Wednesday, February 18, 2009

2009 - The Year Technology Broke (Experiment 2.0)

Day 1

I'm a huge Green Day fan, and have been since I was in 8th grade when they released their breakout album, "Dookie." Like all teens, my bedroom was wallpapered with magazine clippings of my idols, and many of these were of the three guys in my favorite band. In addition to having a successful career for more than fifteen years now, Green Day is also awarded the distinction of bringing punk rock music into the mainstream. While this will always be fiercely debated (Ramones and Sex Pistols fans fight relentlessly to claim this distinction), there's no denying that something happened the year Green Day hit it big.

I remember one of the wall clippings in my room was from the cover of Rolling Stone that featured the three rockers with a banner proclaiming 1994 as the "year punk broke." And that banner is the reason why I'm writing this.

The year punk broke

Historians are going to look back on 2009 through similar lens, only with technology instead of punk rock music. The Internet as we know it (loosely defined as Web 2.0) is no longer an exclusive stomping ground for teens and trendy college grads. Important people - CEOS, businessmen, educators, even the president - are realizing its full potential. The fact that WGRZ, the local news channel in Buffalo, NY (my hometown) uses Skype for live reports and has a Twitter account is indicative of the times.

Part of this technology revolution comes in the form of the netbook, which this blog has been devoted to thus far. But what about the applications and services that are being designed for just such a machine? Ignoring that is like buying a HD television so the static comes in more clear. To enjoy HD TV, you must also enjoy the programming, and to truly embrace the netbook revolution - and the year that technology broke - you need to also embrace the future in the cloud.

Despite some serious opposition and a bit of conspiracy theories, cloud computing is the future of netbooks and computers as a whole. Instead of fighting it, let's see its possibilities.

For the next 100 days, I will only use services that fall under the definition of a cloud application. The only obvious exception is a web browser - primarily Firefox. For this experiment we will loosely define cloud apps as any service that can be access from any computer where all files, settings, etc are stored remotely.

Here we go!

3 thoughts :

  1. mwacker said...

    Great idea! Think of the money a district would save if they went to "cloud computing"...think of the server space saved? I already told my class in October with all the web 2.0 beta programs we access I no longer wanted them to log into the server, and I didn't want their jumps either. We use, or dropboks, or other online storage. we publish and share all docs on Google Docs or Zoho, we edit all of our pics using picnik, sumopaint, or other online software, and we do all projects on voicethread, glogster, or other digi story platform.

    I'd love to do a challenge with another classroom to do the same thing.

  2. jennylu said...

    This is a great idea. Something I might consider doing myself. I totally agree with you that the future is in the cloud. Anything that I can store out there that is accessible from anywhere a good move as far as I'm concerned. Convincing our schools of this will take some time. I'm convinced it will become mainstream and probably sooner than we think.

  3. John MacGibbon said...

    A less obvious cloud application I've started to use on my eee is LastPass (

    It's a password manager and I like it because it keeps its data in the cloud and works across my Windows and Linux machines. It's free, yet looks and feels like a bought one. I had been using the paid-for version of Roboform. This seems to work as well as Roboform and it has a has a nicer interface. It's biggest advantage though, is that it works on my Linux eee as well. The ability to harmonise passwords across all of my computers is also an advantage over Roboform.

    Although I'm basing more and more of my computing on the cloud, I still have reservations about it, mainly because (with good reason thus far) I still don't trust Net availability 24/7/forever. But this is not an issue for LastPass, because if the Net is down, your browser passwords are useless anyway.