Cloud computing: An introduction


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This presentation gives a basic overview of cloud computing for the general computer user. It details some of the advantages and disadvantages of using cloud-based services to manage and backup data. In doing so, the presentation includes examples of syncing calendars across devices, backing up data to the Web, and using online office applications.

This presentation was last given at the Bay Area Seniors Computer Club in October 2010.

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Cloud computing: An introduction

  1. 1. Cloud computing An introduction Matthew “Buzzy” Nielsen Assistant Director, North Bend Public Library This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution United 10/01/2010 States license. For more information, visit
  2. 2. You've got a computer
  3. 3. And you can do stuff on them Write documents Edit photos Manage your calendar
  4. 4. And normally that stuff is stored on your computer
  5. 5. But what if you want to access that info on a different computer?
  6. 6. Or a completely different device? Mobile phone
  7. 7. Or have some friends help you with them? Photo source: "computer updating" by Per Ola Wiberg on Flickr
  8. 8. Enter Cloud Computing
  9. 9. Cloud computing: Accessing computer services, files, or information via the Internet or a network rather than your individual computer.
  10. 10. The Internet is a network of computers talking to each other
  11. 11. By relying on “The Cloud,” you are relying on that network Image source: Sam Johnson,
  12. 12. Example of Cloud Computing: Web-based office programs
  13. 13. Typing a letter, on your computer
  14. 14. Or on the Internet You can edit documents similar to using a word processor on your computer.
  15. 15. Your friends can also help out
  16. 16. Create spreadsheets and presentations, too! There's even some surprising functionality, like separate worksheets
  17. 17. You can even edit photos!
  18. 18. Demonstration: Editing a photo on
  19. 19. Cloud Computing, pros & cons Advantage #1: Available from any computer with Web access Disadvantage #1: Dependent on internet access (usually) Not dialup-friendly (usually)
  20. 20. Other Cloud-based office programs OfficeLive (office applications) Phixr (photo editor) PhotoShop Express (photo editor)
  21. 21. Example of Cloud Computing: Online document storage/backup
  22. 22. Backup important files to the Web
  23. 23. And do so automatically!
  24. 24. Tell Dropbox what to backup
  25. 25. And back them up online
  26. 26. Even accessible on the go Dropbox can be accessed on mobile phones and any computer with Web access.
  27. 27. Demonstration: Uploading a file to Dropbox
  28. 28. Cloud Computing, pros & cons Advantage #2: You can backup files and information to a more reliable place than just your personal computer Disadvantage #2: You lose some degree of control, meaning that the security of your files depends on the security of the service you're using
  29. 29. Other Cloud-based backup programs FilesAnywhere Mozy
  30. 30. Example of Cloud Computing: Data managers
  31. 31. Calendaring across devices Enter an event in the calendar application on your home computer. (Example here: Sunbird)
  32. 32. Calendaring across devices It gets “synced” to an online service (Example here: Google Calendar)
  33. 33. Calendaring across devices And you can view it on other devices, like mobile phones (Example here: Android calendaring app)
  34. 34. Demonstration: Adding and syncing a contact
  35. 35. Lots of alternatives MobileMe: A popular paid alternative for Macs
  36. 36. Many types of data can be synced
  37. 37. Cloud Computing, pros & cons Advantage #3: Portability – You can access your data across multiple applications and devices Disadvantage #3: Privacy – Companies can monitor your information for business-related purposes (e.g. advertising)
  38. 38. Other Cloud-based services: Antivirus Cloud antivirus pulls virus protection files dynamically from the Web, rather than storing them on your computer
  39. 39. The gist: Cloud computing gives you an incredible amount of flexibility of your information by sacrificing some degree of control over it.
  40. 40. Questions? View this presentation on slideshare: This presentation was made using open source software. OpenOffice Chrome GIMP Android Impress Web browser Image editor Mobilephone Presentation program operating system