Moving to a cloud platform

google_driveSo I finally made the decision to move my computer to a cloud platform.  What does that mean? It means I’m tired of buying hard drive after hard drive, and device after device, and upgrading to computer after  computer, and either having a gazillion copies of the same files and/or just a gazillion files in general spread across all of these devices and computers that I keep losing track of or get accidently deleted.

Out of all the computers I have, I only actually use one, and that’s my laptop, but depending on my situation I may revert to one of the others so naturally my files get scattered as I create a document on one of them only because of my current situation.  Currently I have one desktop computer that I built with the intention for it to be mostly used just for gaming. Then I have a laptop that was intended to be mostly just for work as I work from home and the gaming software on the desktop interferes with the applications I use for work so I can’t use my desktop for both.  I also have a netbook that I bought when I did drive to work and I would use it to surf the web, access files, work on documents, email, chat, etc, now I just use it when away from home since it is really light and so small it fits snugly into my purse.  And then finally I have my Android phone, that is to be mostly used to duh, make phone calls, send emails, write small documents, etc while literally on the go.

The problem is I would create files on one of them and then forget where I put it or which of the mentioned 4 it was on.  There’s nothing like wanting to hear a certain song on your computer to find out it’s not there because I downloaded it on one of my other computers.  Damn first world problems.  but essentially I do all the same things on all of them.  All of them access the internet, all of them have the same programs on them including the Android phone in the version of apps, all of them I create documents, read email, watch YouTube, I even set them all up to receive phone calls so if someone calls me, my cell phone and all 3 computers will ring (if they’re on), so if my cell phone isn’t around, I just answer the call at whatever computer I am on at the time.  If  I am out and about on my netbook and I’m at say McDonald’s accessing their WiFi, my cell phone and the netbook will ring and I can answer either.  Or if I am out in the middle of nowhere but I can still get a 3G signal on my cell phone, I can still get on the Internet and get phone calls on my netbook.  I like having my setup like this but again my problem is my files end up everywhere.

I had to find a solution to this so I thought I’d get a really big 2TB external hard drive to store all my files and that way I can have them all stored in one central location where they can all be accessed.  Well, that didn’t work as I bought a Western Digital external 2TB drive and it crashed within a year just from osmosis and I lost 12 years of photos, videos, web site backups, resumes, documents, school work, yeah pretty much everything.  Thanks for that Western Digital.  But still my problem was my files got mislocated when I was away from home and since the external hard drive only attaches to one computer, I elected to put it on my desktop so I had to leave my desktop on all the time.  Such a waste of fossil fuels.

Then Google came and did something wonderful and saved the day.  Along came Google Drive, Google Music and Picasa, although all of these apps were there except Google Drive which is new, I thought to myself I could use these to store my files on the “cloud” and I can be anywhere on any of my devices or computers and access all my files. I can even buy a new computer and all of it would still be there.  I know you’re asking yourself, well um, that’s nothing new, online drives have always been available.  Yes and no.  I’ve tried them in the past but the difference is you would only store a certain type of file.  For instance Google Drive was formerly known as Google Docs and you could only store either document, text, other kinds of documents or spreadsheet files to it and if you tried to upload anything else, it would block it so you could forget about PDF files unless you created the PDF file within Google Docs itself.  That was the ONLY way you could but now you can upload PDFs to it which most of my files are.

But the main thing that makes Google Drive so awesome is its software you can put on your computer and direct any folder to it.  So what I do now is my Windows “My Documents” folder is really my Google Drive folder so anytime I create a file, it automatically gets uploaded to the Google Drive cloud.  Cool stuff I know.  I use Picasa to save my My Pictures, YouTube for My Videos, and Google Music for My Music folder.  So basically, nothing is being saved on my computers or devices.  It even has an offline mode for those times, when yeah I’m “offline”.  I just wish that Picasa and YouTube had the same autosync structure as My Drive and My Music though; Picasa and YouTube you have to manually upload your files but it’s all good as I don’t do much with videos or pictures anyway.

It’s an overall win-win.  Thanks again Google.

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