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Thursday, July 31, 2008

What is Cloud Computing???

Here is an interesting article that talks about Cloud Computing. What it is? How does it work? Applications? Privacy and security concerns? Impact to the computer and IT industry.

How Cloud Computing Works

Introduction to How Cloud Computing Works

Let's say you're an executive at a large corporation. Your particular responsibilities include making sure that all of your employees have the right hardware and software they need to do their jobs. Buying computers for everyone isn't enough -- you also have to purchase software or software licenses to give employees the tools they require. Whenever you have a new hire, you have to buy more software or make sure your current software license allows another user. It's so stressful that you find it difficult to go to sleep on your huge pile of money every night.

Soon, there may be an alternative for executives like you. Instead of installing a suite of software for each computer, you'd only have to load one application. That application would allow workers to log into a Web-based service which hosts all the programs the user would need for his or her job. Remote machines owned by another company would run everything from e-mail to word processing to complex data analysis programs. It's called cloud computing, and it could change the entire computer industry.

I Computed Lonely As A Cloud

Although cloud computing is an emerging field of computer science, the idea has been around for a few years. It's called cloud computing because the data and applications exist on a "cloud" of Web servers.

In a cloud computing system, there's a significant workload shift. Local computers no longer have to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to running applications. The network of computers that make up the cloud handles them instead. Hardware and software demands on the user's side decrease. The only thing the user's computer needs to be able to run is the cloud computing system's interface software, which can be as simple as a Web browser, and the cloud's network takes care of the rest.

There's a good chance you've already used some form of cloud computing. If you have an e-mail account with a Web-based e-mail service like Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail or Gmail, then you've had some experience with cloud computing. Instead of running an e-mail program on your computer, you log in to a Web e-mail account remotely. The software and storage for your account doesn't exist on your computer -- it's on the service's computer cloud.
What makes up a cloud computing system? Find out in the next section.

Cloud Computing Architecture

When talking about a cloud computing system, it's helpful to divide it into two sections: the front end and the back end. They connect to each other through a network, usually the Internet. The front end is the side the computer user, or client, sees. The back end is the "cloud" section of the system.

The front end includes the client's computer (or computer network) and the application required to access the cloud computing system. Not all cloud computing systems have the same user interface. Services like Web-based e-mail programs leverage existing Web browsers like Internet Explorer or Firefox. Other systems have unique applications that provide network access to clients.

You've Been Virtually Served

Most of the time, servers don't run at full capacity. That means there's unused processing power going to waste. It's possible to fool a physical server into thinking it's actually multiple servers, each running with its own independent operating system. The technique is called server virtualization. By maximizing the output of individual servers, server virtualization reduces the need for more physical machines.

On the back end of the system are the various computers, servers and data storage systems that create the "cloud" of computing services. In theory, a cloud computing system could include practically any computer program you can imagine, from data processing to video games. Usually, each application will have its own dedicated server.
A central server administers the system, monitoring traffic and client demands to ensure everything runs smoothly. It follows a set of rules called protocols and uses a special kind of software called middleware. Middleware allows networked computers to communicate with each other.

If a cloud computing company has a lot of clients, there's likely to be a high demand for a lot of storage space. Some companies require hundreds of digital storage devices. Cloud computing systems need at least twice the number of storage devices it requires to keep all its clients' information stored. That's because these devices, like all computers, occasionally break down. A cloud computing system must make a copy of all its clients' information and store it on other devices. The copies enable the central server to access backup machines to retrieve data that otherwise would be unreachable. Making copies of data as a backup is called redundancy.

Grids, Clouds and Utilities, Oh My!

Cloud computing is closely related to grid computing and utility computing. In a grid computing system, networked computers are able to access and use the resources of every other computer on the network. In cloud computing systems, that usually only applies to the back end. Utility computing is a business model where one company pays another company for access to computer applications or data storage.
What are some of the applications of cloud computing? Keep reading to find out.

