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The Story Behind That Picture: "The ultimate cloud backup"

By: Thorsten Overgaard. August 10, 2015.

 

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You need to get your backup under control

To have it all in the cloud sounds pretty awesome, but in fact it's the least secure place. In this article I will go over how to store your photographs (and other digital files) and how to make sure it's backed up so your files will survive an atomic war.

Backup is like insurance. You don't know what it covers till the day you need it. But it's great to feel secure as long as it is not relevant.

Let me simply put your feeling of safety to unrest by assuring you that your cloud doesn't keep your images safe.

The reason is that cloud is not backup. Cloud is synchronizing. It simply means that you have the comfort of having synchronized data on all devices and can run several computers that are updated with the latest files. You can work from anywhere and don't have to synchronize or move data.

But it's not a backup.

 

Reading in Berlin. Leica M Monochrom Typ 246 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95
Reading in Berlin. Leica M Monochrom Typ 246 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2015 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Backup is making extra copies of data in case the original is lost or damaged.

I use Dropbox for everything other than images and music, I use iCloud for calendars and addresses, and I use my mail server host for synchronization of e-mails and notes. This gives me freedom to work anywhere.

My backup is an entirely different thing, because the moment you change or delete a file on one device, all the cloud does is synchronizing your devices so that the file is deleted or changed on all devices.

 

Your perfect collection of wrong data

We make errors, or we have people who do them for us. We have digital breakdowns, or we have a thing as loveable as a teenager in the house.

There are many sources for messing up files. My 11-year old daughter likes to change the music on the iPhone connected to the house stereo while I am in the shower if I don't lock the screen. She also likes to send text messages to everybody in the address book that looks interesting.

Escalate that to accidentally deleting addressees, changing names, deleting e-mails or calendar events and you have a matter of national security nicely synchronized onto all devices.

 

 

If you don't have a backup, you have nothing.

Apple doesn't keep a backup of the iCloud. I asked two years ago when their system failure deleted some data. Today they say that they have a guy in Ireland you I can call and he can find stuff from the last seven days. But backup is not part of their iCloud.

 


Some may see the irony in this: Apple Computer is placing their new Apple European Data Center 40 miles up the road from me, in Viborg, Denmark.

 

If you delete a file from DropBox they will keep it recoverable for a month.

If you forget to pay your cloud, or the credit card can't be processed, they will remove you and forget you. They don't care that you were sitting in a tent in the jungle eight weeks to capture the last living insect without any internet.

Your data is of value to you. Nobody else consider it valuable other than the business plan of charging you every month to make you feel safe. Your loyal on-time payment for the last three years won't do you any good the month you fail to pay.

 

How to really, actually, protect your data

You may think right now that you got it all figured out because you are so well off and responsible that you invested in the fastest and most fancy system your could get. It has G written all over it and stands on soft rubber feets, it blinks in the dark and uses raid and Thunderbolt 2.

That's lovely, but can it be stolen? Can it burn? Or even more relevant, does your teenagers have access to the data?

If yes, you haven't got it figured out yet.

We got to stop listening to the hype and "the next big thing" and think for yourself for a moment.

How do we protect our data. I mean really protect the data?

Not just a pseudo-feeling of safety, but actually real safety?

 

Former mayor Thorkild Simonsen
Former mayor Thorkild Simonsen. Denmark, July 2105. Leica M 240 with Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4

 

I got 99 problems

Collecting data isn't one of them.

It's the organizing and protection ... and keeping it simple.

This organizing of things down to real simplicity and "data protecting" is something I feel strongly about, and is what is covered in my Lightroom Survival Kit, but I don't mind to go over some elements of it here. But know that if you want to get the full picture, you need to buy and study that. That's how big a mouthful full subject is.

Your main responsibility dealing with computers and software is not to understand all the software. Your main responsibility is to know where your image files goes in the computer and to ensure the integrity of your files so your data doesn't get altered, degraded or lost in hardware upgrades, software "upgrades" or glitz in the cloud.

I have one original archive and one backup of it. It runs very smooth and all.

 

Chadwick Bromley
Chadwick Bromley at the Overgaard Workshop. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0.
© 2012-2015 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

As safe as money in the bank

My backup is in the bank.

I know. It may sound old-fashioned, and frankly most of us didn't think they had them bank boxes anymore. But they do.

