Living in the cloud.

Today, a different commute, this time to the head office of the company in Leuven. I left a little too early (about half an hour) so I have some time to kill before I need to be at my appointment. Dribbling rain and gray clouds have chased away the blue steel skies and amber sunrise as our side of the globe slides into autumns gray cloak. As I drive to work, listening to an older episode of Spacemusic, I feel right at home. And it is about "home" that I reflect today. For many among us "Home" is where we live. Where our house is, where our family is, where we were born. But for me that term is very relative. Since the whole "house debacle" we went through some years ago, the "sophistical context" of home has become relative to us. Home to us is not "our house" or even "our home town" Home, for Nyana and me "Home" is where we live together, no matter where that is, in what city or what house.

And working as an IT consultant has changed the concept of my "digital home" as well. There are people who cling to their "hobby room" , their little home office where they have all their goodies around them and can "compute away in perfect piece". Without direct access to this machine they feel lost and feel that their "creative wings" are clipped, due to the fact that they are not "behind their station". For some , the digital home is their laptop. That specific machine that houses all their programs, their data. A machine they drag around everywhere. For me, my "digital home" has become a very relative term over the last few years. At my parents place I have an XP machine running, with logmein enabled on it. From any computer on the planet with an Internet connection, I can access this machine and use the programs that are on there. And what IS installed on there is very little. 90% of the applications that I use for private use, are web based. So no matter where I am I can access them and feel "right at home". Either its Gmail, Googletalk, Remember the Milk, the Joomla interface of my Blog, the Aussiegeek podcast forum, Twitter.. It doesn’t matter where I am, what operating system I’m using, what computer I’m using.. As long as I have a connection to the net, i’m at home. 

Even during lunch breaks at some remote office, where I don’t know anyone and am silently sitting behind some free computer, hooked up to the net.. I’m home. My internet buddies are reachable, I have access to all my files and programs using the remote sessions I can run on my remote XP machine, I have access to several virtual machines running on that phisical box. An SSH session running on the remote XP machine connects to two virtual Linux servers running on that same machine, or to another virtual linux server running at another remote location. So whatever I need to run "locally" I can run on the XP machine using Logmein, Whatever I need to access on the web, I can access using the many web based services I use, Whatever I need to access at home I can access via VPN or SSH.  

So no matter where I am, on what computer, using whatever operating system… As long as I am connected to the net, i’m home.  So … has the cloud become my casa ? 

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