Friday, June 24, 2011

A Take On Cloud Computing

     There is that buzz going around about cloud computing and the benefits it has to offer for the small and large businesses who may not have the computer memory storage capacity or the bandwidth with the faster speeds at their facility to do their data crunching.
     Testing software and running customer simulations from different angles to foresee any problems that may arise before their particular brand of service goes public, takes A) storage capacity and B) appropriate bandwidth for the faster transference rate between the customer input and the company’s servers.
      Cloud Computing seemed like such a novel concept to many entrepreneurs when it first became available that they had skepticism about the safety of their timely and sometimes sensitive data.  At one seminar that I was privy to, the sales rep for a cloud computing facility answered the safety question by saying that the company could encrypt their data before uploading it to the cloud computing facility for processing.
     Chelsea Dale in my short story titled “Cloud Computing’ has landed an Internet business project entailing the handling of greeting card traffic.  She will be responsible for creating software that will catalogue the different cards, tagging them with appropriate discount codes and generally making them available to the public via the Internet.
     Chelsea has a particular style to her programming known to a few select gurus as that must-have-a-staging-platform-first-style.  She has to have one particular address in her memory cache to review incoming fresh data or even existing older data.  She will interrupt the flow of her programming processing just to examine a particular variable or dataset.
     A greeting card discounted at 10% off might catch Chelsea’s eye for examination for example, and at some point in her software program, she will pull the tag name for that card – say it’s called NostalgicCard_11056 and put it say in the memory compartment 0x20f86 to test to make sure that it passes all integrity rules (from it being a black and white card, to being properly discounted) under stressful programming conditions and scenarios.
     In the short story “Cloud Computing,” I don’t go into as much detail into Chelsea’s must-have-a-staging-platform-first-style of programming and I instead focus on the fact that she was nervous about the whole aspect of entrusting her greeting card data to cloud computing people.
     Timothy London, the sales representative for CloudPresence.com (a fictitious company in my story) is very personable and confident about his company’s Internet services and he wants Chelsea to become as informed as possible about cloud computing, so she doesn’t feel as if she’s signing her life away when she signs on the dotted line.
     This is a very darling short story that has elements of computer software engineering complete with that entrepreneurial can-do attitude built in.  Cloud Computing gives Chelsea a second chance by offering her the storage capacity and transference bandwidth rate to test aspects of her software as she launches an Internet Greeting Card site for a client from her home office.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Commentary on 'Andrew and Sherry'

     A close friend of mine is in an interacial relationship, her husband is Caucasian and she is Filipino-American.  In the same vein, I wrote a short story in a collection of stories touching lightly on a relationship between an average Caucasian young man and his girlfriend from Somalia.  It is an engaging story about the warmth that she brings into his family circle.  You see his mother is ailing with depression and there seems to be no abatement and as depression gains speed in ravaging her zest for life, the planning of her son’s wedding gives her a last respite of happiness.  In the end of the story, her doctor recommends not a new antidepressant for her to take, but merely adds to the one that she is already taking.  Her new daughter-in-law Sherry brings a warmth and energy into her family that had been previously lacking.
      Of course the fact that Sherry is from Somalia doesn’t automatically suggest that simply accepting a person from a different culture than you’re used to, will bring about a window out of depression.  Many people have romantic relationships from different cultures and the cultural divide is not always overcome.  Many times parents want their young sons and daughters to marry within their inner cultural circle.
      Having married outside of her own culture, my friend’s parents were very accepting of her husband while they were still courting and so in my short story I write the same way of the mother-figure Angela.  Her depression is fictitious, but her acceptance of her Somali-born daughter-in-law Sherry is very similar to how my friend’s entire family just loves and embraces everything about her Caucasian husband.
      Everything from visiting Filipino eateries,  to the first Filipino-sponsored dance they attended, were just precious moments for my friend that she was probably too over-conscious to appreciate at the time that they were taking place.
      At my good friend’s wedding, everyone in her immediate family was present, except her dearly-departed sister (who died just two years prior).  It was a happy occasion, as so many weddings I’ve attended since. 
      “Andrew and Sherry” does not have a particular wedding scene to it, although it is clear that the young couple was married and that Sherry was accepted into the family.  There is a scene though, where both Sherry’s future mother-in-law Angela and her are each perusing bridal gowns for her.  Angela’s excitement at how Sherry will look at the wedding is something everyone can relate to.
      As I recall from the beginnings of my friend’s interracial courtship and marriage, it was actually her own insecurities of not being accepted as a couple versus anyone’s objections (and to tell you the truth, there were no objections to them being together), that often got the best of her.
      If I were at someone’s interacial wedding today, I would gladly be one of the loudest to yell, “Cheers!” during each toast to that happy couple.