The importance of backing up

One of the leading backup software makers, Dantz, used to have a motto:
“In order to move forward, you must backup.”
And it’s very true.

Backing up has gotten a lot easier in the last 5 years – between the price of storage coming down drastically and the manufacturers of both the OS and backup software making things so very easy, there’s almost no excuse to NOT backup anymore.

For Macintosh users, all you really need is an external hard drive – Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and above includes Time Machine, which will automatically backup your computer for you. You set it up once, and hopefully never use it again. If you do need it, it’s fairly easy and straightforward – replace a file you deleted by accident or replace your whole hard drive, the only variable is the amount of data, and therefore time that it will take. I’ve had to use this method for customers, and it really is easy.

For PC users, Windows Vista and Windows 7 have also come a long way in ease of use. Starting with Windows Vista, there’s been a built-in backup tool which is akin to what Mac OS X offers – you set it up initially (what drive to backup to, which files, etc) and then you don’t have to worry about it.

It’s so easy to back up your computer now that it’s almost embarrassing to NOT backup. Whether it’s plugging a hard drive into your computer and letting it do the work or using an online service, it’s literally never been easier to get your computer backed up.

If you need help with this, I’m always available.

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Another ebook – but will it last?

Amazon is set to give us Kindle, just in time for the holidays it would seem.
It certainly looks impressive:

  • Revolutionary electronic-paper display provides a sharp, high-resolution screen that looks and reads like real paper.
  • Simple to use: no computer, no cables, no syncing.
  • Wireless connectivity enables you to shop the Kindle Store directly from your Kindle—whether you’re in the back of a taxi, at the airport, or in bed.
  • Buy a book and it is auto-delivered wirelessly in less than one minute.
  • More than 88,000 books available, including 100 of 112 current New York Times® Best Sellers.
  • New York Times® Best Sellers and all New Releases $9.99, unless marked otherwise.
  • Free book samples. Download and read first chapters for free before you decide to buy.
  • Top U.S. newspapers including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post; top magazines including TIME, Atlantic Monthly, and Forbes—all auto-delivered wirelessly.
  • Top international newspapers from France, Germany, and Ireland; Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine, and The Irish Times.
  • More than 250 top blogs from the worlds of business, technology, sports, entertainment, and politics, including BoingBoing, Slashdot, TechCrunch, ESPN’s Bill Simmons, The Onion, Michelle Malkin, and The Huffington Post.
  • Lighter and thinner than a typical paperback; weighs only 10.3 ounces.
  • Holds over 200 titles.
  • Long battery life. Leave wireless on and recharge approximately every other day. Turn wireless off and read for a week or more before recharging. Fully recharges in 2 hours.
  • Unlike WiFi, Kindle utilizes the same high-speed data network (EVDO) as advanced cell phones—so you never have to locate a hotspot.
  • No monthly wireless bills, service plans, or commitments—we take care of the wireless delivery so you can simply click, buy, and read.
  • Includes free wireless access to the planet’s most exhaustive and up-to-date encyclopedia—Wikipedia.org.
  • Email your Word documents and pictures (.JPG, .GIF, .BMP, .PNG) to Kindle for easy on-the-go viewing.
    There is no monthly fee, you don’t pay for the cellular connection, and you get content straight to the device. What’s the catch? Well, the only one that I can see is that it uses the older EDGE cellular technology for downloads. But they claim that you can get an entire novel in about a minute, so I don’t see how that’s too big of a problem – especially since, again, they’re paying for it.
    Time will tell, but I think that it’s an interesting platform that bears watching. The ability to download the first chapter (or a few chapters) from a book to preview it before you decide to buy it is a good hook – as are the free two-week previews available for the newspapers and magazines that are offered.
    The ability to email a file – Microsoft Word, HTML, TXT, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, PRC and MOBI files – for 0.10¢ is interesting, but could prove costly. As would the monthly 0.99¢ subscription to your favorite blog (if supported). Of course, if you spend a lot of time on a train or travelling, then this might be worth the monthly cost, especially given the projected lifespan and recharge time of the device.
    It’s a closed device, so that limits the ability to put your own content on it – but given enough time, the hackers of the world will start to have their way with it. If Amazon is smart, they’ll let the hackers play with it and not try to break whatever they do – selling more devices after someone opens it up might let them sell more books/subscriptions (where they really make their money on the devices). I can’t say that I’ll be the first to get one, but if they come down in price a bit, and perhaps add some interesting features – either from Amazon or via hacking – the I can say that I’d be interested enough to consider getting one of my own (unless someone wants to lend me one to try out……)

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    Teleport your way to productivity

    abyssoft
    teleport lets you use a single mouse and keyboard to control several Macs
    It sounds simple, probably because it is. Teleport lets you use ditch the multiple keyboards and mice you might have at your desk. You still need multiple monitors, but that’s ok.
    As I type this, I’m using my work laptop keyboard and mouse, but it’s all showing up on the screen of my desktop. I set it up – about five clicks, if you include the download – and the screens are shared. Simple as that. I move the mouse seemlessly from one computer to the other – very much like having two screens on one computer.
    This software is, quite simply, AWESOME. I don’t always feel that the “freeware” software that I use occasionally is worth a donaation, but this is the first time that I’ve felt compeled to do it within 10 minutes of downloading and installing the software. GENIUS!

