Cloud based computing

The cloud based computing term is thrown around a lot on the web these days. While we wait for a completely cloud based computer to be released ( we’ll have to make do with what we’ve got. This is my rundown of how I solve the common everyday problems.
I bought an Asus EEE pc. It’s great, it’s small, it has battery life and a full qwerty keyboard. The biggest problem is the OS (xandros) which I can thankfully replace with a proper one (ubuntu, xp is to slow). But it still doesn’t have the kind of power I’m getting used to while at my computer.

Sure for office work I mostly use google documents, and for storing images (if I needed to) I have picasa or flickr or oosah or a million other services. But what I really want is a place to put all those things that I want to keep with me. Bookmarks, notes, files and so on. Google had most of these needs covered with google bookmarks and google notebook, but Google have yet to release their fabled online drive. And they also messed things up when they released Chrome, which is a great browser, that doesn’t support it’s own products such as bookmarks!?! Way to go Google, your age is showing. Is this the first step towards becoming Microsoft? Seems to be.

But lo! Saving the day a small upstart called Drop Box smashes into my life and makes things work. Drop Box is a small program or online interface that lets you sync a folder on your computer with an online storage space. It runs in the background, doesn’t take up any RAM (a lot of bandwidth though if you handle a lot of files) lets you sync the folder to an unlimited number of computers (windows, mac or linux) and has no file size limits. Sounds awesome? It is.

But whats the catch? Well, drop box is still in development and you can only sign up for 2GBs of storage… Sure, their free and that’s great. But I was hoping for more. This is a service I’d be happy to pay for though.

Knols and articles

Google has justed started a new service called Knol. Knols are basically articles that can be edited by the author or everyone depending on what setting the author chose.
I’ve read that knol is supposed to be a competitor to Wikipedia but I don’t see how google intends to compete with the amount of content already on wikipedia.

One good things though is that Knol will allow me to write the articles I’ve been promising for you online through drafts and invite reviewers to check them before I post them on this blog. Which will push me to finalize the articles a lot sooner.

But the post about difficulty level is still coming, probably this Wednesday. I’m also glad to announce that a lengthier article about the decline of creativity in MMOG design is coming. And soon, because I can’t stop thinking about it.

Web 2.0 and twitter especially

If you’ve missed it by some chance web 2.0 applications are taking over the world. Not only are over a billion people online more or less constantly but more and more people are using web 2.0 apps to do work and day to day tasks.

This is a market that is a lot bigger then the games industry and since it is rapidly becoming the default state of entertainment (190 million users visit youtube each week) more game developers should be aware. Raph Koster is aware of this and is receiving flak and praise from around the internet, his latest discussion that we are loosing ground against flash games can be found here: Koster: “The web is kicking the console industry’s ass”

This might seem extreme to a lot of gamers and game developers but it is really where games were going all along. Games spearheaded the invasion of application for the PC back in the late 80ies early 90ies. Now the same people who saw the benefits of digital offices are moving these applications online. Why shouldn’t games be online as well?

And NO, a 6GB download for an MMO is NOT an online game.

Before flash releases support for 3D acceleration we’re stuck using plug-ins that most people wont download or 2D games that just aren’t as impressive today as in the golden age of NES.

But in the mean time, check out Twitter and Remember The Milk and maybe you’ll get a clue as to what the industry will be doing in 5 years.

I’ll post about games that are already taking the plunge later today.