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Online Virtual Computers
By: Barzan "Tony" Antal
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    Table of Contents:
  • Online Virtual Computers
  • G.ho.st, Cloud Computing
  • More About Ghost and Alternatives
  • FanBox and Concluding Thoughts

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    Online Virtual Computers

    (Page 1 of 4 )

    As of the past few years we’ve noticed an emerging trend: everything goes online. We pay our bills online, do 360-degree panoramic virtual tours, connect to our work computer, edit our pictures, schedule tasks and manage our calendars, socialize, and so forth. Basically, everything has either turned into an entirely web-based application or just sports some web-based functions. In this article we’ll take a look at online virtual computers.

    A few years ago we enthusiastically welcomed the appearance of multiple web-based image manipulation services. The renowned Adobe Photoshop back then thought about launching Adobe Express, the web-based sibling of their editing suite. Google has been the leader in providing dozens of web-based applications and services.

    As it seems, now the time has come for us to discuss services that offer the possibility of having access to a personalized virtual computer of your own. Everything is pre-loaded, comes with a fully installed operating system, a few other must-have tools and applications (such as office applications, web browsing, graphics/drawing-related, email, chat, networking, and even a few games in most cases).

    And the icing on the cake is that your own virtual online computer will also have its own storage. This means you can actually store some files on it, and then you log into your account (it's yours, personalized) a bit later, work on those files, edit your conference keynote, throw together a quick presentation, and you name it.

    The beauty of having your "own" virtual computer is that you can access it any time and from anywhere, as long as you have Internet connectivity, without relying on the client computer. You don't need to have those files, install additional software, and configure the system to your preference. Can you see the real magic in all of this?

    Practically, it means you can log into your fully-functional online computer from any library, bookstore, or even from the laptop of the friendly waitress. The machine from which you're logging into does not matter at all; it can be outdated, low performing, or even have a vanilla OS installation without any apps installed-because all you need is a web browser. And it can very well be Internet Explorer, too.

    That's enough of an introduction; let's present and review what may be the most popular service that offers-for free-such a virtual computer with a whooping 15 GB of storage space, pre-loaded with office and business suite apps, instant messaging, email/chat, and best of all, a "stripped-down" mobile phone-compatible version ("Lite").

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