I was downloading something tonight (legally!), and was impressed with how fast it came down. It was not that it was anything outstanding by today’s standards, but it got me thinking (especially with the trend towards storing more in the cloud and processing more in the cloud).
It reminded me of something that hit me back in the late 90s (somewhere in there, at least). At the time, I downloaded a lot of utilities and other games and toys and stuff from the Internet – freeware and shareware stuff – and whenever I would download something, I would generally back it up to a floppy. Then one night I was watching something I had just downloaded copy to a floppy, and it struck me that it was actually taking longer to move it to the floppy than it had taken to download it.
And now things are going much the same way. Most software installs I download (these days it is Microsoft stuff, mostly, but some open source stuff as well), it is not worth backing up because I can re-download it much more quickly that I can restore it from back up.
We are rapidly reaching the point where local storage of anything but the most immediately useful stuff is just not important – if it is store somewhere out there in the cloud, I can get it back faster the restoring it locally.
Then again, I think of what happens if there is some sort of disaster – of course in that situation I am more worried that all of our data and knowledge is electronic and not physical like a good book. But what about situations like what happened with the SideKick last year. Do you ever really stop and wonder how permanent the data you have out there in cloud really is?