One interview question that I read about, but was never asked, went something along the lines of, “explain the internet as you would to your grandmother.”
The idea of this is to provide an opportunity for the candidate to show off (or fluster and flop-sweatingly stumble around) their ability to explain technical concepts in a simple manner. This is a great skill to have.
Of course, had I been asked this question I would have said, “uh, my grandma is best friends with Vint Cerf, so suck eggs you ageist scum.” (Vinton Gray Cerf co-designed the TCP/IP protocol which is to the internet what the foundation of a house is … to a house.)
This all brings me to today’s topic – The Cloud. Like all great buzzwords, it is catchy without revealing anything substantial or informational.
(Also a note. For technically-savvy readers, if I state anything incorrectly or make poor assumptions or have anything worth debate or investigation – please let me know. The point of this is to provide something useful and accurate, unlike the vast majority of my posts.)
What is the Cloud?
Your computer has memory that can hold X amount of data – pictures, programs, movies, whatever. Your phone is the same way. Really, any number of devices are the same way.
The cloud provides you more space to store things. If you can store ten things, but you have access to the cloud (you would need the internet to have access … so if you’re on a plane you likely won’t have access to the cloud), then you can store your ten things locally on your phone/computer/whatever and some extra amount of things in the cloud.
Let’s look at Mary Poppins, who had a purse with access to the cloud.
There’s no way a hat rack can fit in that purse. Therefore, we must assume the purse is connected to some extra storage area like a shed. With her access to that extra storage, she isn’t limited to how much her purse can contain, she can carry things in her purse, and use that purse to access to the additional storage in her shed.
Now to ask the eye doctor question – is that better, or worse? Did I just confuse you more?
Basically, “the cloud” is just more space to put stuff. If you’ve got the right tool (Mary Poppin’s purse, or the internet) you can access that extra stuff.
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