I used to have the main archive in my house and one backup in the building next to it. It is unlikely that both buildings would burn up.

At least that was what I said to myself. But when I looked at it realistically, the hard drives were actually in the corner of each building, and those two corners was as close as they could get. There is still brick walls to protect them and a 5 feet of nothing between the buildings.

But what if one building caught fire and the fire spread? It would start in the corner of the next building and that would be the end of both sets of hard drives.

You may say that if the building caught fire, the hard drives would be a minor concern. But then you're missing the point. Unlike the loss of all your belongings, family jewels and book collections in a fire, you can actually protect data from being lost in a fire. So you should.

I thought of putting the backups in another location in the other house, but each one involved the risk of theft, water or that someone would tamper with them.

I thought hard about which other locations did I have access to? Every location I could think of involved the risk that someone would tamper with them.

So I called my bank, and then a few other banks till I found one nearby that had a bank box large enough to store 8 hard drives of the current size, approximately 30 TB of backup.

 


Where else do you get 30TB of backup for $110 a year in a safe, air conditioned environment with 24 hours surveillance cameras and state of the art alarm systems?

 

The solution is so safe and economical you must laugh. It's $110 a year for this storage. Should I somehow fail to pay the yearly fee, the bank says in their contract that "we will take your valuables out of the box and store them in the bank till you have paid." In other words, even if I failed to pay, the data would still be inside the bank.

As comparison, 1TB of space at DropBox cost $130 a year. I need 30 of those and even if I was willing to pay $3,000 a year for it, I don't have the patience to upload the 30TB. And further, DropBox (or any other cloud service) does not guarantee the data.

They suggest you have a backup.

 

Loss of data

Now, let's not make it more dramatic than it is. You do have a main archive, and only if something happens to the main archive, you actually need the backup. It could be that you never do, but if you do, the backup just has to be there.

It's not that if the backup gets lost, you lost everything. You still have the main archive and will be able to produce a new backup.

The great thing with the backup in the bank is that it is not valuable beyond the price of the hard drives. It's not worth stealing. It's only in case that my main archive gets damaged or lost that the backup represents a priceless value.

But as long as nothing happens to my main archive, I couldn't care less if the bank burned, closed or got robbed over the weekend. I can make a new backup copy.

 

 

Only one original and only one backup

You should have one original and one backup, else it becomes too cluttered to figure out which backup is the most current and which can be thrown out.

Believe me, every time you upgrade to larger hard drives (about every five years), you are faced with the dilemma "did I get everything" as well as the painful trauma of having to delete and/or throw out old hard drives.

The more "security" you have in the shape of "extra backups for safety", the more mess you have to go through.

When I was cleaning up my hard drives and upgrading a few weeks back I had older hard drives that I basically had retired ... but for some reason I had kept them. Just as extra security.

 


Simplicity. Berlin 2015. Leica M Monochrom Typ 246 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

Well, what do you know: None of the power supplies I had for those 6-7 hard drives worked on any of them. For whatever reason, the drives lit up their lamp but didn't start. Maybe it is a firmware or software thing that they didn't start up. In any case, they just didn't.

I had to spend some extra hours checking numbers and folders on the new archive before I had assured myself that the data from these old drives had in fact been completely copied last time I upgraded.

Had I taken care of it and thrown them out then I wouldn't have to re-evaluate again.

And of course it is also important that when you do something, you do it completely. Had I done it half back then ("because I have the drives for safety") I would have had to figure out a way to get to those old hard drives up and running again (when I say old I mean 6-10 years).

I am always surprised how fast technology in terms of hardware and software becomes obsolete.

 

Data storage changes, quickly

When you plan data storage you never have to plan longer than two to five years ahead. Don't bother with figuring out fancy systems that will last into the next century. In a few years they will be much faster, use different cables and the price will be less.

Spend your energy figuring out how to organize your data so they are easy to transfer to new media without having to re-organizing the data.

Treat hard drives as you would with white xerox paper for the office printer. Any brand will do as long as it can be printed on.

 


Four years of technology: The four black ones are 2 TB in total (512 GB each), the two orange are 2 TB in total (1 TB each), and the silver Western Digital in front is 2 TB as well.

