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Google Cloud Computing


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Fast Fact

The Death of the Desktop

"What is ... likely is your digital life will be contained in multiple places and the web will be the hub through which it all flows. If you have a Flickr account, a Gmail account, or are using any web-based application you are already heading in that direction. Your stuff is already in what techies call the “cloud” — also known as the Internet — and not on some local hard drive on your desktop or laptop."
Fortune Techland


Cloud computing  refers to a computing environment where neither applications nor data reside on an individual computer or dedicated server. This means a user can access the same applications and data at home and at school by means of an Internet browser.


Google has developed an excellent collection of "cloud" tools. See the selection below.

Google Account

The first step in connecting to the "cloud" is to set up a Google Account. This is fast and easy and is your key to all the other features.


Google Docs

Google Docs includes three "office" applications;


Google Chrome Browser

Google's new browser is designed to optimize running Web based applications.

Google Calendar

A very full-featured online calendar that can be personal or shared with others. It can send you and others email reminders of upcoming events.


iGoogle

A personalized Web portal. By incorporating Google Gadgets with it, you can display a large amount of relevant information on one page.


GMail

Gmail is considered one of the best free Web-based email services. There are 6 gigabytes of storage available which means you can keep a huge number of messages. They are all searchable and can be tagged with your own descriptors.


Picasa

Google's free photo editing and storage application. 1 gigabyte of free storage is available.


Presentations

Google's presentation software (Google Presentations) is not a well developed program. A better choice for a portable application is ZoHo's Show 2.0. Show 2.0 is compatible with Microsoft PowerPoint files for both import and export. ZoHo has a complete suite of "cloud" applications similar to Google's. As in Google, you just have to create a free account to get access to all their applications.