Question by Barkley Hound: Is cloud computing a step backwards?
Years ago when I was a programmer and computer operator we had virtual computing. You would use a dumb terminal to dial up the mainframe computer and run programs. Everything was stored on the mainframe. Your terminal was just a Selectric Typewriter. Other than having wireless connections and a much better interface how is cloud computing different?
Answer by Ben
For your typical user, cloud computing isn’t much different than using a mainframe. The biggest difference is that it allows you to access your work from anywhere in the world, instead of needing to be in the same room or on the same machine.
From a developer’s perspective, they are much different. For one thing, cloud computing is built around scalability. Cloud programs are designed to be run on multiple servers simultaneously, so you can get much more power than you can on a single desktop. And if you get more users, you can just add more machines. Cloud computing allows your programs to always be up-to-date since you’re getting it straight from the developer every time you run it. It allows you to offload responsibility for maintenance to the original developer (since they’re running the servers, you don’t need to worry about the program crashing)
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