By 9 February 2015 | Categories: feature articles


Would you like the concept of cloud computing explained to you? So does Deep Fried Man.

It’s not normally advisable to write a tech column about something you know nothing about. Since the topic of this particular one is cloud computing you can bet your moonboots that I have decided to ignore this advice. In my defence, though, cloud computing is something that, whether they admit it or not, the vast majority of all humankind knows nothing about.

The basic gist of it is simple enough. To store your information, you can upload all of your data onto the cloud. After this, things get a little, um, cloudy. Where is the cloud? Who created the cloud? Who owns the cloud? Is it stratus, cumulus, cumulonimbus or cirrus? Should we be afraid of our data getting wet?

I needed answers, the kind of answers that only a repository of knowledge as vast as Wikipedia could provide. According to the encyclopedia that mercifully doesn’t insist on taking up four shelves in your study, ‘Cloud computing is a recently evolved computing terminology or metaphor based on utility and consumption of computing resources’. I can only assume that the evil geniuses who invented cloud computing came up with this definition to confuse people like me into submission.

Refusing to give up so easily, I kept rereading this definition until it started to make a limited amount of sense. I say a limited amount because according to this definition, cloud computing is a ‘metaphor’. I must admit that I am confused as to why we are currently told that the safest thing to do with all your most valuable data is to upload it onto a metaphor.

I feel a bit better knowing that I’m not the only person in the world who is a little bit unclear about the finer details of cloud computing. Sure, I don’t really understand it, but at least I understand it better than two men from Houston, Texas, who were arrested after deciding that it was a good idea to upload a video showing them boasting about stealing an iPhone onto the victim’s iCloud.

As a dedicated Apple user, and by that I mean someone who has been using Apple products for long enough to have lost the ability to use a normal computer, I too use the iCloud. But, just as with Facebook, I have no idea who other than those intended to can access all the information I upload. I could always read the terms and conditions, but in the immortal words of that lady from the viral video “Ain’t nobody got time for that”.

In summary, ask me about cloud computing and I will explain to you that it’s a way to access or store data that has been uploaded onto a remote server. An entire column later, including some extremely thorough research (thanks Wikipedia), and that’s all I know. If you’re reading this thinking “What an idiot, I mean who doesn’t understand cloud computing”, please feel free to explain it to me (@deepfriedman). I’m not proud. I would ask Steve Jobs but sadly, he’s no longer with us.

At least he’s in a better place now. The iCloud.

Article first appeared in TechSmart137, February 2015. Download it here


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