 

I just retired the four large 512 GB hard drives (1 - 4 in this picture above) with four new 5 TB ones. In just 4-5 years the data size had 10-doubled inside the same size cabinets and the price per TB had dropped to about 9% of what it was. To illustrate it further, the orange LaCie Thunderbolt disk is 1 TB each and are 28 months old now (and retired).

The silver 2 TB Western Digital hard drive in front (no 31 from 10 months ago) is 20% of the price per TB of the LaCie.

I recently looked at ways to backup, so I went over the possibility of using 512 GB SD-cards, 256 GB USB Flash drives, very compact hard drives and very large hard drive systems that could hold everything.

A very interesting thing is to take a piece of paper and figure out how much the price is per TB for the different systems. As you are only committing to a system for two years, you can pretty much go with whichever system that offers the lowest price per TB.

 


Thorsten Overgaard by Salvo Siracusano, Copenhagen July 2015.

 

 

Backup systems doesn't require fast connections. You write to them and store them away, and apart from updating the archive occasionally with what was changed of data, you will likely never need them again.

As for speed, USB 3 is 75MB/sec and Thunderbolt is 80MB/sec, so the 2 TB WD drive above is just as fast as the orange Thunderbolt drives (the price difference is $85 vs $298 for 2 TB). But you think that Thunderbolt is the fastest connection, just because that's the hype you have heard.

SD-cards would be a great way to back up things, but unfortunately a 512 GB SD-card i still $448. But over time they will drop in price, and so will flash memory drives (or Solid State Drives).

The downside of these calculations is that when flash memory becomes the normal standard drive, we will actually need every bit of speed because the size of the files and the amount of data will be so much bigger.

 



Scanning books at the State Library in Aarhus, Denmark, 2009. 21 floors of books in a the "book tower" was being digitized. Leica Digilux 2. © 2009-2015 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

The third backup..?

Despite my rule of only one original and one backup I have made a third backup of only my final images in high resolution.

What is a final image? A final image is any photo from "good enough to be used for something" to a masterpiece that has been made ready for use in print.

If you imagine that I take about 45,000 photographs a year, I estimate that 10-15% of them become images I mark for editing and that I finalize so they are ready for print. I keyword them and store them in my archive, ready for some kind of use. Those are my final images.

The calculation in terms of gigabytes looks like this:

45,000 images in uncompressed DNG format = 2,000 GB (43 MB per image)
15% of these exported as high resolution JPG = 100 GB (8 - 15 MB per image).

So I photograph 2 TB a year raw files, and I keep all of them. But only the 100GB of files are the real value of what I did. The rest is just archive. Like I never burned negatives that was out of focus or wrong exposre, I never delete digital files that are blurred or wrong exposure.

I never waste time selecting what to throw out. For many reasons; but mainly because the only interesting thing is selecting and finalizing the good ones.

 

         
 

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Final high resolution archive for two reasons

I have made an extra archive with only the final images in high resolution. For two reasons:

1) I have a fairly "complete" archive of all my images, ready for use, that is less than 2 TB (which easily fit on a small hard drive) that I have with me when I travel. This way I can always find any valuable final photo someone requests or I need for an article on my website, Facebook, an exhibition, etc.

2) I can upload this archive as a third backup to a cloud, or in another location.

3) As a footnote, this archive I can upgrade with additional keywords as time goes by. Because it is handy to have with me, and within a foreseeable future the hard drives on laptops might be large enough that this archive can be on the laptop (I would guess that in 5 years we have 5TB flash memory in laptops; so this archive would be able to be there).

 


One of the photos that will be in the Aarhus City archive in the future. The clock work from 1907 is standing on the ceiling of the Aarhus Cathedral. Today the clock on the tower is run by a little machine the size of a children's bicycle. Leica Digilux 2. © 2009-2015 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

For example right now I have a project of finding any and all images in my archive that goes into the historic city archive of my hometown Aarhus. A lot of photos in my archive were not keyworded for that specific use back when, and a lot of other photos have keywords that would being them up in the search list, but they are not fit for that use. With an external archive I may be able to even have an assistant do additional work on the keywords of my archive. Maybe the updated files can be merged with the big archive, maybe not: In worst case this will be almost as a database of images that comes up with certain keywords, and then the file number references back to the DNG and other files in the main archive.

But basically the rule is that I don't mess with the main archive. So this third archive is an extra archive that always stays an extra archive.

 

How to freeze down a fourth backup for the masterpieces?