Cloud Computing Applications

The applications of cloud computing are practically limitless. With the right middleware, a cloud computing system could execute all the programs a normal computer could run. Potentially, everything from generic word processing software to customized computer programs designed for a specific company could work on a cloud computing system.

Who's Who in Cloud Computing

Some of the companies researching cloud computing are big names in the computer industry. Microsoft, IBM and Google are investing millions of dollars into research. Some people think Apple might investigate the possibility of producing interface hardware for cloud computing systems.

Why would anyone want to rely on another computer system to run programs and store data? Here are just a few reasons:
· Clients would be able to access their applications and data from anywhere at any time. They could access the cloud computing system using any computer linked to the
Internet. Data wouldn't be confined to a hard drive on one user's computer or even a corporation's internal network.
· It could bring hardware costs down. Cloud computing systems would reduce the need for advanced hardware on the client side. You wouldn't need to buy the
fastest computer with the most memory, because the cloud system would take care of those needs for you. Instead, you could buy an inexpensive computer terminal. The terminal could include a monitor, input devices like a keyboard and mouse and just enough processing power to run the middleware necessary to connect to the cloud system. You wouldn't need a large hard drive because you'd store all your information on a remote computer.
· Corporations that rely on computers have to make sure they have the right software in place to achieve goals. Cloud computing systems give these organizations company-wide access to computer applications. The companies don't have to buy a set of software or software licenses for every employee. Instead, the company could pay a metered fee to a cloud computing company.
· Servers and digital storage devices take up space. Some companies rent physical space to store servers and databases because they don't have it available on site. Cloud computing gives these companies the option of storing data on someone else's hardware, removing the need for physical space on the front end.
· Corporations might save money on IT support. Streamlined hardware would, in theory, have fewer problems than a network of heterogeneous machines and
operating systems.
· If the cloud computing system's back end is a grid computing system, then the client could take advantage of the entire network's processing power. Often, scientists and researchers work with calculations so complex that it would take years for individual computers to complete them. On a grid computing system, the client could send the calculation to the cloud for processing. The cloud system would tap into the processing power of all available computers on the back end, significantly speeding up the calculation.

Same As It Ever Was

Cloud computing could turn home computers into simple terminal interfaces. In some ways, this is a step backward. Early computers included hardwired user terminals. Each terminal had a computer monitor and keyboard, but they only served as an interface to the main computer. There was no way to store information locally on a terminal.
While the benefits of cloud computing seem convincing, are there any potential problems? Find out in the next section.

Cloud Computing Concerns

Perhaps the biggest concerns about cloud computing are security and privacy. The idea of handing over important data to another company worries some people. Corporate executives might hesitate to take advantage of a cloud computing system because they can't keep their company's information under lock and key.
The counterargument to this position is that the companies offering cloud computing services live and die by their reputations. It benefits these companies to have reliable security measures in place. Otherwise, the service would lose all its clients. It's in their interest to employ the most advanced techniques to protect their clients' data.
Privacy is another matter. If a client can log in from any location to access data and applications, it's possible the client's privacy could be compromised. Cloud computing companies will need to find ways to protect client privacy. One way is to use
authentication techniques such as user names and passwords. Another is to employ an authorization format -- each user can access only the data and applications relevant to his or her job.

Private Eyes are Watching You

There are a few standard hacker tricks that could cause cloud computing companies major headaches. One of those is called key logging. A key logging program records keystrokes. If a hacker manages successfully to load a key logging program on a victim's computer, he or she can study the keystrokes to discover user names and passwords. Of course, if the user's computer is just a streamlined terminal, it might be impossible to install the program in the first place.
Some questions regarding cloud computing are more philosophical. Does the user or company subscribing to the cloud computing service own the data? Does the cloud computing system, which provides the actual storage space, own it? Is it possible for a cloud computing company to deny a client access to that client's data? Several companies, law firms and universities are debating these and other questions about the nature of cloud computing.
How will cloud computing affect other industries? There's a growing concern in the IT industry about how cloud computing could impact the business of computer maintenance and repair. If companies switch to using streamlined computer systems, they'll have fewer IT needs. Some industry experts believe that the need for IT jobs will migrate to the back end of the cloud computing system.

