I would look at this fantasy-cloud being 100% online at all times. Just like how we take electricity up-time for granted. Most of us do not have backup power sources, we have learned to trust our providers.
LG has already demonstrated wireless Ultra-HD video transmission, that is 4K resolution. We are close to terminal emulation.
I can see the use of this kind of tools very useful for under financed universities. I have lot of problems in keeping relatively up to date the hardware and develpment tools for my courses in embedded or HDL design. New tools need more processor speed, working and storage memory though you have to do most of the time simple designs. Not speaking about security issues, cleanning the computers at the beginning of the semester.
If you only need a web browser to access the tools in the cloud, knowing also that they are always updated, you have storage space in the cloud and already installed documentation, app notes and sample code, all make teachers life more simpler. You only need to secure a reliable high speed Internet connection.
Keep in mind, to go full-cloud on everything, there is an infrastructure to support it. This is all hypothetical. I would imagine, like how we pay for Internet connectivity today, we would for a cloud system. It would always be up to date with the latest tech. To me, it sounds like a dream come true. To only have a screen and input devices, removing the PC tower or heavy electronics would be welcome.
Currently, I use Dropbox for syncing files between my various devices and sharing with colleagues. It is so much easier to collaborate than in the past.
Another thing... I don't have as much redundancy protecting my data as cloud based services would back it up.
I have written articles, code, and drafted at the airport, beech, and lounging at home. I wish I had something lighter to work with. And even more so, I wish I didn't have to protect my data like it "the one ring to rule them all." I would like to just drop the terminal and pick it up elsewhere when I want.
With so many companies offering free stuff in the cloud, I guess I need to start taking advantage, so I can learn more. Wondering how many visitors here are already fully embracing the cloud? Let us know if you are, and why it works for you.
Perhaps a little bit of an unrealized dream, I wanted to create a cloud based OS for my Masters/PhD thesis. I forsee moving every aspect of computing to the cloud, except the physical terminal. As wireless data speeds increase, perhaps the bandwidth of IC interconnects could be emulated. Funding prevents my continuation.
Nvidia's Grid is attempting to take the video processing remote. The cloud is headed in the right direction.
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