About me and how everything begun with the Own Private Cloud

Once upon a time as people did not have any computers - and this not a fairy tale…

Ask people how are now in their mid-forties they can confirm that it was the case. Get information in these times was cumbersome, we had to go to the local library to get them and sometimes, exactly this book was on short supply.

Call a friend or family? Hey, there were little red boxes on the curb of the street - we called it „Phone boxes“ and had to go there if you were not lucky enough to have your own land-line at home.

The first computers looked like big towers of blinking elements. If you were lucky enough to be able to work on computers you had to wear special shoos and no dust or magnetism should be brought into this room.

Can you imagine that today? Possibly not.

My first experiences with computers

I got in my occupational training. I was in a small company which belonged to a much bigger one. It felt like to work in a family-owned company and we did not have any computers but did everything manual.

Some time later, the smaller company was closed and we had to got to the parent company in order to work. The people were already accustom to computers and we had learn quickly. After a power cut nothing could be done any more but we trainees could help out - we knew how to run the business manually.

My affinity to computers came from this first encounter. I did not trust these machines at all and started to ask question such as „How does it work?“ „What does it do in the background?“ „What does the computers with bits and bytes?“ and „Why does it beep all the time once I have insert a cassette?“ - No spelling error - it was a cassette ! and not a disk… :-)

I have started learning:

Everything what looked like computers, software I have absorbed in order to understand how it works.

Some time later, the first software hit the market and you could buy it but it was pretty expensive for a trainee. Yet again, I have asked myself how does it work? I have started to learn MS-Access - databases. My first database was an address book and it worked perfectly! Hey, I thought that is amazing and I save my money.

In the end I knew exactly what my databases were doing and how they are linked together.

Time went by quickly - as it always does - and pretty soon we could welcome the E-Mail - to me the greatest innovation in this time. I did not have to go the post office and cue up and got an answer within hours instead of weeks.

This innovation was just great!

I never stopped learning because of my first encounter with them - the computers - and that a human being should not trust them in full as they would do to other humans. I have started to learn BASIC, TURBO PASCAL, VBA, HTML, CSS, PYTHON, database systems, operation systems like Linux, Windows and MAC. I always strived to organise myself better as more organisation meant more time for me at the end.

The MS-Office-Package came finally on the market - before we had Word 5.xxx. Can you remember? The command line was at the bottom….

The office package was very interesting to me as you could link four programs with each other - that was a hit at this time!

My other principle is „Learning leads to knowledge and knowledge can be power but it improves yourselves as a person too“ Meaning, if you learn in pieces and steady, you will not have to work that hard to „upgrade“ your knowledge. Each tiny bits and pieces will improve your knowledge in the fields you are interested in.

Professionally, I have went the way into Finance and not IT - do not ask me why. In my personal and professional life, I can always use my IT knowledge and improve my efficiency, productivity and workflow to have more time for me.

I travelled the world, lived in Australia and a long time in Berkshire, England. On business I went to the US to Asia and back to Tunisia. All of this influenced my knowledge and improved myself as the person I am today. I would never want to miss theses experiences.

In this time I have worked for a computer security company which was acquired by McAfee and Aladin later.

Computer security:

Oh well, I did not understand a word of what was going on and what we actually sold. No clue whatsoever! I have asked my boss what we actually do and he gave me the possibility to join the developer and engineers.
They have shown - and not only told - me how things are working. I have spent a lot my spare time with them in order to broaden my mind.

There, I could learn all the things about cyber security and back doors, networks, computers, settings, protocols and Wifi etc. Also, I have learned about ethical conducts amongst developers. How to secure your own network and keep the bad guys out was the final chapter of learning. I even learnt how to get into a Windows machine without having the password and also how can you compromise machines, networks from far away.

This time in my life was just great and I still learning and improving my knowledge in these fields. I have got a Linux machine from one of the developers after the company was bought out and I still have it today. Further to this I got a „ticket“ to online learning with a test lab for two months from Offensive Security (the developer from BackTrack).

Well, times goes by always so quickly, I made my career in Finance from an little accountant to the top dogs but such a career has it price.

I am still eager to learn and thinking about setting up a small company - preparations are in full swing - but will probably take still some time.

Back to the computers:

Personally, I did not like to play games on a computer - it is too boring in my opinion. A computer to me is a device which makes your life easier and it is for work to be done. If I like to play then there are other possibilities outside of the digital world to do this.

In the meantime, everything developed: today, we got the „take part and join us Internet“ and almost everybody got a mobile, laptop, tablet or computer at home. Communications is much easier then it was time back but it developed to a anonym communication and I think it is sad.

Because of this, I eager to learn from the news about security issues, data robbery, new Terms and Conditions from provider of third - party clouds, as well as how existences are going down the hill because someone posted the „wrong“ thread or picture in the public Internet or it comes down to a shit-storm against someone or employers fire people just because they are seen drunk in their spare time.

In the case you like to contact me - just use email or us the comment function on each page. I will answer as soon as possible - promised.

Couple of years ago,

my old Windows PC died and I exchange it to a MAC mini. Later the MacBookPro , iPad, iPhone and Apple pencil joined the „family“. As I am curios about Windows and still work with it - sometimes - I use it in a virtual machine with Parallels Desktop on my Mac and MacBookPro.

The idea of running my own cloud came, as I have realised that a synchronisation of contacts and calendars are quite productive. All my friends, colleagues and family members used the third party cloud but I did not want that at all. I did not like the idea having my private data somewhere in a cloud without having „real“ access to my information and who knows who reads yours?

The Plan:

First of all I wanted a calendar which can sync across my devices but without third-party cloud and their T&Cs but with my own cloud.

I was happy to set up a synchronisation via Wifi - Yeah - my first synchronisation without third party but of course that is not the same then to be on the road and want to sync.

My curiosity got stronger and stronger and I wanted to have my synchronisation for my data. First of all I thought about what I need and how could I possible to fulfil my own requirements in a setup of computers for my own cloud. Honestly, this part was pretty difficult and time-consuming.

After trial and error over and over I did it! My calendar could sync with my devices and that outside of home! Cool!

From this point of success onwards, I have developed my own cloud piece by piece and slowly.

Today, I can say I am my own data leech with my full functional cloud, which is located at home safely.

In June 2016, I got to Lars Blog (paperless and productive) and commented one of his posts. He replied and invited me to write my own article about my own cloud.

In December last year, I did it - not that the writing took me six months - but you know… Anyway, I wrote my article and sent it off to Lars. He published my article on 11 Jan 2017 on his blog.

By no means, I would have possibly thought about the reaction of his readers! Loads of comments over and over…

Ok, some of his readers were concerned about security and implementation of the own cloud and even more readers asked me if I would have my own blog.

Well, as you now know I like to learn and this curiosity is my motor to go forward. I have thought long about what it meant to have your own blog and overall I had no experience in blogging :-)

My learning curve was and still is precipitous - from none blogger to a blogger is a long way but I am willing to go that way.

It is my first blog overall, there might / will be loads of changes to the layout and so please do not be too strict with me!

Here it is - THE Blog about your own cloud at Steffi’s Cloud


More information about what I want to achieve and which goals I have got you will find here.

I am looking forward to your commentaries, ideas, impressions and hope that my blog can give you a helping hand in realising your vision of your own cloud.