The “Cloud”. You may have heard of it and no, I don’t mean those fluffy things in the sky.
But what is it? How does it work? And what does it mean for you and your family?
You may be surprised to realize that you and your family likely use the cloud almost every day. Have you uploaded a photo to Instagram? Well, it’s now in the cloud. How about backing up your iPhone to the iCloud? That’s a little obvious, but yes, you’ve backed up your photos, contacts, and notes to a cloud.
The cloud is the latest way of storing information and using services on the internet, but its origins go back to the 1950’s. At that time computers were expensive, and users needed to find a way to share the limited and valuable processing time. This idea of sharing is the foundation of cloud computing.
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Rather than have each individual user have her own terminal with its own software, the software or information is centrally located. She logs into her account, accessing the information in the office, on the road, or at her local café.
It’s important to realize the cloud is not a physical thing per se. You can’t wrap your arms around it. Come to think of it, you can’t do that to a real cloud either!