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15Jul/090

Me and the internet, and cloud computing.

cloud

I've been on the internet a hell of a long time. It came around this area in 1994, and before then I had been getting on services such as America Online, Prodigy, Compuserve, and of course, the venerable bulletin board. In most of my life using computers, there hasn't really been a time where I wasn't online in some form or another.

So the internet ... I literally could not go without it. Just about everything I do is online anymore. I used to be really big into emulation, and there are even emulators online now. I can pop on and play Nintendo games and Apple ][ stuff within a web browser. And not to mention things like Good Old Games, Gametap, Steam and Netflix that suck up a lot of my time.
I chose a netbook because I really don't need that much for what I do. As far as the internet goes, with the exception of HD video on Youtube and whatnot, this little Atom powered "beast" gets the job done. And I've thought about using a variation of Linux that runs primarily off of "cloud computing". Where the OS basically simply boots into a web browser, like what I've heard the Google Chrome OS is pretty much going to do. Using a machine like that, I could get most of my shit done, and the Chrome browser happens to be the browser I use 90% of the time because it's just lightning fast. The damn thing is loaded and ready almost before I get done clicking the icon, it's great. This system is literally ALWAYS connected to the internet, barring down times and storms knocking it out of course. When I don't have the internet, I find myself playing the Xbox 360 a lot more, though I'd imagine it would get a little boring not to be able to play Magic : The Gathering or Ghostbusters : The Video Game with humans online. And of course the few games I have off of Steam ... I wouldn't be able to play.
Some of the applications I use could theoretically be replaced by web apps ... I use Digsby for all my instant messaging needs, and there's Meebo for that. There are many Google apps that can basically handle other things, mainly Google Docs. Yeah, it may not be the best in the world, but you've gotta consider ... I'm using Notepad to type this up right now. I use TweetDeck to do Twitter, and I don't know of any web way of even remotely replacing that. And using Twitter itself is an exercise in frustration for me. It's just fun reading about how Miley Cyrus' throat hurts, or Brent Spiner pretty much going off on the people who still see him as Data off Star Trek. I use DOSBox to play some of the old DOS games I grew up with from time to time. Unless there's a web based variation on that I'd be out.
But my computers (yes, I do have more than one. Do you really think I could get by without a computer capable of running the games I wanna play. Left 4 Dead specifically?) and my Xbox 360 are pretty much the only things actually connected to the net. My cell phone can display web pages, but it's a Samsung Sway. An utterly fucking pathetic phone with severely crippled bluetooth. I don't like to use headsets, so that's out. And I can transfer files with it. Woo, hold me back. That's why I have a 1GB micro SD card in it and an SD card reader. And since this laptop doesn't have bluetooth built in, I've gotta use the USB adapter. Not worth the hassle. And I'm not due for another phone till November of 2010 I think ... and I'm on Verizon. What fucking smart phones do they have that are worth a shit?
Sure, a web based OS for a PC would be a pretty cool idea, and I would definitely toy around with it, but for the most part there isn't much of a place for them right now. I can do a lot of things I like to do on the internet, but there are certain things I need a PC for. Steam is the only Windows only thing I can think of, I'm sure there are Linux apps out there for Twitter that would fit the bill. And DOSBox is of course on Linux. VirtualBox would more than likely be able to run Windows XP at an acceptable enough rate in case I'd need Windows for something.
But for now, I have Windows XP Home on this thing, it runs pretty speedy actually. I've thought about installing Ubuntu on this, but from what I've read there are wireless issues with it, or it's a pain in the ass to get it going, or something along those lines. Maybe someone who reads this can leave a comment on their opinions of a web-centric OS over something like a standard Windows, Mac or Linux setup. Who knows.

