Posts Tagged

Amazon EC2
Goodbye, PC. Hello, Cloud.

The PC isn’t dead — far from it, really — but it’s far from the most exciting thing these days. The best selling deices are mobile, and when they’re not tablets and smartphones they’re ultra-thin laptops that put the priority on battery life and portability over power. There’s apps for almost everything, and even if all you’ve got is a browser, there’s a web app for almost everything as well. It’s been a long time since it was an absolute necessity to buy a copy of Office to write a document or throw together a simple spreadsheet.

And yet, there’s still plenty of things that you’re apt to need a traditional computer for. Yes, you still might need a full copy of Office from time to time, and rendering a video might be rather slow from your tablet. Perhaps you’ll want to compile software, or crunch some numbers in Mathematica. For that and more — well, actually, all you need is the cloud.

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This morning (or last night, depending on where you live), Amazon had severe network issues with their EC2 service, taking a good portion of popular web apps offline. I discovered something was wrong when I tried to upload a screenshot with Cloud App, and found that the service was down. A quick check on Twitter, which incidentally wasn’t down, showed that people were complaining that Reddit, Geckoboard, Instagram, Quora, and more were offline thanks to Amazon EC2’s outage. Then, on the other side of the globe in the US of A, I discovered my Facebook friends were complaining that Netflix was offline, robbing them of their evening entertainment.

While the whole population of the internet seemed in an uproar over EC2, I was personally more frustrated over my home internet going out last night, just as I was uploading the images needed to finish off an article. Internet access has become almost more crucial than electricity now; after all, if the power goes out, you can still work from your laptop or tablet with a cell internet connection. In fact, without internet access, I wouldn’t even have the jobs I have right now!

So what do you do when the internet or your favorite web service goes offline? Do you rely on the web enough for your work that it makes you lose billable hours, or can you keep working offline? Or is the internet being off in the evening when you’re ready to relax more of a problem? We’d love to see what you think!