Autonomic Computing Systems

Another area of research in the computer science community is autonomic computing. An autonomic computing system is self-managing, which means the system monitors itself and takes measures to prevent or repair problems. Currently, autonomic computing is mostly theoretical. But, if autonomic computing becomes a reality, it could eliminate the need for many IT maintenance jobs.

CherryPal shipping soon?

I'm hoping that the CherryPal would ship soon. I'm excited to test and play with this new green machine.

CherryPal PROMO!!!

The CherryPal is now available and would start shipping August 4!!!

The CherryPal can be yours for $249.00 +tax.

Now get the CherryPal $10 OFF if you use this promo code: CPP229

Be sure to type in the promo code to get the $10 discount.

Green Hard Drive

The first time I saw this posting I didn't believe it. A 500GB green hard drive made of Bamboo and Aluminum??? Seems to good to be true. Fortunately, it's not. The new SimpleTech [re]drive is an eco-friendly alternative Fabrik offers to consumers. For a low price of $159.99, you can buy this 500 GB green Hard drive.

The rational for using bamboo is because bamboo is incredibly strong and it is one of the most sustainable, environmentally-friendly natural resource. Almost zero carbon-footprint on this one since they grow the bamboo locally in Fabrik's manufacturing facility.

They used aluminum because this metal is very durable and is the most recycle metal on Earth. Also, aluminum would be a heat sink eliminating the need for fans to cool down the drive.

Anyway, I think this would be a perfect partner to the CherryPal. For users who need that extra storage (as if 50GB in the Cloud and 4 GB pn the CherryPal is not enough), the [re]drive is for you.

Check out the article below.

Review: SimpleTech [re]Drive
Written by John Biggs
July 28th, 2008

Hard drives are boring. You plug them in, watch them spin, and then replace them when they die. Hopefully somewhere in there you back them up and maybe reformat them, just to switch things up a little, but you’re pretty much dealing with a bucket of metal platters that store information.
Enter the
SimpleTech [re]Drive. I’d wager that this drive is probably one of the best external devices I’ve seen. It does what drives are supposed to do - it reads and writes data at USB 2.0 speeds - and is surprisingly cool and silent.

The drive is clad in aluminum and bamboo. The top and bottom look like they’re made of balsa wood while the side panels have an odd texture that suggests a clever heat-sink. Even though this is a 500 gigabyte hard drive, it spins up silently and makes nary a whisper during operation. A similar drive, also 500GB sitting next to it, sounds like a jet taking off.
The drive includes a power supply and standard USB cable. It also has backup software stored on the drive along with support for
Fabrik, an online sharing system we’ve reviewed before. Fabrik support offers online storage of your images, documents, and media. A link to is also included, which is another service aimed at sharing pictures and video with friends and family.
The drive is formatted in NTFS out of the box and requires a reformat for OS X support. It includes a Turbo USB driver for faster disk access - about 20% over standard rates - offering 480-500 Mbps on a good day. Best of all, the drive turns off when the PC or Mac is turned off, ensuring that the drive’s green pedigree isn’t all just lip service.
Drives can’t really be revolutionary, but the $159.99 [re]Drive comes pretty close.
New SimpleTech [re]drive with Turbo USB 2.0 Provides Consumers with an Energy-Efficient, Fast, Reliable and More Sustainable Alternative for Storing and Protecting Digital FilesSan Mateo and Santa Ana, Calif, July 28, 2008 – Bump up your green meter with Fabrik’s ( new SimpleTech [re]drive™, the world’s most energy-efficient, resource-conscious, Turbo USB 2.0 external storage and backup drive. From its sustainable bamboo and recyclable aluminum enclosure, to its packaging and Energy

