Recycled Computing

A Cloud of My Own

- 2011.09.20

I said, Hey! You! Get off of my cloud
Hey! You! Get off of my cloud
Hey! You! Get off of my cloud
Don't hang around 'cause two's a crowd
On my cloud baby

  - Rolling Stones

I was less than excited about Apple's new iCloud services - I'm still worried about what happens to me when MobileMe disappears. When you're still kicking it old school with a PowerBook G4, Apple has left you in the rearview.

I have moved my email to Google Gmail, as well as my Calendar.

I also thought about the "cloud" situation. I don't like online storage that requires me to make monthly payments. Call me cheap, but those charges add up. I was also running out of room on my iPad and iPod. I thought that by synching my songs to my iPod and my movies to my iPad, I sort of solved that problem, but what if I bought an Android device? What it I got a deal on a iPhone 3GS with only 8 GB?

What about getting a cloud of my own? Yes, there are services that set up a hard drive on the Internet that you can access with online device. No fees and no storage limits! And, of course, my local cloud lives on my network and is perched on top of my desk. I can add storage by adding drives to the Pogoplug unit.


I went with Pogoplug because the local big box store was having a sale on older Pogoplug units - and they are compatible with G4 Macs. (The Pogoplug Mac app, which lets your turn an existing Mac into a Pogoplug cloud drive, requires OS X 10.5 or newer.) I also picked up a 350 GB hard drive, and I was out the door for $100.

Pogoplug for iPhoneI am not endorsing Pogoplug, because there are other manufacturers and other devices, but the basic idea is to put a hard drive (or more than one) on your local network and make it available to your computer and mobile devices over the Internet. As along as there is access to WiFi, you have access to all the files on these shared drives.

Pogoplug makes apps for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Android, so you are just about set for streaming audio, photos, and music to your mobile devices. Of course, the interface could use a little work.

I mean, who picks pink and gray as colors that have to go together? It's a little swarm and lacks the polish of many other iOS apps, but it does get the job done.

Having your own cloud is a real advantage in that it is platform independent and software independent. And it sure beats those monthly fees. LEM

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