With all the fancy new technology we can buy for money there is actually still need for some old-school archiving:

It's not unlikely that within the next 30 years my hard drives could get exposed to an electrical phenomena like sunspots, natural or man-made electromagnetic energy or electromagnetic terrorism, or even a "harmless virus" that would infect, alter or wipe out some or all digital data.

 


My MAKE UP GIRL photograph from 2011 is one of my "masterpieces". It's a bestseller and it would be a nightmare to loose it. Photo by Thomas Schmid.

 

"All digital media" means hard drives, flash memory, SD-cards, solid state drives, tapes: Any electronic device that can be saved to and re-written basically can be altered or erased by electromagnetic energy or virus.

What to do about it?

You can do a print as the ultimate original file. You can also have a ("Reanalog") negative made as a extra original 8 x 10" negative from the digital file by Recom Art in Berlin. Or you can burn a DVD or Blueray with it.

Problem with those solutions are that they are expensive and time-consuming. A DVD will hold approximately 250 final images in JPG (15 MB each) or 50 final images in TIFF format (80 MB), with the prospect of image file sizes going up and up in the future.

These are all old-school media and once you start figuring out what to do, you are faced with the same headaches as museums are. How to store something in a way so it will last "forever", which in our society may be only a 100 or 200 years. Paper prints you can scan again and make new prints of before they deteriorate. DVD's may not be readable in 10-20 years simply because there won't be any DVD-drives around to put them into!

You would have to mark the images in your archive that are masterpieces or the most valuable, and then put a process of continuous storage into action. Is it the great photographs, or does it also include family photographs? Imagine what you would miss in case it happened. That's the ones.

 

My daughter Robin Isabella Overgaard in 2009. Leica R8 DMR with Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R ASPH f/2.8.

 

You cannot wait till 10 minutes before your digital media is destroyed, you have to put a workflow into place now that saves the existing files as well as future masterpieces automatically into that archive.

As a side note, you should consider how to upgrade say DVD before they stop making DVD drives that you can connect to your computer (they are going to change the cables and plugs on the computers, and eventually nobody will make DVD readers or writers anymore). The more you look at it, you see how ridiculous the DVD format is: 4.5 GB on one disc measured up against your 64GB memory card and your 128 GB iPhone.

Even you have to go a little old school on this, you have to think ahead. You likely took over glass negatives or 8mm film from someone, or you may sit on an archive of film negatives.

 


In a cafe in Miami, 2013. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

It's quite slow and expensive to get a 8mm film digitized ... and few year later you realize that the "high definition" digitalization you had made is now ridiculous low resolution by today's standards. And another few years later you discover that the ".mov" format they wrote it in doesn't open on a computer anymore. Or you used DV tapes and who uses those anymore?

There we go again! It's a continuous updating process even if you are smart about it.

 

Organizing a masterpiece archive

The "masterpiece archive" requires that you have marked the relatively few photographs in your existing archive of thousands of images so you can easily archive only those in the "masterpiece archive". This would be best done with keywords like "masterpiece" so you can search and filter them and rather painless do a transfer of them. Once you have keyworded the existing archive, you must remember to implement a workflow for the future so that new extra valuable photographs get the same attention.

As you can see, a lot has to do with setting up workflows. That is figuring out ways to do things so they happen "by them self".

Those files doesn't necessarily have to be stored away in a safe or in a vault in Alaska. In case of fire or theft you have your backup elsewhere. It is solely is case of electronic meltdown you need them. You could make new masterpiece prints or storage from your originals in case something happened to the masterpiece copies.

 

 


Rome 2015. Leica M Monochrom Typ 246 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

Organize and make notes for yourself

The amount of data you make and collect over a year boggles the mind. Both in the number of megabytes as well as in the number of files. I may add 150,000-250,000 files a year to my digital archive in the form of photographs, e-mails, documents, etc.

You simply can't sit down and review all those files and put them nicely in folders. You need a workflow that puts them where they are supposed to be the moment they enter your system.

It's very important to set up a workflow so you are organized from the moment you import your image files. The more perfect that system is, the less time you will have to spend sorting out, reorganizing, moving, re-naming, updating and re-doing things.

One good advice I will give is this:

Make notes in your hard drives as to what is what. You think you remember, but after a few hours or days you aren't sure anymore. Did I copy that? You aren't sure.

