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Practicing What I Preach

Netbook

Awesome netbook, not a laptop.

If you know me or have seen me talk, you know that I love the cloud! I give entire talks about the cloud, how it can help you, and why you should use it.  I encourage small businesses and individuals to use it whenever possible.  It’s no surprise that I try to use the cloud as much as I can.  Here is my “real life” cloud story:

Last week, my laptop died.  It’s been giving me grief for the last few months and I knew it was coming, so I ordered a new laptop the morning of a couple weeks back.  That afternoon, my dying laptop overheated for the last time.  Of course, I had to wait a while for my new laptop to arrive (awesome black Friday sale).  I was without my own laptop for 4 days, and had to use my 4-year-old under-powered, slow, small netbook.  Although the netbook is not a full-fledged desktop, I wasn’t concerned about my work.  Since I use the cloud for just about everything, I could get through the weekend and early week, no problem.  And for the most part, I did.  I grabbed my little under-powered and non-Office-installed Acer netbook and promptly accessed my documents and mail, using a variety of services, including: Gmail (personal), Google Apps for Business (business account), Dropbox (additional storage), and Microsoft Live (personal).  My non-laptop experience highlighted three rolls of thunder in my cloud:

1. When I could pull what I needed from a various service to an application on my laptop seamlessly, it was fine.  But as soon as I had to start transferring files between various cloud services, things became a little cumbersome.  Going forward, I am going to settle on one cloud service to handle all of my data (email, documents, storage, etc.)

2.  My next big obstacle was Outlook, or should I say, the lack of.  As much as I love Google, I really don’t like their web-based mail experience.  I use Outlook for all of my mail, tasks, and scheduling.  Because of the amount of mail I have to manage, I found Google’s lack of folder structure overwhelming.  If I were to use Gmail, I would have to modify my email workflow severely.  By day two, I had to install Office on the netbook so I could have the basic functionality to work effectively.

3.  The third “roll of thunder” was not being able to access my financial application.  Okay, I always manage to find an excuse not to do paperwork, but I have to admit not being able to see my company financials bothered me.  I am considering moving my financials to a cloud-based service for this reason.  On a side note, when I went to bring my financial backup from cloud storage to my new laptop, the file was corrupted.

This experience didn’t change how I feel about the cloud, if anything, it validated my push to encourage others to use the cloud.  My cloud services allowed me to continue working, even if it was at a snail’s pace.  Luckily, I was able to retrieve all the data from my old drive and was up and running with all my programs and data within a few hours.  Now, if I could only figure out Windows 8…

Click here for blog post on my Windows 8 struggles

  1. Kevin Takeda
    12/03/2012 at 4:47 pm

    Hey Sharon. I’d agree that the cloud is only getting more integral as time goes on. I’m wondering if you have any input regarding Infrastructure as a Service for things like Microsoft Exchange and the like. In addition, I’ll be looking forward to your posts on Windows 8 struggles. My own inklings about Win8 are not the most positive, so it’ll be very nice to have another perspective.

    • 12/03/2012 at 7:23 pm

      Hi Kevin,

      Office 365 is Exchange, SharePoint and Lync in the cloud. Great solution for small business. Give the small business the same tools as the big boys but with less overhead.

      As for Win8, we’ll see. As a user I think I can see if being confusing.

      Talk soon

  2. 12/04/2012 at 9:34 pm

    All great Sharon! Now how do we get you onto Office365? 🙂 -MDG

    • 12/04/2012 at 9:42 pm

      I have O365 and really like it! It’s an awesome product. I’ll be bringing another client on board with it tomorrow. And the tie into SBS Essentials rocks.

      • 12/04/2012 at 10:10 pm

        Ok I wanted to be sure… so much talk of competitive products, and not a word about O365 🙂

      • 12/05/2012 at 7:34 am

        I did install the new Office 2013 after seeing your demo a few weeks ago. Really nice. I prefer it over 2010.

      • 12/05/2012 at 8:48 am

        That is great to hear Sharon! I love changing hearts and minds 🙂

  1. 12/09/2012 at 11:16 am

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