It's winter meeting season time and my chance to talk with farmers.
In this job it can be easy to insulate yourself, talking only to a few people and missing the big picture. That's why I enjoy hitting the road to be at winter meetings - whether it's the National Farm Machinery Show or a host of other events. And the best part of that is those one-on-one conversations I can have with readers about hot topics for their farm.
Since I joined the Farm Industry News team the questions about technology have just ramped up as well. At a recent conference for a sister publication, I had a great chat with a farmer looking at ways to get his information shared beyond his computer. We talk about cloud computing around here - and that conversation isn't going to end - as a way to get that done.
For this farmer, his plan is to build his own cloud. It's a great idea, provided you have a landlord who's a retired computer programmer with time on his hands (which he does). These are the kinds of conversations I'm having these days. You want information and you want to know more about how you can maximize your investment.
However, had another conversation with a farmer and we got into a conversation about broadband speeds. Turns out when he runs a speed test on his connection, his numbers are very low - like .75 meg down and .12 meg up. And yes, there are decimals in front of those numbers. This is NOT a business level of Internet access.
How bad is your connection? You can find out at any time, simply by visiting the website - speedtest.net - and just run a test. If you're upload speed is below 1 Mbps on their scale, it's time to talk to your provider about faster service.
You see the two are connected. If you're going to start accessing farm information stored in a common area - like a "cloud" system - you'll need the best Web access you can economically acquire. That may mean checking other resources, and figuring out ways to share the common connection you have.
We're always looking for tech-oriented story approaches here at Farm Industry News. Tell me about your experience online, or ways you want to boost computing power. Just make a comment below and I'll do my best to respond.
And if you see me at a winter meeting, pull me aside and let's talk. I would love to know what issues you're dealing with on your operation.
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