Although the term cloud computing is relatively modern, the concept of sharing resources over a network – essentially accessing them from “the cloud” – has a much longer history. One that goes right back to computing’s earliest days.
Many old electronic goods gather dust in storage waiting to be reused, recycled or thrown away. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that as much as three quarters of the computers sold in the US are stockpiled in garages and closets. When thrown away, they end up in landfills or incinerators or, more recently, are exported to Asia.