By Jackson M. Henry —-
Many of our elderly Palauan Rock & Rolls aficionados still love The Rolling Stones popular hit, “Get off my cloud”, which was commonly heard broadcasted from radio station WSZB back in the 1970s. Today, the word “cloud” is the new buzzword for IT pros and techno buffs in Palau because it is said to be the next big stage in the internet revolution.
My Ruback buddy called me again a few days ago and wanted to know what this “cloud” in computers is all about. He half jokingly asked if computers actually use these white puffy cumulonimbus clouds over Palau as the new internet connectors instead of fiber optics or satellites. Explaining high tech to an elderly Rubak is always a challenge. For the older generation of Palauans, cloud computing is like a riddle covered by mystery wrapped around an enigma. It is a bit too abstract to them.
So to simplify what Cloud Computing is, I told the Rubak that it is a form of storing programs and data in someone else’s hard drive located at a different place instead of your own office or home computer’s hard drive. But you can access your information anywhere you go that has internet connections. My Rubak buddy thought he got the idea.
Indeed, no hard drive is the very heart of Cloud Computing. This is advantageous to Palauan businessmen or politicians who constantly fly around the world because they do not have to depend on their lap tops to store those documents or photographs when making presentations abroad. Yes, the Palauan traveler can access his data or programs anywhere and anytime where online connection can be made. New technology is making the Information Age friendlier and vital data more accessible to all nations, rich and poor.
McKinsy & Company says that Cloud Computing is becoming a big business. They say 80% of American corporations are already using it and it is approaching $100 billion a year business. Many Google and Iphone applications are already using cloud computing, especially in synchronization of your mail, contacts, calendar and more.
In Palau, BankPacific was advertising its cloud computing services whereby their customers can access their account safely anywhere there are internet connections.
So the big question now is: do we need mega hard drives in our laps top to store data? No. Cloud Computing is making it more convenient and cheaper to access information online. This means that poor nations can just purchase inexpensive cloud centric lap tops with just enough storage to run a web browser. From there, one can do everything online like apps, programs, media, storage, etc. which are all in the clouds.
This is exciting for Palau because our government can provide inexpensive lap tops for all our public schools. I do recall a political candidate who, during the heat of the campaign, promised Ipads to all Palau High School students. Well, this idea is now closer to becoming a reality in an inexpensive way by any leader who has bold visions for our nation’s education. It could be a turning point in the history of Palau’s education.
If and when Cloud Computing becomes a reality in Palau, now that Internet companies are readying to start selling cloud computing services to consumers worldwide, our leaders can make all classrooms in Palau equipped with inexpensive cloud centric computers. Whoever does this will leave a lasting legacy behind.
Samsung is already selling cloud centric Chromebook Series 3 for just $248.00. Now, that is more affordable compared to $600 to $700 Ipads but, a small investment for Palau’s children which will certainly pay big dividends in the future of our nation.
Could computing will not only elevate the educational standards in Palau but, also will help prepare our kids to succeed in this fast advancing Information Age. So our national priority today is to improve our internet speed and broad band width through Fiber Optics Technology in preparation for the next big thing in the Internet revolution.
When in doubt, always remember United Negro College Fund’s mantra which says: “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”.