Living and Learning in the Cloud: Online Services and Freeware


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A presentation I gave on Dropbox, Evernote, and Google as part of a 'cloud services' bit at ETC.

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  • Used to be called Useful Freeware
    After trimming out all the crap, I came to the real meat
  • Let’s say you have no idea what I’m talking about. You might not.
  • What is the cloud? Cloud computing?
  • Simple: the Internet is the cloud. Everything happens, and is based in, the cloud.
    Your data is in the cloud.
  • Good question: so what if your data is in the cloud? Little scary?
    Don’t worry. Key to cloud computing: data location. Local and non-local.
  • The thing about cloud computing is just that: it’s in the cloud.
  • If your computer happens to get destroyed, no worries.
  • If your computer happens to get destroyed, no worries.
  • If your computer happens to get destroyed, no worries.
  • Computer not with you? Log in.
  • Get to your data wherever you’re at.
  • Lot of cloud services allow you to share things — totally optional, you have complete control over what’s shared
  • First one: Evernote.
    This, and the next one I show, has nearly single-handedly saved a semester.
    Hard drive died in October. Had all my notes on it. Except they were in Evernote.
  • With free account you could put almost everything you’d ever want into Evernote
    With premium account, you CAN
    Type text notes, save pictures, diagrams, photos, audio, PDFs...
  • Available for more platforms than you can shake a stick at
  • Some uses: again, I used these
  • There’s not much limit to the things you can do with Evernote; use your imagination!
  • Some technologies are emerging for Evernote use
  • Amazing. My favorite.
  • Great service: lifesaver
    Both you and I’ll get extra quarter gig
  • Available on most main platforms, even iPhone for mobile
  • Keeps things in sync
    Work on something on your home computer, pull it up online from work
    Saves you from having to carry a USB drive everywhere
  • Just a folder
    Share link to files with friends
    Email a link to a file on the go with iPhone app
  • Touch on a few others in closing
  • Living and Learning in the Cloud: Online Services and Freeware

    1. 1. The presentation formerly known as Useful Freeware Living and learning in the cloud Harness free online services and software for your benefit as a student, a faculty member, or just a human being
    2. 2. I have no idea what you’re talking about.
    3. 3. Why should I care?
    4. 4. 1) Location 2) Location 3) Location Your data is stored or backed up elsewhere. In the cloud.
    5. 5. Computer catches on fire? Not a problem. Get a new computer, install software if necessary, log in with it. All your data is right there.
    6. 6. Sitting at another computer? That’s fine, too. Pull up a browser, log into the appropriate website. Your data is right there, too.
    7. 7. Want to access your data anywhere? If you’ve got an Internet-enabled smartphone (Blackberry, iPhone, Android-based, Palm, etc.) or other device, most cloud services have clients for those devices, too. Meaning you could technically study for your History test in line at a rock concert. Or something.
    8. 8. Share. Collaborate. Live in harmony. Most cloud services allow you to make your choice of content publicly available. Others can work on the same document. Friends can share notes. Or, enemies can antagonize each other by sharing articles between CNN and FOX News.
    9. 9. Meet your new best friends.
    10. 10. Evernote. It’s your 3-ring binder. On steroids.
    11. 11. Evernote ( Information capture tool Save webpages, PDFs, images, photos, audio recordings, videos, class notes, and more Tag, sort, organize your notes Share notebooks with the public
    12. 12. Evernote ( Web clipper (any browser) Mac OS X Windows iPhone/iPod touch Blackberry Palm Pre Sony Ericsson X1 Windows Mobile Android beta client in the works (
    13. 13. How you can use Evernote. Take notes in class using a desktop client; new note for each lecture Tag notes with subject matter discussed When time to write a paper, pull up notes tagged with your subject
    14. 14. How you can use Evernote. Print PDF webpages into Evernote Scan receipts into an Evernote notebook Tweet a reminder to Evernote Snap pics of all those fancy wines you like to try (21 and over, please!)
    15. 15. Evernote on the forefront. Fujitsu ScanSnap: scan documents right into Evernote EyeFi card: wireless-enabled SD cards that can upload your digital photos to Evernote Smartphones: snap a photo or record voice using the Evernote app, upload right to Evernote
    16. 16. Dropbox. Never worry about losing your files again.
    17. 17. Dropbox ( Online file storage service Install the client, and all the files in your ‘Dropbox’ ƒ are synced as they’re changed Share files/folders with other Dropbox users Get extra 250MB on signup:
    18. 18. Dropbox ( Web site Mac OS X Windows Linux iPhone/iPod touch
    19. 19. How Dropbox can help you. Never have to email files to yourself; save them wherever you’re at to your Dropbox Install it on your home computer and your work computer; keeps files in sync Need to roll back a version of a file? Dropbox can do that.
    20. 20. How Dropbox can help you. Eliminates need for USB drive Integrates seamlessly with your desktop Share files with friends with insanely little effort Access your files on the go with iPhone/iPod touch app
    21. 21. Google. The undisputed king of search. Also the undisputed king of cloud services.
    22. 22. Google (c’mon, it’s Google.) ( Tons of ‘cloud-based’ services Super-secret facility with thousands, maybe millions of servers Revenue comes from advertising; everything else is pretty much free
    23. 23. Gmail ( Email is cloud-based anyway Access from website, any mail client on any platform POP, IMAP, now ‘exchange’- based too Integrates with other Google cloud services: calendar, contacts, etc.
    24. 24. Google Docs ( Keep your documents online, access and edit them anywhere Share them with other Google users Online competitor to Microsoft Office: word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. Great for collaborating on documents
    25. 25. Google Calendar ( Keep track of your appointments, get reminders via email or SMS Categorize your events in multiple calendars Invite other attendees with Google accounts; share calendars, too Link to iCal, Outlook, others
    26. 26. Picasa ( Edit photos in Picasa desktop app (Mac/Win/Lin) Tag people in photos, like Facebook Upload to Picasa Web Albums from desktop app Store, share photos with others online
    27. 27. Google Reader ( Aggregate RSS feeds into one list Like an email inbox for the sites you visit Discover new feeds recommended to you, share articles to friends using Google Reader Link to desktop applications like NetNewsWire (Mac) or FeedDemon (Win)
    28. 28. In summary Evernote ( note taking on steroids Dropbox ( file storage and backup Google ( mail/calendar/docs/RSS online, anywhere
    29. 29. Questions? Comments? Pleas of impassioned outrage?