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More Rambling About Cloud Computing

posted Dec 30, 2009, 3:13 PM by Zoe Buck   [ updated Dec 30, 2009, 4:37 PM ]
 Old Software/Hardware Replacement in the Cloud Screenshots (click to enlarge)
 MS Word Adobe Buzzword.  Buzzword is cleaner, easier and more intuitive than Google docs if you are used to word, but of course not as conveniently incorporated with Gmail.  I think of docs as more of a filing cabinet than a word processor, at least right now.  The menu organization is great.

Buzzword doesn't have much of a font selection (I could care less), nor does it have all the automatic formatting stuff that word does (automatic paragraph indentation, etc.).  If someone has a better cloud word processor, email me (I wish I had comments, I really do).
 MS Excel Zoho is better than docs, but neither satisfies my needs yet. There are still things I can't figure out how to do, like data verification.  The nice thing about Zoho (Zoho anything) is that you can use your Google account to log in. Not worth a screenshot.
Adobe Photoshop Picnik.  Not the same, by any means, but Photoshop is seriously huge and RAM intensive.  I've been using a mixture of Windows Paint and Picnik. 
 MS OneNote Haven't found an adequate replacement yet.  I love OneNote and use it religiously.  Zoho does have a notebook program that looks kind of like OneNote, but lacks all my favorite things about OneNote (including offline access).   No audio/video recording, no transcription, no easy clipping, no intuitive organization etc.  Google notes is another animal entirely. 
 Eudora (or Outlook, or Thunderbird, or whatever)Gmail.   I used Eudora for years.  Don't ask, it's a family tradition.  Anyhow Gmail is an excellent replacement for a desktop email software, at least for my needs.  Labels are smarter and more convenient than folders.  Gmail filters are easy to make and efficient. Google Gears, which is automatic with Chrome, allows offline access to email and will queue unsent emails until the next time you're online.  Integrates perfectly into the beta Chrome with extensions, displaying the number of unread emails in the top right corner of the browser, and when I click on an email link it opens a Gmail compose window.  Gotta love it in every way. You know what it looks like.
 MS Endnote CiteULike.  There are other things like CiteULike that are probably better, but that's what I use.  Of course there's nothing like BibteX, but that's another story.  I'm a social scientist now, I need to forget my love of TeX and move on. 
 Hard Drive I'm not saying get rid of your local data storage, I'm just saying that you can keep enormous amounts of data on the internet for free.  Mozy and other services like it offer a few free gigabytes.  Windows Live SkyDrive offers 25 free gigabytes.  Not to mention Google Docs (which isn't really storage because it converts everything into it's own format, but works anyhow).  For less than $5 a month Mozy will give you unlimited space.  That's $60 a year.  Granted an external drive is a one time payment but in the cloud there is no apple juice to accidentally spill on your hard drive.  No hard drive crashes.  UNLIMITED SPACE.  That's insane. 
 Journal A Blog (duh).  I've been asking myself exactly why I'm blogging.  It's basically for me.  I know nobody is really reading it (sigh I miss being a reporter) but it helps me organize my thoughts and obsessions.  I can't be as brutal or honest as I can with a personal journal, obviously, but that's what my personal thoughts are for.  Anything that I don't feel comfortable putting on the internet probably doesn't need to be externalized. See screen.
 MS Windows (Yeah that's right I said it) Google Chrome OS.  Nuff said.