But The Cloud isn't some fancy new technology - it's basically just the old ones. The Cloud is just a name for a way that we use the Internet - file storage, document editing, streaming music, even coding (though I haven't jumped on that particular ship yet).
Honestly, I didn't even realize how much I used Cloud-like services until Google axed one of my favorites: Google Reader. I've used Google Reader almost every single day for almost as long as I've had a Google account. Google Reader was an RSS aggregator - and every day, I used it to get the latest news, blog posts, YouTube videos, comics, you name it. I even paid for an app from the Mac App Store to read it from my desktop. It was that good.
When they announced it's impending closure, I clung to it like a captain sinking with his ship. There were no good alternatives. I tried Feedly, but I hated the interface. I tried The Old Reader, but it had no mobile client. Whenever I heard of a new alternative, I tried it. No luck.
...until I found Tiny Tiny RSS.
The wiki has a good installation guide, but it pretty much boils down to this:
- Set up Apache, MySQL, and PHP
- Place TTRSS in Apache's document root
- Go to the install page in the browser
- Set up the feed update daemon
Using Tiny Tiny RSS opened my eyes to a new, liberating world of open source projects that bring the functionality of "The Cloud" into my own hands. In the coming days, weeks, months, or whatever, I'm going to talk about a few other applications I've found that have really impressed me and allowed me to have a bit more control over the services that I use.