So the internet ... I literally could not go without it. Just about everything I do is online anymore. I used to be really big into emulation, and there are even emulators online now. I can pop on and play Nintendo games and Apple ][ stuff within a web browser. And not to mention things like Good Old Games, Gametap, Steam and Netflix that suck up a lot of my time. And God forbid I forget about Hulu, Facebook, and ... to a much lesser extent Myspace.

aceraspireoneI chose a netbook because I really don't need that much for what I do. As far as the internet goes, with the exception of HD video on Youtube and whatnot, this little Atom powered "beast" gets the job done. And I've thought about using a variation of Linux that runs primarily off of "cloud computing". Where the OS basically simply boots into a web browser, like what I've heard the Google Chrome OS is pretty much going to do. Using a machine like that, I could get most of my shit done, and the Chrome browser happens to be the browser I use 90% of the time because it's just lightning fast. The damn thing is loaded and ready almost before I get done clicking the icon, it's great. This system is literally ALWAYS connected to the internet, barring down times and storms knocking it out of course. When I don't have the internet, I find myself playing the Xbox 360 a lot more, though I'd imagine it would get a little boring not to be able to play Magic : The Gathering or Ghostbusters : The Video Game with humans online. And of course the few games I have off of Steam ... I wouldn't be able to play.

Some of the applications I use could theoretically be replaced by web appsimages...I use Digsby for all my instant messaging needs, and there's Meebo for that. There are many Google apps that can basically handle other things, mainly Google Docs. Yeah, it may not be the best in the world, but you've gotta consider ... I'm using Notepad to type this up right now. I use TweetDeck to do Twitter, and I don't know of any web way of even remotely replacing that. And using Twitter itself is an exercise in frustration for me. It's just fun reading about how Miley Cyrus' throat hurts, or Brent Spiner pretty much going off on the people who still see him as Data off Star Trek. I use DOSBox to play some of the old DOS games I grew up with from time to time. Unless there's a web based variation on that I'd be out.

samsung-sway1But my computers (Yes, I do have more than one. Do you really think I could get by without a computer capable of running the games I wanna play. Left 4 Dead specifically.) and my Xbox 360 are pretty much the only things actually connected to the net. My cell phone can display web pages, but it's a Samsung Sway. An utterly fucking pathetic phone with severely crippled bluetooth. I don't like to use headsets, so that's out. And I can transfer files with it. Woo, hold me back. That's why I have a 1GB micro SD card in it and an SD card reader. And since this laptop doesn't have bluetooth built in, I've gotta use the USB adapter. Not worth the hassle. And I'm not due for another phone till November of 2010 I think ... and I'm on Verizon. What smart phones do they have that are worth it?

And iTunes is another thing. I use iTunes to sort my music, get and listen to podcasts. I use it to sync my pictures to my 30GB 5th generation iPod Video. Obviously I wouldn't be able to do any of that on the web, at least not easily. I'm sure I could upload my shitton of MP3s somewhere and stream them whenever I want, or set up another computer with all of them on there with some sort of server to stream them. But I rarely ever listen to music or podcasts on the computer itself, it's always on my iPod because I've gotta drive around for around 3 hours a night Monday through Friday as part of my job. So obviously a web-centric OS wouldn't help me in that regard. And I know that Linux has ways of sorting one's music, and I've heard of people getting their podcasts through RSS. Though I've never done it personally. I've never had any luck syncing my iPod with Linux.

Sure, a web based OS for a PC would be a pretty cool idea, and I would definitely toy around with it, but for the most part there isn't much of a place for them right now. I can do a lot of things I like to do on the internet, but there are certain things that are very important to me I need a PC for. Steam is the only Windows only thing I can think of, I'm sure there are Linux apps out there for Twitter that would fit the bill. And DOSBox is of course on Linux. VirtualBox would more than likely be able to run Windows XP at an acceptable enough rate in case I'd need Windows for something.

But for now, I have Windows XP Home on this thing, it runs pretty speedy actually. I've thought about installing Ubuntu on this, but from what I've read there are wireless issues with it, or it's a pain in the ass to get it going, or something along those lines. Maybe someone who reads this can leave a comment on their opinions of a web-centric OS over something like a standard Windows, Mac or Linux setup. Who knows.

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