My nice Plaxo online address book disappeared when the host company was sold and the buyer discontinued the service. My contacts, up in smoke.

Dropbox (cloud storage and data synch) and TunnelBear (VPN) both decided not to support my OS any more, as did Google Chrome. I face expensive upgrades.

Evernote (online note taking and note storage) lost all my data some years back. I gave them a second chance. Now they too have stopped supporting their client app on my OS. Their web-only version is painfully slow, not worth bothering with.

Uber’s convenient, but oh, my, their September, 2022 data breach left me nervous about identity theft. Not to mention the breaches at Dropbox, iCloud, and LinkedIn.

History shows waves of where data is stored and programs are executed – locally on the desktop, on a remote computer, or distributed on many remote computers. First there were dumb terminals, with everything located on the mainframe. Then unconnected, pre-internet PCs. Then smart terminals, then more powerful PCs. Then “client-server,” and several more waves back and forth. Now “cloud computing.”

Each wave depended on the relative rates of cost reduction in transmission bandwidth versus chips (memory and processors). Other items factored in, namely, image and video compression rates, and the software vendors’ ease of version control.

Now, dissatisfaction with cloud computing grows, not just due to direct costs but because of bad CSP (Cloud Service Provider) service, including outages. And bad vendor decisions, of which I’ve given examples above.

Do the cloud’s touted advantages remain? Not many.

Security? As the above examples show, the cloud is no more secure than the fireproof safe in my house. Less so, given that my house hasn’t burned down or been burgled.

Cross-platform? Duh, thumb drives.

Capacity? Okay, it would be hard to mine Bitcoins solely on my aged Macbook. But I don’t mine Bitcoins anyway.

Cost? Incredibly cheap and powerful laptops are on sale now, and equally cheap, high-capacity external hard drives. Both of which fit into my safe.

ABN/AMRO Bank closed my account when I moved and they couldn’t find me. My fault for not promptly updating my address. They sent me a check for the account balance. HOWEVER, I had stored some source code in their “digital vault.” They said they’d find a way to get that code back to me, now that I don’t have an account to sign into. They haven’t done it.

Who’s unhappy with the cloud? My hand is raised.