There is so much hype going on about the Internet that people have become even more confused about what was going on there – than they already were (although they would never admit this). I have decided – for my own entertainment, to learn more about what is going on.
A lot has been going on – everything has moved to the Cloud – and I mean everything. This is such an astonishing turn of events people ought to know about it. But they are as ignorant of the Cloud as everything else. So I got a book Programming Amazon Web Services: S3, EC2, SQS, FPS, and SimpleDB.
Amazon has gone into the business of providing Web services – all kinds of them. These have made using the Internet cheaper and easier for companies of all sizes. Scaling up (or scaling down) is easy – where before it was a real struggle.
When I was a programmer, in the early Eighties, companies had to make huge investments in their own computer facilities – in their own special rooms. This made sense at the time – it gave them the control that went along with exclusive ownership.
Then the Personal Computer arrived and changed everything. People (including employees) could have all the computer power they needed right on their desk. Desktop Publishing became popular, especially when the Laser Printer was invented. Since I was working as a Technical Writer at the time, this made me much more productive. But instead of paying us more, they just increased the workload. And made the work more unpleasant.
Companies moved their computers (which had become much smaller) to special facilities – where their computer, along with computers from many other companies, could be pampered and have high-level connections to the Internet. This was done mainly because it was cheaper – and what business doesn’t love that?
Then the Cloud was invented. This was the combination of hardware and software advances. Large companies (such as Google) discovered they could build computers much cheaper than they could buy them. They built thousands of them. Software was invented that could link all these computers together in all kinds of ways so that companies would not have to own their own Internet computers anymore – but could simply rent whatever computer power they needed, as they needed it. For much less.
Clouds appeared all over the place – Microsoft built one, for example. Bur reliability was a problem – the Microsoft Cloud went down at one point and some of their customer’s data was lost. This had happened to the Amazon Cloud too – but they immediately went to work and designed ways to work around it – a number of different ways that you could chose from. Software developers also had to become Cloud developers who knew all the tricks of working there.
I don’t plan on being a software developer again – I am too old for that – but I like to be in the know – and pretend I am young again.