Tag - computing

Why a 30-minute Google Docs outage isn't "a major blow to cloud computing"

So, Google Docs had a 30-minute outage today.

This has C|Net saying that the sky is falling:

No matter how brief this outage, this is likely to be a major blow to the growth of cloud computing, as it reminds IT managers of the danger of relying on a unified product to serve all a company’s users. With traditional installed software and local storage, it’s almost impossible for a single outage, outside of a bad operating system upgrade, to affect an entire workforce at once.

Umm … no.

A major service such as Google Docs, which millions of people use around the globe, is a big deal. So going down – even for 30 minutes – is a big deal. Agreed.

But that’s exactly the reason why our response to it is disproportionate to the actual problem.

Consider how many times you’ve had issues with Microsoft Word, or whatever else you use as a word processor. Oh wait, you don’t use anything else (well, most of you). Word refusing to format properly, Word quitting unexpectedly, Word running slowly, Word eating your document. Or Word behaving like a perfectly gentleman, but your PC deciding to eat a document or two for lunch.

Never happened to you? You must the be the luckiest dude on the planet.

But it happens to most of us. And if you add up all the little annoyances and grievances … they crowd out a couple of outages here or there by Google Docs.

At least, that’s my opinion. Yours may differ!

I need to talk to you about computers

The bet is roughly that the future of computing:

1. has a UI model based on direct manipulation of data objects

2. completely hides the filesystem from the user

3. favors ease of use and reduction of complexity over absolute flexibility

4. favors benefit to the end-user rather than the developer or other vendors

5. lives atop built-to-specific-purpose native applications and universally available web apps

via stevenf.com – I need to talk to you about computers. I’ve been….

What really is the iPhone?

There’s a great column at Strominator that explains exactly what it is:

The iPhone is not a phone, its the first generation of a new type of computing device. One that will change how we view computing. One that will make our lives simpler. We won’t have to learn how to use applications, we’ll just use them. We won’t worry about launching applications, saving files, quitting — just using. Every other smartphone is still based on an archaic, cumbersome, paradigm taken straight from desktop computers. Drop-down/pop-up menus, programs, files — ugh. Look how bad Windows Mobile is, and most of us are used to the real Windows on our desktops. Why should a phone take minutes to just turn on? The alternatives are not much better. Mobile OSX, what runs inside the iPhone however, is a whole new beast. Intuitive, responsive, and an extension of the beautiful hardware that it runs on.

Which is not to say there aren’t issues … as the article also talks discusses.