I have a travel hard drive for offload from the computer. It has folders like this:

 

This is an offload hard drive, so I have a backup hard drive (30B) that is a clone of that one. So it has one folder on it, it says "Backup clone of Disk 31 as of August 10, 2015".

That is all I need to know about it. It's a note to myself that the real content is on Disk 31 and this is just a backup. I don't mix two identical hard drives up as in "Was it 30 or 31 that was the originals?" because then I have to check both.

 


I use numbers on my hard drives, and I started adding a B to the backup drives. The ones here are WD 2TB USB3 drives. WD started making 3TB hard drives now, with hardware encryption (so you may add a password to the harddrive; and the hardware-encryption means that the speed is the same).

 

I also recently added a B next to the number of my backup drives so I can easily tell by the look of a hard drive if it is the original or the backup.

All my hard drives have numbers on them. I could call them Olga, Peter, Obama and so on, but I like numbers.

 

I make notes on hard drives. With a pencil, a piece of paper or a DYMO sticker.

 

Most of my hard drives has a DYMO sticker on them saying how big the hard drive is and what's on it. When I retire a hard drive, I put a sticker on it, "Retired as of August 10, 2015".

Make it so that even somebody else than you can easily figure out the system. This way you will be able to handle data fast and confidently.

 

The computer as a workhorse and not as an archive

One of the reasons not to be organized in your workflow is that computers are seen as storage devices. They are in a sense because we store our things there.

But a computer is mainly a tool to get things done. In the case of photography, the computer is the tool to import and select pictures. Then you edit the selected photos and add keywords to them. As a final stage, you export the images to an external archive and clean out the computer.



Montreal 2012. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0. © 2012-2015 Thorsten Overgaard

 

A computer is capable of performing lots of processes for you, and many of them are processes that you start that does a thing to say 200 photographs at one time. It saves time that you don't have to manually perform the process step-by-step and file-by-file.

That's what computers are for. Workhorses that save you time and make you able to do more.

In other words, your computer is not where you store your images. One reason is that it clutters the workspace, another is that the amount of data is too much to have on a computer. There is not enough space on a computer with 1TB hard drive to store all your photos, music, movies and documents.

So the computer is first and foremost a tool to get stuff done.

After you are done and have exported your stuff and cleaned out the computer so it is ready for more work, you may build an archive on the computer or a portable hard drive so as to have your final images handy for other types of work: Writing articles or books, making prints to sell.

But in my view, that is what confuses stuff and makes most things ineffective, that we believe the computer is a storage device. We try to store all 64GB if images from the SD card on the computer when we need only the 300 MB of final images that we made out of it. All else goes onto external archive.

 


Jakarta 2013. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0. © 2013-2015 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

I hope you enjoyed today's Story Behind That Picture and it made you start scribbling down your backup plan. How to preserve your images for the next generations as part of your responsibility to create them, preserve them and make them available.

As always, feel free to mail me at thorsten@overgaard.dk with comments, suggestions and questions.

 

 

 
     
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Thorsten Overgaard, August 10, 2015

 

 

 

   
   

   
   
   
leica.overgaard.dk
Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Article Index
Leica M cameras:   Leica S:
Leica M10   Leica S1 digital scan camera
Leica M Type 240 and M-P Typ240   Leica S2 digital medium format
Leica M-D Typ 262 and Leica M60   Leica S digital medium format
Leica M Monochrom Typ246 digital rangefinder    
Leica M Monochrom MM digital rangefinder   Leica Cine Lenses:
Leica M9 and Leica M-E digital rangefinder   Leica Cine lenses from CW Sonderoptic
Leica M9-Professional digital rangefinder    
Leica M4 35mm film rangefinder    
Leica M lenses:   Leica SLR cameras:
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica SL 2015 Type 601 mirrorless fullframe
Leica 21mm Leica Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4   Leica R8/R9/DMR film & digital 35mm dSLR cameras
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4   Leica R10 [cancelled]
Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica R4 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH FLE f/1.4 and f/1.4 AA   Leica R3 electronic 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leicaflex SL/SL mot 35mm film SLR
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95    
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 and f/1.2   Leica R lenses:
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f//1.4   Leica 19mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 35mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leitz 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "rigid" Series II   Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4   Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit f/2.8
Leica 75mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 80mm Summilux-F f/1.4
Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 90mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5   Leica 180mm R lenses
Leica 90mm Elmarit f/2.8   Leica 400mm Telyt-R f/6.8
Leitz 90mm Thambar f/2.2   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
    Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/4.0
     
