operating environment, it will be at the very least a very nice launcher, making using cloud computing much easier. I also believe that they will begin to make web operating systems that can be installed and can be used online and offline similar to Google Gears and syncronizes between the local and cloud files making cloud computing very newbie friendly. I recommend giving a web OS a try because it make utilizing the cloud much easier.