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    An operation was attempted on something that is not a socket.

    If you know me at all, you know that I hate Windows. I use it, I install it, and I support it – but I hate it with a passion.
    Something I hate more than Windows, however, is spyware/adware/virii, and the damage they can do on a PC. For example, some actually make a point to disable your computers internet access – I guess on the principle that if you can’t get online, you can’t get the virus off. Or something. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. I ran into a situation recently where this happened, and I thought I’d share what I did to get out of it – it was a royal pain, and it wasn’t easy to figure out. One mans 2 hours of searching is another’s search result, so…..
    1. Boot the computer into Safe Mode (F8 at startup, after the BIOS messages (usually when you see the manufacturers logo) and before Windows starts up. Select Safe Mode in the list.
    2. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
    3. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Winsock
    6. Right-click Winsock, and then click Delete. When you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click Yes.
    7. Select the following subkey (it should be right below the Winsock key you just deleted):
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Winsock2
    8. Right-click Winsock2, click Delete, and then click Yes.
    9. Quit Registry Editor.
    Reboot the computer. Cross your fingers. BUY ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE.

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    WiFi Extender

    Have WiFi at home? Frustrated by weak spots in your coverage? Check out the Ez-12 Parabolic Reflector Template. Print it out, cut/fold/insert as instructed after you put the aluminum foil on it, and enjoy the fast, free, and fairly simple upgrade to your wireless network!

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    Cisco vs. Apple: Cisco will lose?

    Cisco lost rights to iPhone trademark last year, experts say
    An investigation into the ongoing trademark dispute between Cisco and Apple over the name “iPhone” appears to show that Cisco does not own the mark as claimed in their recent lawsuit. This is based on publicly available information from the US Patent and Trademark office, as well as public reviews of Cisco products over the past year. The trademark was apparently abandoned in late 2005/early 2006 because Cisco was not using it.
    They had six years, and they wasted it. They managed to keep it by using a window of six months where they can still keep it if they pay an extra fee. But if you look at the photo, you’ll see that the “product” they were selling is just one of their VoIP phones with an “iPhone” sticker put onto the shrink wrap.
    They also apparently didn’t actually start selling anything with the “iPhone” label until 12/2006, which would be seven years after they first applied for the name:
    This information indicates that Cisco did not actively offer a product named “iPhone” between 1999 and December 2006.
    What is also interesting is that Apple knew that they had the name and were apparently still negotiating with Cisco until Monday night, literally hours before the iPhone was announced to the public. It would seem that Apple might have known about the fact that Cisco had scrambled to keep the name at the last minute, so they might also know that they can get the USPTO to void Cisco’s registration – freeing up the name for the next company in line to use it, Ocean Telecom Services LLC – a company regarded by many to be a front for Apples attempts to get the iPhone name.
    Either way, things should stay interesting for a while.

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    What is going on here?

    Try going to this URL.
    Does it look familiar? I don’t know who’s doing it, or why, but I am curious. Please send me an email to explain yourself.

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    Store now open!

    Having been an Amazon associate for quite some time, I was quite pleased to discover that they now offer Amazon stores. I’ve taken the liberty of creating my own store and started to fill it with computers, gadgets and other fun things. I plan on doing some expanding to the list this weekend. Enjoy!

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    Truth in Fiction?

    Federal Response (Jericho episode) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Skylar and her friends discover that the government has also blocked all IP addresses on the internet when she tries to check her email to see whether her parents may have left her a message.
    I think that this actually possible – and quite useful. If something on the scale of “Jericho” actually happened, I don’t think it would be a big deal to have the DNS changed in some way to point everyone to a specific website (or more likely a bunch of mirrored sites) that could be used to relay information.
    Considering that several of the top level DNS are located in the US, it makes it more plausible that this could – and, if it hasn’t been considered, should – happen. Realistically, they could use this to redirect ALL web traffic to one place, so why not do it?

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    Unix permissions revealed…

    Unix Permissions
    I’d always wondered what each level of permissions was, exactly – and now I have a handy reference.

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