Star® power adaptor, the SimpleTech [re]drive helps make the world a little greener while storing and protecting your data. With Turbo USB 2.0, which delivers up to 25 percent faster performance than USB 2.0, the [re]drive is speedy and reliable with plug n’ play simplicity for both Mac and PC users. To help you steer clear of life’s little digital disasters, the SimpleTech [re]drive’s automated backup software saves copies of your stuff on the drive, and on encrypted, secure servers using Fabrik Ultimate Backup ( for ultimate online backup protection.
“Many consumers are concerned with helping solve the most important environmental issue of our time – protecting our planet from the threats of climate change,” said Matt McRae, vice president of marketing at Fabrik. “At Fabrik, we’re making an effort to support the environment, while adapting our products to better meet consumer needs and interests. We know we have a lot more work to do across the board as a company, but we’re committed to change and hope we’ll make a small dent in improving the environment – through our products, services, partner choices and company best practices.”
[re]thinkBlazing a path of innovation in making the products more sustainable, the new SimpleTech [re]drive is the most eco-friendly alternative on the market when compared to standard external hard drives. Renewable and recyclable materials are used in every aspect of the product where plausible and economically possible. For instance, it’s designed using bamboo, which is incredibly strong (16 percent harder than maple) and is one the earth’s most sustainable, environmentally-friendly natural resources. The bamboo is naturally grown local to Fabrik’s manufacturing facility so the material is not transported over long distances.
A thick aluminum casing is used not only for durability, but because it’s the most recycled metal on the planet. It also acts as a heat sink, cooling the drive without the use of a fan, saving additional energy and noise. Add to that a low-power internal hard drive, an Energy Star power adapter, and a feature that automatically powers the drive on and off with your computer, and you’ve got a storage and backup solution that keeps your grid demands to a minimum. Total power savings could equal up to 90 percent when compared to traditional external drives* or the equivalent of reducing approximately 475 lbs of carbon dioxide emissions over the life of the drive**.
In addition, the [re]drive’s simplified, 100 percent recyclable package contains just the bare essentials to reduce waste – there’s no extra bags or inserts, and the backup software and user guide are saved digitally on the drive. For added convenience, the quick set up guide is printed on the inside of the box.
As standard industry practice, Fabrik ensures that all of its products adhere to stringent, regulatory compliance standards such as Grunpunkt, RoHS and WEEE.
[re]storeThe SimpleTech [re]drive is a reliable alternative for protecting precious data on a Mac or PC. A simple-to-use wizard guides you through a one-time set up process, where you can easily select what day, time, or specific files or folders you want protected. For PC users, virus protection is included to help prevent the transfer of infected files before the backup occurs. Free updates are continually made available to provide ongoing protection from the latest viruses. The backup software also lets you create a disaster recovery CD that can be used to boot your system in case of system failure, which could save hours of reinstalling the OS and various applications.
While backing up your digital files to the [re]drive is important, Fabrik Ultimate Backup provides the ultimate online backup data protection, so no matter what sort of disaster strikes your external drive or computer – a spilled drink, theft, fire, or other natural disaster – your pics, flicks and tunes are safe. Each SimpleTech [re]drive comes with 2GB of free online backup space, or for less than $5 per month you get unlimited capacity to securely backup all of your important files and media collections offsite. All online backups are secure, encrypted and most importantly are unobtrusive; performing incremental backups, so only the smallest amount of content that has been changed or modified within your files will be updated. Fabrik Ultimate Backup is also available as a standalone online backup service.
Fabrik’s new SimpleTech [re]drives Turbo USB 2.0 external drives are available today at many U.S. retail store and online sites. Manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing (MSRP) is $159.99 for 500GB.
Along with the [re]drive, Fabrik also announced today the availability of the new SimpleTech SimpleDrive and a new 500GB Signature Mini Portable USB 2.0 Drive. For more information about Fabrik’s new products, please visit

Thursday, July 24, 2008

CherryPal attempts to redefine PC

I saw this article from the CherryPal website. So it has been announced and the specs have been talked about. All the CherryPal needs is actual hands on reviews. I can't wait to do that as soon as I get the green PC.

