Cloud computers are computers you can only use with someone else's permission

I prefer both. Double TB drives on the desktop and a cloud backup in case rabid squirrels prevent me from getting into the house.

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Aperture can use Libraries OR referenced files. So you can keep the files in folders on whatever drives you want and just reference them from various albums in Aperture and it’ll be just fine. Difference explained here.

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Since they have an offline mode for google docs and most of the other google suite applications, it would seem if you keep your files sync’ed locally it shouldn’t be a problem. Other than the google suite stuff, unless you’re doing something unusual, they are probably used for web browsing 99% of the time. In fact, I actually think a chromebook would be a lot less vulnerable than an Adobe-type cloud subscription service where not only do you HAVE to be online, the vendor’s servers HAVE to be online too (and give you permission) to use 'em or you have nothing.

I love my Samsung Chromebook for Google Docs and casual browsing, btw, though I understand it’s a very limited device.

I have one TB drive in the house, and one in my safety deposit box, and they swap places every month or so.

There are advantages to living in the boonies, but fast internet isn’t one of them. Thanks, AT&T. If I had something faster than DSL I’d probably add a cloud backup, I’m afraid it would take weeks to upload.

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When was the last time that you reviewed Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?


Aperture does photography, but not really image editing. For example, it won’t do perspective correction or let me slice objects out of a background and reassemble them in a collage. (Or at least, not without plugins that cost more than Acorn or Pixelmator.)

Acorn and Pixelmator are closer to each other, but have different strengths and weaknesses. Acorn lacks the magic extractor and magic healing brush of Pixelmator, Pixelmator lacks the lossless adjustments of Acorn.

Apparently Adobe is reassuring customers that Lightroom will remain licensed normally, but given that they’ve ignored their customers in pushing ‘Creative Cloud’ for everything else, I see no reason to trust them at this point.

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Ah the pitfalls of client server architecture. We moved away from it back in the 80’s because of this sort of thing. Some marketing jerk decided to call it cloud and suddenly everyone forgot what we already knew.


Your system sounds like it works but if you were interested in cloud backup I believe CrashPlan lets you send them a harddrive to seed the back up. If I recall it was a couple hundred dollars to do this but just thought I would throw it out there.


I don’t need new features. I need Photoshop circa 6.0 minus the JRE 6 dependency and minus the installer vomiting garbage all over the place.

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Yep, still running AdobeWhatever CS6…

Have you looked at DEEP by Ironic Software? It might suit your needs.

I thought it was closer to $100 when they offered it to me. I said no and just spent a week hogging all the bandwidth at night.

As Adobe Creative Suite struggles with its license-server outage,

Link has now been 404’d by Adobe.

But one can view a cache of it here.

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With another huge caveat: unless you know what you’re doing and want to babysit the thing, don’t host or serve anything. Get a good, cheap, reliable hosting provider to do it for you.

I agree with your post and what I quoted above for the most part, but hosting and serving stuff isn’t that difficult if you make good choices in software and hardware. That said, I don’t think enough people take into account electricity expenses when they host their own servers for cloud storage, etc.

If anybody’s got good substitutes for InDesign, I’m all ears.

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From a business perspective, no, they usually have an incentive to try to draw you in, and they certainly don’t want to mess with somebody who has already plunked down the plastic and become a nice recurring revenue stream.

However, technologically, they don’t actually have much choice: genuinely ‘cloud’ systems are fault-intolerant because they depend on the client’s system, your servers, and everything in between working correctly and DRM systems for client software (which is most of the ‘creative cloud’ package) basically have to be built to ‘fail closed’, because they would otherwise be pitifully weak. If the default assumption, when the auth server is unavailable, were “Eh, I’m sure it’s just an innocent mistake, and the user seems like a good sort of guy.”, all you’d have to do to ‘crack’ the DRM would be add a couple of firewall rules. Hilariously simple. So, if you want it to actually work, you fail closed, with varying degrees of strictness.

Adobe isn’t very competent, and hell hath no fury like somebody missing deadlines because you screwed up; but they are actually on the comparatively lenient side (probably because they were willing to accept some piracy in the hope of preventing exactly this sort of damaging embarrassment). The people who are really concerned about pirates, and less about paying customers (like EA), have already experimented with demanding continuous connectivity even for single-player.

Even the nastiest DRM vendor doesn’t want mistakes like this to happen, since they are bad for business; but architectural imperatives don’t leave them much choice: if you want control, the system must be artificially brittle, because if it weren’t cutting out the artificial points of failure would be a trivial exercise.

Crashplan can also be set to backup to personal servers without storing anything in the cloud. There are limitations on how many different computers can be backed up to a single machine (I believe), but at the moment I’m using that (free) service/software to backup to my home server.

You can’t literally open-source your way into a big pile of distributed infrastructure for almost no money; but that does bring up an arguably very important distinction: some flavors of ‘cloud’ have multiple vendors, or at least a second-source. Something like basic LAMP or Windows/MSSQL web hosting is commodified pretty hard. Something like Amazon’s suite of offerings is a bit less interchangeable(though many useful subsets of it are). This doesn’t save you if you go with a single vendor, and that vendor goes down; but (as you correctly note) reliability is easier and cheaper to achieve at scale, and since the vendors all have very limited market power, their ability to mess with you is limited.

Other ‘cloud’ stuff is, whether by reason of technical lock-in (without the crypto keys, even a protocol-compatible implementation of Xbox Live or Apple’s App Store is dead in the water) or by virtue of a sprawling featureset with no fully compatible implementations.

Both are vulnerable to technical disruptions; but only the latter really offer the vendor dangerous amounts of leverage over you.

I have, for the most part, steadfastly refused to use any cloud services. I have used Google Drive. Twice. It was convenient to pass a rather large files to two friends.

I do not trust the security of the hosting companies since the larger the company the more hackers it is the target of. I also do not trust EULA’s and ToS’s where the company can change the terms at their whim without any discussion with me. Add to that the corporate attitude of “its on our servers so we own it” and I simply will not trust any cloud service.

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a cloud computer is a computer you’re only allowed to use if the phone
company and a DRM-peddling giant like Adobe gives you permission, and
they can withdraw that permission at any time.

Which is true as far as it goes, but what’s the alternative?

As I look at the front page of BB, for example, there are numerous video links to a cloud service provider notorious for taking down said videos for bizarre reasons and with little recourse.

And yet I (and you) still keep using and linking to videos hosted by this cloud service provider because of it’s ease-of-use and popularity.

I guess I could go create a MediaGoblin server and opt-out, but I doubt I could do it as efficiently or with the same level of exposure as I can on the popular cloud-based video service.