by David Hakala

“Desktop” computing means that your applications and data reside on the computer sitting on your desktop. “Online” computing means they reside somewhere else: on a server you can reach via a local area network, a private wide area network, or the public Internet.

The important thing is that you are connected to the resources you need. It doesn’t matter whether those resources are north or south of your physical location; nearby or far away; or what make and model of machine they reside on. So diagrams of online computing connections can be very vague, often just a “cloud” of resources.
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