As you can see from the article, CherryPal CEO Max Seybold claimed that the Cloud Storage is impossible to hack. Well, the Linux OS is know to be virtually virus-free so I'm counting on that security especially if I'm "trusting" my files to a network cloud.

Seems like because of the cloud network storage, could it be possible to have an equal level avenue for online games? Well, I don't know if the CherryPal would be able to play games such as World of Warcraft, Quake or HALO, but the idea of having the same specs and network is very interesting. Could this spawn the new age of open source online gaming?

This I got to see....

From EETimes:

CherryPal attempts to redefine PC
R. Colin JohnsonEE Times (07/22/2008 8:13 AM EDT)

PORTLAND, Ore. — A new "green" PC that consumes only 2 watts of power also lays claim to integrated software and "cloud computing" on a par with desktop PCs.
Based on embedded Linux and stripped down to support Open Office, FireFox browser, iTunes, instant messaging and multimedia access, the CherryPal C-100 includes 50 Gbytes of free cloud storage. The pricetag is under $250.
"Our goal was to offer a computer that has everything a desktop PC has today, but at a much lower price, consuming much less power and completely hassle free," said Max Seybold, CEO of
CherryPal LLC (Mountain View, Calif.).
Linux operating system access is hidden from users, and all applications and system commands are managed by the browser whether executed locally or within new IT model called
"cloud computing." Communications with the cloud are encrypted, upgrades are automatic and applications are claimed to be immune to viruses.
"We believe that our encryption algorithms are impossible to hack, making the CherryPal the most secure PC available today," Seybold claimed.
The 10.5-ounce CherryPal measures 1.3x5.8X4.2 inches and has no keyboard or monitors. It includes USB and VGA connections for those peripherals, plus integrated Wi-Fi and Ethernet ports. Four gigabytes of local flash memory for storage that acts as cache in addition to the 50 Gbytes of free cloud network storage.
The green PC takes 40 seconds to boot up and access applications and files.

"We also plan to increase the number of applications in the cloud so that, eventually, CherryPal users will have access to all the software that other PCs use, but without having to buy, install and maintain them," said Seybold.
Besides a microprocessor and Wi-Fi controller, the rest of CherryPal's motherboard uses inexpensive interface components. Hence, it needs no expensive graphics processor or multimedia management coprocessors, according to Freescale Semiconductor (Austin, Texas), which supplies CherryPal's microprocessor.
"All the components you would see on the motherboard of a traditional PC are integrated into the Freescale MPC5121e mobileGT processor," said Mike Bryars, global manager for Mobile GT Computing at Freescale. "There are three cores in the MPC5121e, including an 800-MIPS [million instructions per second] main core, plus a multimedia core and a graphics processor core that offloads the main core."
Freescale's mobileGT processor runs at just 400 MHz, but CherryPal claims that users will attain speeds comparable to desktop PCs as a result of the claimed efficiency of its cloud-based software model.
"We have cut the fat from the operating system, and we are not exposing it to the user, which makes it very secure and enabled us to streamlined the application software and make the browser the main navigational tool," Seybold said.
All applications are accessed from the FireFox browser with file access automatically managed by the cloud network. Local flash storage holds the most frequently used files, plus any the user specifies as local. All files and software are synchronized with backups in cloud storage.

Monday, July 21, 2008

CherryPal website up and running!!!

Check out the new CherryPal on their website. The site went up last night and there are more information about the CherryPal PC. The actual PC would start shipping at the end of the month... stay tuned.

Meanwhile, check out the site to find out more about this "green" PC.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

CherryPal, out July 21???

