Senwes Scenario Oktober / November 2016 - Page 56

•••• F UT UR E F OC U S The cloud – it’s not an illusion JENNY MATHEWS ‘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’ (Joni Mitchell) A t a recent media roundtable, Ag Outlook 2016, Ernst Janovsky of Absa Agribusiness remarked that we need to embrace technology. Technology will play a key role in helping farmers to thrive and meet global food demands. We have already looked at a few different useful technologies which are available like drones and computer-driven tractors, but this month my thoughts are of CLOUDS! Like most farmers I tend to watch the skies closely. I love watching clouds in all their majestic formations. Clouds heighten my awareness of God the Creator and fill me with awe! I love it when thunder clouds roll in bringing rain. I also remember happy moments lying on my back, watching clouds drift by, trying to identify the shapes against the blue sky… But never could I have imagined that one day I would be thinking about “the Cloud” as a tool for my business! A recent phone call from Son No.2 had me listening to his sad tale that his faithful computer from university had “crashed” and 54 he’d “lost EVERYthing”!!! All his information, all his photo’s … ALL gone. The technician said the laptop’s brain was “fried”- What a calamity! IF ONLY my son had been using “The Cloud” then all his information would have been stored there, the computer could have “crashed” - and the biggest disaster would have been the need to purchase a new computer! Actually, most of us are using the cloud already, whether it’s via email, instagram or facebook uploads. But there is a difference to using the cloud through these tools and actively choosing it as a tool and getting to know how to use it to our own benefit. SO WHAT EXACTLY IS THE CLOUD? It is not a physical thing or place; rather it is a network of servers. When something is ‘in the cloud’ it means it’s stored on Internet servers instead of on your computer’s hard drive. If you take a photo with your cell phone it is stored on your phone’s internal memory drive but once you upload and post that picture to Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook you are effectively uploading it to the cloud. OKT/NOV 2016 • SENWES Scenario WHY DO PEOPLE CHOOSE TO USE THE CLOUD? The main reason for using the cloud is convenience and reliability. All web-based email services like Gmail and Yahoo use the cloud; so the information is stored on servers and not the computer’s hard drive. This means you can recover your information from any computer with an internet connection. It also means that if anything happens to your computer, your emails are recoverable. This is why many students actually email themselves their files at the end of a work session - Imagine the heartbreak if an almost completed dissertation were to be lost on a “crashed “computer! All types of information can be stored in the cloud including files, emails, photographs and video clips. Then these are accessible from any computer or mobile device with internet connection. The cloud is a useful way to ‘back up’ data. You can even set your computer to automatically back up your data to the cloud, so if ever your computer is lost, stolen or damaged the files are still recoverable from the cloud. The cloud also makes it possible to share files with several people at the same time if you so wish. For example, you can upload a batch of photos to a folder which you then share with interested friends or team members by adding [H\[\\Y\Y\˂