I Want To Live In The Cloud – Results Of My GMail Experiment

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At 11:07pm on July 27, 2008 (while on vacation) I cleaned up my Gmail account, and went into all of my cPanel accounts and began to forward all of my email to the Gmail address. I wrote about this on my post called The GMAIL Experiment and I will now display the results.

First Of All …

I must admit, Google’s spam control is pretty good, although not perfect. I also used my Spam control for automated posts that come in, that are NOT spam, but I didn’t want to see in my InBox. I must admit, as well, when I marked these unwanted emails (Report Spam) .. they pretty much stayed in the spam section! I didn’t have to worry about seeing them again. And, if that’s not interesting enough .. every day I would review the last 100 spam emails, and only had to unmark only about 20 emails (Not Spam) in about 2000 emails that were reviewed. And, after looking at the figures below, you ‘ll see why I say this – if you have sent me an email and it accidentally got routed to my Spam section in Gmail .. and you haven’t heard a response back yet – email me again please!

From July 28th to August 22nd .. the following is a 26 day period while I was on vacation, and up to midnight last night.

My InBox

During the 26 days of my GMail experiment, I received 1822 emails in my INBOX that was not spam, and each email required a direct response by me. This averages to be 70 actual legitimate emails per day.

My Spam Box

During the same 26 days of my GMail experiment, I received 36,231 Spam emails in my SPAMBOX. That averages out to 1,394 emails per day. This would seem to confirm that I really do receive (1,394 + 70 = 1,464) over 1400 emails per day!

My Conclusions About Using GMail

I don’t have to be a rocket scientist to discover the benefits of “living in the cloud” and I have personally experienced a revelation. I have decided to permanently use GMAIL as my email client of choice. When you reach a level as I have, and receive over 1,400 emails a day .. I have to continually check for new emails, and before – my Eudora was checking emails every 10 minutes.

The problem with doing this, was that every day – I mean EVERY day – I would get that white screen at least 4-5 times a day and had to continually reboot my computer, which is time lost. If I didn’t have my email checking every 10 minutes, all I needed was someone to forward me a .WAV or .MP3 file and then it would take forever to download the emails once in a day.

Case in Point: On July 27th, I went into all of my cPanel accounts, and FORWARDED my email to my GMail account. Unfortunately, for me … I didn’t realize at the time that all it does is forward a COPY! When I came back on August 13th, there was still about 27,000 emails to download in my Eudora. I have been unable to effectively download ANY of my emails, without getting the white screen, and as such – everything I have been keeping for the last 5 years online with Eudora – is lost. For prosperity, I have placed a few copies on a several memory sticks and placed them in my drawer, hoping that on my next computer purchase – with mega memory and no other crap on it .. I can reload it and try to recover – if I really needed to.

But… since August 14th, since I’ve been home and working on the computer all day (and all night :D) … using only GMail has saved a tremendous amount of resources on my computer. I have been using Firefox 3 more and more these days, and it’s a memory hog and may crash my system – especially with Eudora. My computer has not crashed once. I like that!

GMAIL: How I Use It

I thought that I would mention, that I am using Gmail to send emails from my other addresses, so you probably won’t even know I am using GMail (Google mail/settings/accounts to do that). I always have my Google Talk open, and when I see a lot of new mails, I check my mail. For stuff that I should be taking care of, I immediately “STAR” these emails, then mark everything as read. Generally, a few times each day I will click the Starred link in the left sidebar and clear the starred emails in my InBox (mostly the ones requesting social intervention, voting, etc, or ones I need to respond to). So far .. so good.

What is “Living in the Cloud”?

I’ve been trying to do this for the past few years now, but have really only heard this term in the recent months. I believe there has been speeches at Podcast and other famous blogging conventions that has happened in 2008, but I will not point any fingers to who first coined that phrase.

Basically, “living in the cloud” … is an online concept … where you are able to walk up to ANY COMPUTER ANYWHERE WITH AN INTERNET CONNECTION .. be productive … but also access all of your data! You are probably living a little in the cloud, like me .. and like a lot of people. Do you store digital pictures on Flickr? Do you listen to internet radio?

Currently, if you didn’t know – I’ve got a lot of blogs. What you probably didn’t know – for sure – is that I also have several GMail accounts! Currently, I am backing up every blog of mine .. every day .. and emailing the backup to one of my GMail accounts. GMail is giving me 7GIGS per account, and I’m using GMail as my own personal online data storage center!

Paul Stamatiou examines How To: Live The Cloud Life and it’s a great insight for me to realize, that I CANNOT live the cloud life that I desire. Currently, with my DSL connection, I am downloading at about 5mp/s and uploading about 1mp/s but, I think you need more of a T1 connection! In Paul’s example, he is uploading over 25mp/s. I have over 3500 .mp3’s alone, and it would be very costly to upload this to the ‘net.

My Next Step?

I am happy to say, that I have decided to switch my TODO list – to an online program “in the cloud”. While I was at the cottage on vacation, I maintained, developed and kept an upto date ToDo List on my laptop with Vista. Unfortunately, that program somehow doesn’t work on my desktop XP because, well – someone I had either some trial version on this computer, or maybe even a “cracked” version and well, it didn’t work.