History and overview:   Small Leica cameras:
Leica History   Leica Q full-frame mirrorless
Leica Definitions   Leica Digilux 2 vintage digital rangefinder
Leica Lens Compendium   Leica Digilux 1
Leica Camera Compendium   Leica X
The Solms factory and Leica Wetzlar Campus   Leica Sofort instant camera
    Leica Minilux 35mm film camera
    Leica CM 35mm film camera
     
Photography Knowledge   Thorsten Overgaard books and education:
Calibrating computer screen for photographers   Thorsten Overgaard Masterclasses & Workshops
Quality of Light   Overgaard Lightroom Survival Kit for Lightroom CC/6
Lightmeters   "Finding the Magic of Light" eBook (English)
Color meters for accurate colors (White Balance)   "Die Magie des Lichts Finden" eBook (German)
White Balance & WhiBal   "Composition in Photography" eBook
Film in Digital Age   "The Moment of Impact in Photography" eBook
Dodge and Burn   "Freedom of Photographic Expression" eBook
All You Need is Love    
How to shoot Rock'n'Roll   "After the Tsunami" Free eBook
X-Rite   The Overgaard New Inspiration Extension Course I
The Origin of Photography   The Overgaard Photography Extension Course
Case in Point    
The Good Stuff  
Hasselblad/Imacon Flextight 35mm and 6x6 scanner   "Magic of Light" Television Channel
Leica OSX folder icons   Thorsten von Overgaard YouTube Channel
   
Leica Photographers:  
Jan Grarup   Riccis Valladares
Henri Cartier-Bresson   Christopher Tribble
Birgit Krippner   Martin Munkácsi
John Botte   Jose Galhoz
 
Douglas Herr    
Vivian Maier  
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Retro cloud: My backup is in the bank. Leica Q. © 2015 Thorsten von Overgaard.


 


 

Thorsten von Overgaard by Salvo Siracusano, Copenhagen 2015
Thorsten von Overgaard by Salvo Siracusano, Copenhagen 2015.

 

History of
Das Klotz

Students from MIT invented DropBox, Inc in 2008 for sending large files, store files and synchronizing stuff between several devices or users.

Originally the idea came from one of the founders, Houston who consistently forgot his USB flash drive at home.

Steve Jobs was so taken by the idea that he tried to buy the company several times, but they wouldn't sell. Apple decided to do their own cloud services and now offer so many nobody really knows what is what (iCloud, Cloud Drive, Music, etc).

The cloud is a sharing (and storage) service but is often misunderstood as a backup service.

Maybe the cloud is one of those things invented in Silicon Valley in an attempt to get even. It's hard to tell what the actual point is with using up bandwidth transferring your own data back and forth from one side of the globe to the other.

The word cloud comes from German Klotz which basically means a mass of rock or earth.

After Apple predicted that the the future computer would be cloud-based, others like Microsoft and Adobe have taken up the idea of having users subscribe to monthly cloud services.

What the actual point with the cloud is, nobody really knows. It sounds super cool. The main advantage so far has been for computer companies to tie users up to subscription-services: Pay or loose your data.

No doubt they are clapping in their small hands in the NSA and other intelligence agencies (when not busy marching to Wagner).

Apple's latest MacBook 12 is basically a cloud computer with a hard drive in that it only has one plug that is shared by power supply, external screen, hard drives, etc. which renders it useless for musicians who want to connect their recording devices to the machine, photographers who want to work with several hard drives at the same time, etc.

The future will see interesting new things play out in terms of privacy. Dropbox for example scan your data so that copyrighted works cannot be shared publicly. Apple's iCloud have had a few less workable attempts on using AI (Artificial Intelligence) to organize the users data in the cloud, for example merging address cards of similar named persons. If you have had several contacts with the same name, that's how they became one contact with several e-mail addresses and phone numbers.

As you may read between the lines, my view is that your data is best stored by you, under your control and without using bandwidth, processor power or energy to store them on somebody elses' hard drive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

Feel free to e-mail to thorsten@overgaard.dk for
advice, ideas or improvements.

 

 
           
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