Is There Pie in the Cloud?

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Is There Pie in the Cloud?

Is There Pie in the Cloud?

It’s so wonderful that Pinterest has free tech talks. The most recent engineering talk that I attended was about about cloud engineering. I always meet interesting people at these tech talks, enjoy the speakers, and the icing on the cake is the free food.

Irony alert: this time there was no cake. Or pie! Which to all God-fearing clowns is dessert. By the way, if you need to hear more about clowns, here’s an article any pie-loving clown would like: Secrets of the Social Media Circus.

So no cake, no pie, and no dessert of any kind? Well, I’ll just have to make do!*

Easy as pie?

Easy as pie?

Easy as pie?

First up for her tech talk was Nori Heikkinen , a Google engineer, who spoke briefly about the history of search and Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) and a stint at Healthcare.gov. She did not make her time with Healthcare.gov sound as easy as pie. And speaking of pie, my favorite kind is blackberry. But since it’s November, there is mostly pumpkin and apple pie.

Since I wasn’t allowed to take pictures, here’s an image of some blackbirds instead. This picture is not meant to resemble any living cloud engineers.

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Four and Twenty Blackbirds

Four and Twenty Blackbirds

Four and Twenty Blackbirds

Another Highlight was Jeremy Carroll who reassured us that the pins we pinners pin are copied in triplicate so we can rest assured that they won’t disappear like hot pies left on the windowsill spotted by famished blackbirds (not his exact words). And did you ever stop to think about how many things have to happen after a pin is pinned? Someone has to make the list of other things you might like related to that first pin. Whew. Thinking about it might make you need a piece of pie. By the way, this Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book sounds heavenly, doesn’t it? But I digress.

Pie Before E, Except After C

Pie Before E, Except After C

Pie before E Except After C

Raj Patel, head of cloud engineering at Pinterest, made one of the best points of all in his talk: A Pin Lives Forever. He discussed the half life of other social media posts, emphasizing that pins live on and on and can be rediscovered days, weeks, or months after they’re pinned.

You can

You can’t spell Pinterest without PIE

You can’t spell Pinterest without PIE

Not to rub it in, but Pinterest without the PIE would just be ntrst! Which doesn’t sound very delicious. If you’d like to read about another Pinterest tech talk, here’s my Discover Pinterest: Behind the Scenes.

*I am in no way intending to malign Pinterest: just thought I’d offer them some pie for thought.

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Cloud Spotting

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Remember the days when computers came with virtually no hard drive space by today’s standards?  We thought there could never be a larger amount of space offered, and every year since then, computer companies have kept it pushing with what is offered as standard hard drive space.  It’s not unheard of to see laptops offered with multiple terabytes of hard drive space, where a gigabyte was unusual in the past.  However, the technological revolution has made the standard hard drive a thing of the past as well.  It’s a powerful ode to how everything moves forward in our rapidly changing world.

Now computer storage is offered using external hard drives, jump drives, and cloud storage system.  Not so long ago, a cloud was something that hung in the sky in which we could discern different animal shapes on a sunny day.  Now, the word cloud has a whole new meaning as we’ve advanced so far that our files can be backed up without clogging space on our computers, thus slowing them down and making them behave differently depending on what we save.  No longer do we require laptops with massive hard drives, although they keep producing them, because we’ve got the cloud.

With the incredible influx of cloud based storage systems available, each offering a different degree of free storage, most people are at a loss when it comes to choosing the best one for their needs.  It seems as though the options are endless, and each promises the same thing the others offer, so how is a person to discern the best option?  We each have needs that our storage system should be able to fulfill, but which is the most user-friendly?  Whether you’re looking to free up space on your system by uploading cumbersome files or if you’re simply looking to have a copy of your greatest worked saved elsewhere for safekeeping, the cloud storage systems available will be a useful tool in your arsenal, but how do you choose the right one?

First, determine your needs.  If you’re looking to back up work files and share them, your needs may venture into the upgraded or business versions of popular cloud systems.  If you’re simply looking to have an app on your phone in which you can upload photos from your mobile device, your needs are simpler to satisfy.  Google Drive will offer its user 15GB of free storage space, and is perfect for users who wish to use the cloud for easy access to documents saved on other systems.  Once you’ve got a firm grasp on your intentions for the cloud system, choosing one should be easy.

Second, you must examine how much space is offered for free, if at all.  Many cloud systems will offer a set number of gigabytes worth of free storage when you sign up for an account.  Dropbox, a great service that allows easy file sharing and other convenience options, offers 3.5 gigabytes free to new users.  Storing documents won’t take up much room so 3.5 GB is a generous offering as a free service.  For Amazon Prime members Amazon’s Cloud offers unlimited photo uploads and 5 gigs of space for other items.  Once you’ve determined your needs, choose your cloud account based on how much space you’ll actually use.

Third, if you’re going to be using the cloud for extensive purposes, you’ll need an upgraded version so you’ll have to pay close attention to prices for upgraded services.  If you anticipate the necessity for a great deal of space, one of the business versions of popular cloud systems should suffice.  Dropbox offers a terabyte for $ 99, paid on a yearly basis, while Microsoft’s OneDrive offers the same amount for less than $ 85.  Apple’s iCloud Drive comes with a free 15 gigabytes but an upgrade will cost you.  For $ 240 per terabyte, even Apple enthusiasts may have to question the value of said system.

Cloud Spotting

Most cloud apps offer free file sharing for group projects, free apps for your smart phone, and Windows-ready application for simple access to your files from your desktop.  An Amazon Prime membership will provide generous benefits both with shipping of Amazon products, but it will also offer unlimited storage for a three-month free trial and continued membership for $ 60 per year.  By utilizing cloud storage, no longer will you be burdened with having to email files to yourself access them on different computers, you can share larger files with co-workers without having to break them up to send over email, and you’ll always have an extra copy of your files for safekeeping.

Cloud storage is clearly the wave of the future, and people are hopping onto clouds as if we’re all characters in the latest Mario Brothers video game.  There is no more need to delete files to make space on your computer if it’s running slower than usual, and there’s no reason to bog down your system with old photos and documents from long ago.  Each cloud system will unburden your computer, and lift the burden from your shoulders as well, as you’ll no longer worry about losing a file through email or during a random cleaning.  Rest easy, and get onto your cloud.

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