I am now using Toodledo program as my online ToDo list – and, although it’s free .. I immediately upgraded to the Pro-Plus version ($29.95 USD). If you click on this link, I do not make commissions but, it is a referral link. They will keep track of any of you who decide to try it – and likes it – and upgrades to the Pro Account ($14.95) or the Pro-Plus account as a referral for me. And, if you do – for every 3 people that upgrade .. I might earn a month extended subscription for each of you! If you feel you do not want to support me, just do a search for “toodledo” and I won’t get any benefit from that.

I wanted to upgrade to the Pro account, because it retains the completion of tasks up to 2 years .. and the Pro-Plus upgrades that to “forever” plus, you have the ability to upload files up to 1GB of storage. I thought I would upload a few ZIPPED installed programs that I might need to download and use locally at clients in the future. Previously, I was just uploading to a secret folder on one of my domains.

Also – I can even create new TODO tasks by sending a “tweet” with my twitter account! How cool is that? If you don’t need any online storage or a reason to retain history of completed tasks .. it’s quite the utility with a great price – $FREE

Toodledo.com is an easy to use, web-based to-do list. Keeping track of all your tasks will help you avoid disorganization, stay motivated and be more productive. Check it out.

Comments

Nice post and thanks for trying to live the cloud life. 🙂 No doubt there are some issues to be resolved on the cloud end and the client side but hopefully we see some real progress in the next 5 years.

Thanks for dropping by Paul!

I’m really trying to get into this “living in the cloud”. I’ve actually upgraded my flicker account to a PRO account, and began to organize my 3 computers filled with pictures and place them on the web. And, I’m conscious (this time) of the tags I’m assigning. I actually was surprised trying to figure out a way to embed those pictures in a blog post .. and the instructions came from – your site! 😀 Thanks for that too.

http://www.hart-empire-network.com/2008/08/practicing-making-flickr-embedded-slideshows/

[…] This week, I upgraded to the PRO flickr account and have been starting to upload various types of pictures to the internet, in my feeble attempt to try to move closer to living in the clouds. […]

[…] I’m consciously trying to “move into the cloud” as much as reasonably possible, and figuring out better and more useful ways to utilize […]

[…] I’ve been asking people in forums, searching the internet, trying many sites and even downloaded software trying to find the best solution for me. I won’t mention any of what I tried, because I didn’t like it. However, there was one that I kind of liked, and tested it out for at least a month now, and seem to like it. It’s called Clipperz. I consider it to be one step closer for me “living in the cloud“. […]

Jackson says:

I’m not as convinced this whole “living in the cloud” thing is such a wise move. Being an IT security professional I can’t help but see the potential identity theft, data theft and fraud potential of having “all you are” online like that. The very phrase “living in the cloud” has only helped to make people ignore these issues and think it’s all good. I run all my needs from a USB flash drive using portable apps. It gives me exactly the same result but keeps my data on my own device only. Much better solution in my opinion.

USB flash drives are good, and I have a handful of kingston 1GB sticks in addition to my portable 40GB toshiba drive and 80GB LaCie portable drive.

But – I also use to have a Kingston 4GB USB flash drive that I kept in my shorts/cargo pockets. I took it to the cottage this past summer one weekend that had all my passords and http://Azzcard.com data and forgot about it when I got back and it went into the laundry. The next week, when the drive wasn’t in my laptop I found it in my pants pocket, and it was ruined and I couldn’t access the WHM of my server because my password was in the datafile on the USB drive. It was a very unproductive weekend.

That’s what actually started my quest to find an online solution to store my passwords. I had my concerns and still do about storing all of that online. My password/passphrase is 28 characters long and I have a few 1-day passphrases created about 15 characters long. I’m at the stage where I’m not taking any chances.

PS .. one things for sure with me, since using Gmail .. my computer never freezes because my Eudora was constantly checking for new emails (I get about 1400 per day). It’s really noticeable on the resources of my desktop.

Jackson says:

Yes true, it could get destroyed through the laundry or some other unfortunate event. That’s what backups are for though. All the password strength in the world won’t stop the companies/organisations that host these services from snooping on your data. I guess it all comes down to a trust thing and I just don’t trust anyone but myself or immediate friends and family. Some people may call that a very negative and bleak outlook on life, I prefer to think of it as realistic and prudent to keeping my own identity mine and mine alone.

Jackson says:

Of course, I don’t have a blog where I publicly identify myself either. We obviously have different goals and levels of comfort with the internet and security. As much as I don’t agree with the living in the cloud idea I am interested in the way this kind of technology is moving, especially since I’ll have to end up supporting it at some level inside my own company one day… *sigh*

This trust thing is a big deal and I agree that you never know who’s snooping your personal information … although, quite honestly – I’m more worried that the Canada Revenue Agency *already* has the power to snoop all of my personal life online and bank accounts – over my host provider or Google.

Jogloo says:

I rather portable USB stick with the works vs online. Much safer to me

Dooshlove says:

The “cloud” sucks. Encrypted USB key with all my data and portable apps = bliss. Backed up to dupicate keys = double bliss. I win this discussion.

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