[vcf-midatlantic] New cloud, old cloud, was Re: Great vintage computer article.

Dave McGuire mcguire at neurotica.com
Wed Apr 19 12:58:47 EDT 2017

   An unsurprising response.

   I'm not talking about having redundancy vs. not having redundancy. 
I'm talking about trust.

   Do you trust those companies?  If so, why?  Many situations have 
arisen over the years when services, especially free ones, get canceled 
on board members' whims.  What usually happens is the data goes away 
without warning.  If you had a copy of it, great, but most people don't.

   But it doesn't stop there.  Those servers get rolled out of the 
datacenter and into a closet somewhere, and then they show up on eBay, 
GovDeals, or the scrapper on the other side of town who has discovered 
that most of this hardware is still worth money.  THEN who has your 
data?  I've gotten insurance records and payroll data that way.  Maybe 
even yours...but you'd never know it. (For the record: I immediately 
delete such data using DoD secure deletion guidelines.)

   So, while the services are still available...do you trust these 
companies not to do anything untoward with your data?  Does that trust 
extend to every single employee of that organization who has access to 
the servers?  If you're talking about pictures of last weekend's BBQ, 
that may not be an issue.  But what if it's your tax records, or the 
source code for that software you just got hired to write?  Is that 
trust still rock-solid?  If so, why?

   Some have paid services with contracts that they say protect them 
from these sorts of things happening.  But such contracts don't keep 
them from happening; they simply provide recourse, usually monetary, and 
only then if you think you can win in court against an army of corporate 
attorneys.  Either way, the damage is still done.

   So why do people flock to "the cloud" like moths to a flame?

   Many people jump on it because they've been told it's "the next great 
new thing", while in fact pretty much all of it is technology that we've 
had for 25 years or more.  For example...WAN-based file-sharing as some 
sort of a new thing?  Please.  One could mount the archives of SunSITE, 
for example, via NFS over a WAN link in 1993.  Sure, we sometimes format 
the bits differently now, but the premise is nothing new.

   Other people jump on it because they feel it gives them some 
advantage.  Yours seems to be off-site backups and WAN availability. 
Great functionality and value.  I have those too...on servers that I own 
and control.  Yes, it took some extra work.  But I don't store BBQ 
pictures there, I store material that I generate (which, as such, can't 
just be "downloaded again" if it disappears) which constitutes my 
livelihood.  I don't trust that to anyone, much less a greedy American 

   Much of my visceral reaction on this subject is due to the fact that 
I find both laziness and greed deeply offensive.  Most people who use 
the cloud do so because they're personally lazy; they don't want to set 
something up or learn how to do it.  Most corporations do it because 
they're greedy; they don't want to shell out money for a proper staff to 
manage the infrastructure that they need to conduct business.

   Corporations even get a double greed benefit because employees are 
very expensive (much more than just their salaries) and they can usually 
write off the cost of paid cloud services as an operating expense. 
That's great "look at how much money I saved the company!" fodder for 
when bonus time comes around, but there are more honorable ways to make 
money than exposing one's company infrastructure to vulnerability by 
selling out the control of it.

   Part of what has made the Internet work since day one is 
decentralization.  Yes, it's harder, but it just plain works better.  If 
those services work for you, more power to you, and good luck.  I've 
been there and done that, and I won't touch them with a ten-foot Cat6 cable.


On 04/19/2017 11:31 AM, Bill Loguidice via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
> I'd argue instead that the "THE CLOUD!!" is a natural and amazing evolution
> that everyone should embrace. I use Dropbox (primary), Evernote, OneDrive
> (secondary), Google Drive (secondary), etc., and have perfect redundancy
> across a wide range of platforms. Not only do I have all of my data stored
> locally, but it's also obviously sync'd to the cloud and available both
> from there and locally on all my other devices that happen to have some
> type of Internet connection (which these days is pretty much everything).
> There's also version/revision control and an ability to restore anything
> that gets accidentally deleted. It's transformed the way that I work from
> anywhere, at any time, from any device. If any of those services went kaput
> one day, big deal, I have literally half a dozen or more copies on various
> devices. And if one of my systems loses a drive or corrupts data, no big
> deal. There's really no downside there. In fact. this is especially good
> because most people don't have a backup plan in place. With this, it's near
> instantaneous backup.
> Since this is all automated, there's very little to think about. I
> personally don't have to manually back up anything because of it. This is
> all a far cry from using computing devices in the past, where you were one
> corrupted disk/cassette or drive away from losing everything (and goodness
> knows I've had that happen to me more than once). I love vintage computers
> as much as anyone, but that's one thing I'll never miss about them.
> ========================================================
> Bill Loguidice, Managing Director; Armchair Arcade, Inc.
> <http://www.armchairarcade.com>
> ========================================================
> Authored Books
> <http://www.amazon.com/Bill-Loguidice/e/B001U7W3YS/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_1> and
> Film <http://www.armchairarcade.com/film>; About me and other ways to get
> in touch <http://about.me/billloguidice>
> ========================================================
> On Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 7:09 PM, Dave McGuire via vcf-midatlantic <
> vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:
>>>   Yes.  With people jumping in droves to put everything in/on "THE
>> CLOUD!!", without a thought or a clue as to the consequences, I can't help
>> but sit back and laugh.  It's the same centralized model, except that it's,
>> as Matt Patoray so aptly puts it, SOMEONE ELSE'S COMPUTER.
>>   At least the company mainframe was owned by an entity whom you
>> ostensibly had some sort of a connection to.
>>   Oh well.  People will learn when all their stuff just up and
>> disappears.  And companies will figure out what happens when they store
>> their customer lists and other business-proprietary data on computers owned
>> by some of the world's largest data mining companies.  B-)
>>             -Dave
>> --
>> Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
>> New Kensington, PA

Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
New Kensington, PA

More information about the vcf-midatlantic mailing list