By Hugh McFall (Comm ‘15)
Wouldn’t it be nice if you had access to all of your files wherever and whenever you wanted? Or how about obtaining more hard drive space so you can download the new season of Breaking Bad?
A major technological shift can solve these problems — cloud computing. It’s is a way for us to create, store, and share files strictly over the Internet by placing our files in the hands of cloud-service providers like Google, Apple and Amazon. Many of us use it daily without being aware of it. Facebook photo albums, for example, are an element of cloud computing because we are able to view our photos anywhere we have Internet access, even though we don’t have them saved locally on each device.
The way I see it, there are three main reasons you should use cloud computing:
Never Lose a File
Most of us have been victims to computer crashes, dying batteries or viruses at some point in our lives, consequently suffering the repercussions of lost photos, essays, portfolios and music. When you convert to the cloud, you no longer run that risk. Whether you use Google Drive or have your file saved in a synced Dropbox folder, your files are saved immediately with every change you make. If your computer crashes, you’ll save yourself some time (as well as a panic attack) by not having to redo everything.
Always have access
Your files are available whenever and wherever you need them. If you forget your laptop at home but still need to print off a file, then find the nearest computer and access your files just as you left them. If you’re walking to class and realize that you want to change a part of your essay, you can do that easily on your smartphone or tablet. All you need is WiFi (which is ubiquitous at Queen’s), saving time and stress.
Collaborate more effectively
Another interesting benefit of cloud computing is how easy it is to share and collaborate on documents, such as essays or assignments. Gone are the days of sending Word documents as attachments and having multiple revisions. You can start and finish your assignment on one single document and multiple people can add their own contribution to the document without affecting others work
Don’t turn to your desktop the next time you need to save your files — check out cloud computing yourself.
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