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Monitor the Cloud's Promises & Storms

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zeeglen
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Your very own Personal Cloud
zeeglen   11/14/2013 11:37:25 AM
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Just yesterday a colleague was trying to tell us about a TV ad he saw, had a bit of trouble because he couldn't stop laughing.  Apparently you can now buy your own Personal Cloud Storage System - it is an external hard drive for your PC!

What will the used-car salesmen think of next?

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Your very own Personal Cloud
MeasurementBlues   11/14/2013 9:59:24 PM
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Speaking of TV, someone a generation older than I decided it's time to replace his tube TV. He started looking at the RCA name because to him, that means quality. I had to disappointhim by saying that RCA no longer exists, it;s just a name acquired by some overseas TV maker. It's probably low end, just using the name because people like him.

DrQuine
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Re: Your very own Personal Cloud
DrQuine   11/16/2013 8:02:31 PM
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Yes, the personal cloud systems advertising misses an extremely important point: meaningful backup.  If your building burns down, your computer and the external disk drive go together. Likewise, when your computer is stolen, the external hard drive usually goes with it [I've heard of a sickening number of cases of this.] There is effectively a single point of failure. The big advantage of the Internet Cloud (when it is accessible) is that it persists even when your local hardware is destroyed or stolen.

My philosophy is triple redundant backups: two physical locations located hundreds of miles apart have large hard disks where I backup my computer and then the Internet Cloud keeps a third copy which is accessible from "anywhere".

I like to think that hardware failures (hard disks always fail eventually) will occur one by one and I'll have time to build a new backup before the files are lost everywhere. The Internet Cloud is supposed to be internally redundant but I've seen some serious glitches in the software (one wiped out 365 daily backups - fortunately at a time that they were not needed).

prabhakar_deosthali
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prabhakar_deosthali   11/18/2013 2:10:05 AM
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One of the biggest advantage  of the cloud which nobody can deny is that as a person, you don't have to worry about the hardware or software becoming obsolete.

With personal cloud (with proper SLA off-course ) one is assured of a properly backed up and secure storage space, the state of art applications and what not .

It is the peace of mind in my opinion!

MeasurementBlues
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MeasurementBlues   11/21/2013 8:42:19 AM
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But you do have to worry about the host company going out of business. Well, maybe not Google, for now, anyway.

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Your very own Personal Cloud
MeasurementBlues   11/21/2013 8:50:35 AM
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Never trust your data to one drive, even an external drive. It could fail so you need a second external drive as a backup for the first.

Keep passwords in a safe deposit box. If your house burns down, at least you still have access to things.

DrQuine
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Re: Your very own Personal Cloud
DrQuine   11/21/2013 8:16:14 PM
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Good advice - with the key observation that the external disk drives must be in a different location from the computer (which then poses a logistical issue regarding how the backups are accomplished if they're not on the cloud and you don't commute 800 miles (as I do) and have one at each end of the commute. The password advice I find challenging. With over 400 passwords, a password is being changed all the time.  Other than commuting to the safe deposit box, it isn't possible to keep that list current. Software solutions, of course, have security risks and may fail at the worst possible time (as I've seen).

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Your very own Personal Cloud
MeasurementBlues   11/21/2013 10:00:10 PM
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OK let me ask you this. Is it safe to keep passwords on a password-protected thumb drive and paste them in or to type them in? One option is to not put passwords on the tumb drive but to leave clues that only you would know. But, you run the risk of forgetting passwords anyway.

DrQuine
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Re: Your very own Personal Cloud
DrQuine   11/21/2013 10:23:43 PM
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My experience with peers (and myself) is that leaving clues to passwords is a dangerous exercise. What is an obvious clue today is meaningless in a year. Even worse are the people who arrogantly state that they've selected a password there is no need to record because they'll never forget it. "I told you that you'd forget it" isn't a very satisfying refrain when somebody is stuck. I think that the problem has become much worse in recent years because of password "rules". You start out innocently with "mine" but then the rules call for 8 characters so you use "password" then they require an upper case character "Password" and a number "Password9" and a special character "Password9&" and then they require monthly changes and don't allow repeating elements and your password is "Jones&July". So I ask you which of these was the one that you opened your Google account with 11 years ago and which was your new November, 2012 Facebook account. It simply isn't possible to remember.

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Your very own Personal Cloud
MeasurementBlues   11/22/2013 8:15:21 AM
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@DrQuine,

I was going to reply but I think an online discussion of passwords is dangerous enough.

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