Cloud Computing Question: Running Old Software in the Cloud

Cloud Computing Question: Running Old Software in the Cloud

Is there a cloud computing solution that would allow me to actually run old software (from 1995) in the cloud?

My #1 favorite software in the world is Folio VIEWS, the 3.14 version from 1995. I’ve been using Folio VIEWS since about 1990 to keep a personal knowledge base of everything I read that is interesting, all my meeting notes, conversations, etc. My personal “infobase” is a single file that is approaching 300MB. It’s fully searchable, has lightning fast browse, is fully editable, supports hypertext, groups, bookmarks, highlights, and more advanced searching options than the web has ever provided. From about 1995 (when I got a high speed DirecPC satellite dish) to about 2001 I tried to track all the news I could find about every internet company, every funding event, and every successful internet marketing strategy used by any company. I have tracked news or tidbits on more than 3,000 companies, and I organized the content as I went. This personal library may be my single greatest asset as an internet entrepreneur, consultant, and mentor. I can find case studies on almost anything. (I also saved hundreds of free case studies from MarketingSherpa and other newsletters into my infobase.) So it is incredibly rich, well organized, and I can’t live without it. (Yes, I’ve tried Evernote and a number of other possible solutions, but for me, nothing comes close. I should do a hangout sometime on Google+ just to show off this insanely good vintage software.)

The problem is that Folio VIEWS only runs on 32-bit machines. And recently I upgraded my Dell Precision T5400 desktop to 12GB of RAM, since I am now running Python scripts in the background and always have a couple dozen browser tabs open, as well as another dozen Word, Excel, and PPT docs open. My machine has slowed way down. So, I want the additional memory. But I have to install 64-bit Windows in order to access the last 8 GB. And if I do that, so long to Folio VIEWS.

My solution is to move Folio VIEWS to my secondary desktop. Today I’m installing Windows XP on that machine (replacing Windows 7 which I never liked), and then I’ll transfer Folio to that machine. That will create additional work for me. Instead of adding things to my infobase whenever I find it, I’ll have to flag it somehow and add it in batch mode to Folio. I think it will be a pain. But running a super slow machine is intolerable.

But can you see the ideal solution? A personal cloud computing option that supports both 32-bit executables as well as hosts the infobase. Then I could access my Folio VIEWS infobase from any machine. That would be a dream. Especially if I could access it and update it via mobile.

So that’s my question — is there a way to run 32-bit software in the cloud?

(I noticed +Phil Windley posted something about Personal Cloud Computing this week, so I’ll check that out in a bit. But I figure the Google+ crowd would be an ideal place to ask this question.)


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3 thoughts on “Cloud Computing Question: Running Old Software in the Cloud

  1. The best solution would be to get ahold of whomever currently owns the Folio Views source code and get it re-compiled for 64-bit.

    The other alternative is so run it in a Virtual 32-bit machine on your 64-bit System.

    I learned the hazards of proprietary software back when WordPerfect went away. I have very specific WordPerfect stuff that I still can’t access (although I am chipping away at it).

    I’ve tried to stick with Linux and Free Software ever since and while it has been more difficult, I’ve not regretted it. At least I am no longer locked out of my data.

  2. Can you install it on Windows 2008? You could setup a small 32 bit Windows 2008 instance at Amazon Web Services. Windows 2008, is a bit clunky, but it would work if the only issue is 32 bit vs 64 bit.

  3. Paul, my roommate from BYU runs a hosting service called where you can colocate a Mac mini. That’s where I have my websites. (It’s at a super-high end data center in Las Vegas — you should tour it when you’re in town.) I run the typical LAMP stack for web hosting, but I can also remote desktop into the machine and run Mac apps, and with VirtualBox I can run Windows, DOS, etc. Might be an option for you.

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