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December 2 2021 5:48 AM ˚
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Syncing clearly in the cloud

1 jean claude
While the world has come to accept cloud computing, syncing can still be a source of errors, headache, and trouble if you do not how everything fits together, writes Jordan News columnist Jean-Claude Elias. (Photo: Unsplash)
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Syncing data properly is a critical aspect of the cloud. Everyone now seems to be in agreement and trusts the cloud to save our precious documents, photos, music, and all kinds of files, without restrictions and without limits. We are well past the understandable hesitation about the cloud that popped up in the early years. اضافة اعلان

Whereas, the initial concept of working outside your own, physical computer goes back to the mid-1960s, the very term “cloud,” according to technologyreview.com, was used for the first time in 2006 by Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt, who at an industry conference said: “… there is an emergent new model … I don’t think people have really understood how big this opportunity really is. … data services and architecture should be on servers. We call it cloud computing — they should be in a ‘cloud’ somewhere.”

Time, usage, and experience have confirmed essential aspects of the cloud: firstly, working without being constantly connected to the network (and to the cloud too) is not a choice anymore. Secondly, the cloud is at least as safe as our local computer and hard disk if not safer, and lastly, it is not just about saving data on the cloud and keeping it there, but about running software from the cloud, without installing applications on our own device.

Over the last five years or so, an additional element provided even more convenience of work and practicality, but at the same time put a little more stress on consumers, forcing them to learn new tricks, and to adopt new methods of working: synchronizing data between several, different devices in different locations.

It is indeed one of the interesting elements of the cloud, for it does not only let you access your data from various computers and mobile devices, making it the ultimate convenience, but at the same time it brings increased safety and data protection, since your files are this way stored in multiple copies and in various places.

Save an appointment on your smartphone and it is instantly also saved in your Google calendar. The same goes for your laptop and your web browser, thanks to the cloud which acts as a software go-between. Add a contact name on your Google Contacts app in Chrome or Edge, and you’ll also find it on your smartphone. Deletion and editing work in the same way and according to the same principle.

Microsoft 365 provides the same sync utility and has become widely adopted the world over. Any work you do using Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or any of the other software modules from the Suite, can be instantly synchronized to your various laptops, smartphones, or tablets. You are also given the choice to select what to sync and what not to sync, and selectively exclude or include devices. This last feature is often overlooked.

We have become accustomed to the smooth functionality and nothing could be simpler at first sight. But sometimes syncing is also a source of errors, headache, and trouble.

Not understanding how synchronization works, how it duplicates data, and perhaps more importantly — or more dangerously — how it can wipe it out, can lead to disaster in the form of data loss. Doing it right does not necessarily require the intervention of an IT specialist, but it does take time to understand the mechanism and use basic precaution.

Generally, it involves a good understanding of what having a Google, Microsoft, Apple, Dropbox, or Samsung account entails. From there things will become clearer and easier to handle.

Perhaps the essential rule is to remember than what you delete “here,” something will also be deleted “there,” if the two “places” are synced.
Fortunately, these giant web services are aware that users, whether they are tech-minded or not, will make errors at some point and will unintentionally delete important files, photos, or documents.

Most offer a free recovery service whereby data is kept on their servers for about a month, even after the account owner or user has deleted it. If users realize that they have deleted files by mistake, they can ask the service to restore them. This safety measure is invaluable against data loss and has proven to be very useful and gives users extra confidence in the entire system.

Read more Opinion and Analysis
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