Word on the street is that the CheryPal PC will be release tomorrow July 21, 2008. How true??? Standby for more updates.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What to do while waiting for the CherryPal?

well it's July 17, 2008. I'm just anticipating the arrival of the CherryPal PC. Meanwhile, I decided to hire a personal trainer. With the referral and urging of my girlfriend, I scheduled an early evening appointment with the trainer.

I arrived early. Around 5:15pm... 15 min early for my 5:30pm appointment. I spent the time psyching myself out for the workout. Note: Due to the busy nature of my job (or so I think) I gained over 60 lbs and haven't seriously trained in the past 2 years.

5:30pm. It's time.

I finally met the trainer. Her name is Ami Jampolis. Owner of Focus Fitness Personal Training in San Mateo. Personally, this is the first time I'm using a personal trainer to help me reach my fitness goals. Why? Well, I was a member of a local big franchise gym. I saw how the trainers there "trained" their clients and I was turned off. The trainer does not look fit and seemed bored. They looked like they were just passing the time and didn't really motivate their clients to do better. So when I met Ami, I had high expectations. First impression: Man, this woman looks really fit! Then she asked if i had any injuries and what are my goals in terms of my fitness. I was really impressed.

So anyway, I briefly told her about my background. I told her I was really physically active during my college days and did some sort of training over here but not as consistent.


Ami impressed me as a trainer. Here's why:

a) She worked out with me. Whatever she asked me to do, she's doing it with me.
b) She asked for my goals and injuries. She customized the workout accordingly.
c) She motivates and pushed me the right way. She sounded sincere when complimenting and motivating and she pushed me without yelling (yet.. hehehe).
d) She's human. She told me how she worked her way back after a sports injury. How she helps her clients meet their needs. In short, she's not intimidating.


I felt better after the workout. Yeah, I paid the price for ignoring my fitness for 2 years but after all that, with Ami's encouragement, I survived and felt better. I am definitely going back for more sessions.

Here's her website:


I can't wait for the CherryPal man!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What is CherryPal???

CherryPal is founded by CEO Max Seybold. CherryPal PCs are designed to be the most affordable, energy efficient and no-hassle PC the public could own.

Powered by Freescale Semiconductor's mobileGT(R) MPC5121e processor, the CherryPal promises to deliver exceptional multimedia performance and feature-rich user interfaces while using less power.

CherryPal Cloud Computer's tech specs (as mentioned from

  • Freescale's MPC5121e mobileGT processor 800 MIPS (400 MHz) of processing
  • 256GB of DDR2 DRAM
  • 4GB NAND Flash-based solid state drive
  • WiFi 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
  • Two USB 2.0 ports
  • One 10/100 Ethernet with RJ-45 jack
  • One VGA DB-15 display out jack
  • Headphone level stereo audio out 3.5mm jack
  • 9vDC 2.5mm 10 watt AC-DC adapter power supply
  • 10.5 ounces
  • 1.3" high, 5.8" x 4.2" wide

As of today, announcements concerning software, pricing and additional features will be given on the CherryPal's release.

Author's comments:

This sounds promising. I'll research more on the Cloud Computing concept. Looks like the CherryPal can support video games and video editing (I hope). The lack of moving parts is impressive. Does this mean no more fans and disk drives? The power consumption of 2 watts delivers the "Green" aspect of the PC. I can't wait to get my hands on this "green" monster... :P

Above article was paraphrased from the original article at written by Tara Sims.

Awaiting the arrival of the CherryPal

So like I mentioned at the intro, I saw an ad on craigslist about cherryPal. They were looking for people to try out the cherryPal, write about the new product and spread the word. I answered the post and now I'm waiting for my CherryPal to arrive.

Meanwhile, I'm gathering all the buzz surrounding the new "Green" PC... there has been a lot of articles discussing the CherryPal and a lot of excitement boosted by the new Green-Living phenomenon.

Unfortunately, i missed the Pre-Launch party last 07/03/08... I saw the ad last Friday... o well, maybe next time... :P