What better way is there to begin 2010 than by talking about the hottest story currently on the Internet?
According to the “market rumors” being floated by “sources,” the darling search engine of the Internet, Google, is going into the hardware business.
No, they won’t be manufacturing hammers and lawn rakes (although with a foot of snow on the ground I would rather be raking leaves instead of shoveling), the hardware Google’s working on is of the computer variety.
At first, it was assumed the new Google computer would be a netbook; however, I am also hearing it might be a smartbook, or even a tablet computing device.
Whatever they end up calling it, I do know the operating system inside will be based on Google Chrome.
Google Chrome originally was released as a faster web browser. Now, it will become the operating system (OS) of Google’s new computer.
When powering up our computer, we all share the frustration of sitting and waiting for all those programs to load until we are actually able to get on the Internet.
I have counted several frustrating minutes with mine.
Now, imagine using the new Google Chrome OS computer.
Google says by incorporating Chrome as the OS, we would eliminate all the computer startup processes and get onto the Internet quickly because all of the programs and applications it uses are stored on the Internet.
Queue the Internet cloud to center stage and please start the newly written Bits&Bytes musical score, “Cloud Computing is Here.”
Google states by using Chrome as the OS on our computer, we would not need to deal with all the hassles of loading programs, getting software updates, or worrying about lost files and fiddling with device application settings. Most importantly, we would not have the traumatic experience of witnessing the “blue screen of doom.”
How would we create our documents? By using the Google Documents program which is not stored on our computer, but out on the same secure servers where our Google Gmail resides.
I will be honest; I have not used Google Documents as a word processor for writing a column for some time.
The Google Document program can be found by going to the Google web site; on the top page click on “more” and then click “Documents.”
All you need is a Gmail address and you are off-and- running using Google Documents.
Surprisingly, when I logged into my “bitscolumn” Gmail and checked my document user account, there was a column I wrote back in March of 2007 still there in my Google document folder.
These folders (and my Gmails) are stored on some Google file server located in that great and gigantic Internet cloud.
The Google Documents application is a very good word processor program. It comes with a full compliment of utilities and tools. I can access my Google documents from any computer connected to the Internet without the worry of backing up documents, or losing files if the computer’s hard drive suddenly crashed.
So, where will all our music, videos, pictures, gaming, e-mail, communications, and documents be accessed and stored? Why, on the Internet, of course.
Your humble columnist is sensing where all this is leading to. This is all part of some “New World Order” plan to have us start using and becoming more comfortable (and dependent) with Cloud Computing.
Or, it just might prove to be a more efficient and productive way for us to do our computing.
For those of us old enough to remember, I am now reminded of the words from Judy Collins 1968 song, “Both Sides Now.”
Google Chrome is Google’s brand new web browser program which you can download right now and use to surf the web on your existing computer.
The Google Chrome OS will be associated with the new “yet-to-be-named” computer Google will want us to use for directly accessing the Internet and all our (Google’s) programs and applications.
Google’s new computer, according to rumor, will become available by this year’s holiday season.
I have read the new computer will cost around $300, which, to me, puts it in the netbook category.
Google, in their own YouTube (which they own) video, feels having a Chrome OS computer will allow us to stop worrying about all those programs stored inside our existing computer.
Google said their Google Chrome OS will eliminate those long boot-up waiting processes and provide for us what we mostly use our computers for anyway, which is to access the Internet.
Currently, there are 44 Google products and programs along with a “pack” of popular software applications you can access and use for free. Just go to the Google web site and on the top page, click “more,” and then click “even more.”
All of these Google programs and products are stored in the “cloud” somewhere on the Internet.
As Judy Collins sang in “Both Sides Now,” “I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now, from up and down, and still somehow, it’s cloud’s illusions I recall . . . I really don’t know clouds at all.”