A Hard Drive is so…Yesterday

by | Aug 15, 2012 | VO Community | 2 comments

WARNING:  Geeky-type post!

Although it’s had a tepid response in the marketplace, I could certainly see the vision behind the Google ChromeBook.  No hard drive, instant boot-up, constant cloud connection. Wherever you are, there’s your (digital) stuff.  No more thumb-drives or sending yourself emails with attachments.

Since voice-overs in this age are so tied to technology, these sorts of tools are worth reassessing regularly, because the pace of change is so fast.

So, as I prepare to reformat the hard drive on my 4-yr-old stalwart-of-an-HP Laptop (first time reformatting since I bought it), I’m trying to formulate a plan to not have to use the hard drive any more than I have to.  It’s not very hard.

I have Zoho web-based email, DropBox, SugarSync, Cubby, Nuance’s PaperPort Pro, and Microsoft’s SkyDrive (which BTW just saw a welcome make-over).

My iPhone and iPad have all those apps installed, and synced.  Those two devices also act as my scanners — using their cameras to store, or forward all sorts of documents, business-cards, and .pdf’s…including apps that allow me to sign my signature and return to the originator.  Paperless!  Who needs a printer anymore?

A truly innovative approach to cloud-computing is ZeroPC.  Once you log-in, you’re on a screen that simulates your computer desktop…complete with application icons and web-browser.  The program lets you share files between different online cloud storage sites, use social media, and browse websites…all from within a virtual desktop.

Just today, I had to do a remote-control session with my studio computer from my laptop away from home.  I used LogMeIn to take control of that computer, transfer files, and upload from that computer.

From my iPad, I can control my laptop and my home and studio computer using SplashTop Streamer.

One of the coolest iPad/iPhone apps I’ve ever seen is OnLive Desktop.  With that app, I can generate new Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents from scratch using the native MS programs, and share them anywhere. Nothing is on the device itself but the app, yet the programs are as full-featured as any installed on an HD.

Evernote and SpringPad have become my memory online.  I can save anything to either of those programs to refer back later with a high level of security.  I save all manner of mental notes and facts that I can search later.

Pocket and Instapaper are repositories of web pages I want to read later.

In short, there is no end to the opportunities for using “the cloud” to facilitate my paperless, HD-free digital workspace.

I do run some programs native to my operating system that so far are not available online, but that will come.  Microsoft’s latest version of its popular Office software is entirely cloud-based.  More will follow.

Most of these developments come at a relatively low cost compared to yesteryear’s program installs on a Hard Drive.  Online Vendors offer a spectrum of memberships or feature sets that can fit your budget.

What’s not to like?

Now get out there and get in the cloud!






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  1. John Brislin

    I hear the benefits of the “cloud”, but it reminds me of my days in the Army when they told me that any information that I give the Army is “safe and secure. After all, who knows how to keep a secret better than the military? Then they lost my records 4 times over my career, never to be seen again.

    My point is that the cloud is supremely safe and secure…until it isn’t. I can’t bring myself to trust that my irreplaceable photos, docs, etc will be there when I need them. And, for that matter, not be there when someone unauthorized needs them.

    I’m tempted, but…no apple for me thanks. 🙂


    • CourVO


      I hear ya big guy! I keep multiple redundant back-ups on physical storage drives, Carbonite, AND the cloud. My point was that the cloud makes it oh-so-easy to access when you don’t have that storage drive with you.

      I want to thank you for reading my blog and making your comment. That makes my day!

      All the best!

      Dave Courvoisier


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