An Advantage of the Cloud

Putting files and data online is all the rage today. Often, people speak of having stuff "in the cloud".

Well, I was very happy to have many important things in the cloud today. WiseKid's apartment door needed to be fixed (for reasons best left to personal discussions). A guy came by Friday, measured, sent an offer by fax, I accepted, and he said: fine, I'll be there on Monday at 8. But I need you to pay me in cash 'cause I have to purchase the door.

Okay, I don't have to be at work until this afternoon, so getting up early to be at WiseKid's place at 8am is not high on my list of fun things to do. But what we don't do for our kids.

I show up just before 8 and see a guy carrying a door across the courtyard. "Hi!" I said, "will you come back up so we can settle the bill?". "I'll be back in about 3 hours, he says, I gotta get this adjusted in my workshop." And he was gone.

I came upstairs to find WiseKid and his girlfriend in a state of shock. The guy had taken their apartment door - and they both had appointments. WiseKid at the job center, the girlfriend is getting her school-leaving certificate at school today (I think she's the wise one, but that's another blog).

At least her laptop was connected to the Internet, so I offered to stay the three hours. They blew off with sighs of relief, and we agreed that when the door was back in I would take the new key and put it in their mailbox.

So what can I do when I am unexpectedly not in my home office for working?

  • My business calendar is on Google so that my secretary can see my business appointments. Me, too, today.
  • The exercises I needed to grade are all on the learning management system at the school. It takes 3 tries, but I remember the password.
  • We have a web-based interface to email. I don't have a IMAP, so I don't have access to my files, but I can see incoming email and respond.
  • It takes 4 tries (2 different emails, 2 different password possibilities) to get into Facebook. Nice.
  • I remember the password for my RSS feed reader, so I can at least catch up on all the reading I missed by being off the grid for a day.
  • I remember the password for this blog, so I can blog about what I am doing.
I can actually get some work done moderately well, Not having a mouse and having to deal with Vista is causing some grief (took me ages to figure out how to make the screen lighter, and it wanted to reboot in order to offer me some larger type).

I called the guy after 3 hours. "I just got the new doorknob, I didn't know the doorknob was missing!". I thought that was the point of someone coming by last Friday to assess the damage. So here I sit, in the heat, with a sheet nailed up over the doorway so that I am at least spared the curious glances of the neighbors. And wondering what I will do if there is still no door at 2, the absolute latest I have in order to get home, get my computer, and race to work.

Well, what do I tell my students? Don't panic!

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