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Category Archives: Recommendations

Online Backup Solutions

I used to own a home NAS server (network area storage – basically a couple hard drives that you can access over your wireless network), and after it failed I looked into getting a better one – Be prepared to spend at least a grand if you want something good. Since I couldn’t justify spending that much, or even the time to research, build & maintain one – I looked into online backups for the first time.

DropBox

DropBox is great for sharing files between colleagues, clients & friends etc; But their pricing & limited amount of storage prevented me from choosing them as a final solution. Instead I use the free version as a way to quickly share files. One of the best things about it is that it tells you, in a fairly unobtrusive way, when it’s downloading new files that someone else has added to a shared folder – may only save a minute of sending emails, but I appreciate it.

Asus Web Storage

Takes forever, and didn’t seem to be backing up much – it was pretty frustrating. This is a work in progress, not a finished product.

Mozy

I tried this one, and didn’t like it. My experience with their support was the standard language barrier affair (dell anyone?)- outsourced support. It looks like it has improved since I’ve tried it  – they seem to have a few more features now. If you use Mozy now, I’d like to hear how you like it and their support system.

Backblaze

Allows you to throttle your upload speed if desired, and you can opt for them to send you a physical drive overnight ($189) if you have too much data (too much is defined hypothetically here by how fast your internet is, it’s not defined by Backblaze) to re-download. They also offer versioning of files – meaning you can recover up to four versions of a file that you’ve saved over (a potential life saver for me). This is the one I stuck with – It’s fast, unobtrusive (I have almost 400GB of data and their app is only taking up 7.4MB of ram), excellent price, unlimited storage, and the company itself is one I don’t mind getting behind either. They are pretty transparent about their business dealings – you don’t see that too often. They explain exactly where their data center is and how it’s protected, blog about possible mergers etc; etc; all in all they provide more peace of mind for me on top of being a great service. The only problem I’ve run into is that my external drive (which gets unplugged by me often) sometimes needs to be coerced back into Backblaze’s watch list. I contacted backblaze about it, and they haven’t heard of that – nor can I find anything online about it – so I’m fairly certain this is an issue with my computer. And – their support? They speak perfect English – it’s not outsourced. They also answered me on twitter pretty fast. A fairly new development to point out is that they now support individual files up to 9GB (the old limit was 4GB)

CrashPlan

I tried crashplan, and it wasn’t working well – it was a year or more ago when I tried it, so that may have changed by now. But if you try it out, and it works well for you, from what I hear from friends their support is as good or better than Backblaze’s.

Tried one of these or other methods? Let me know your thoughts on what the best online backup solution is.

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2010 in Recommendations

 

Best way to set up a new install of Windows 7 & other tips

It’s easy to forget some of these things until you need them, so I’m making a list of what to do after installing a fresh copy of Windows 7, or getting a new PC. I will add to & edit this list periodically, and please, offer any suggestions you may have in the comments!

  1. Create a new non-admin user
  2. Apply a password to the admin user
  3. Search: msconfig and remove all unnessecary startup processes
  4. Search: features and remove all unnessecary features

To conserve boot drive space:

Move default folder locations off of OS partition:eg; User>Username>Desktop (Right click>Properties>Location Tab) – also do for all other folders (My Music, My Videos, My Pictures, My Documents etc;)
If you use iTunes, see this article on how to force it to use a drive other than the OS partition/drive.
If you use Evernote, you can change it by going to: Tools>Options General Tab: Change Evernote Local files off OS partition
Move the pagefile off of the OS partition: See this article (external link)
Use WinDirStat to see what files are taking up space.

Programs:

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2010 in Recommendations, Windows 7

 

New donation link

Since this blog seems to be getting pretty popular I have introduced a donate link at the bottom of the page.

So if I’ve helped you out, this is a good way to let me know – and encourage me to keep writing. : )

Donate

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2009 in Recommendations

 

Spell checking large sites

There are a bunch of ways to do this – but if you have a site that is over 200 pages or so, i really recommend Spellr.us It is a huge time saver – and it actually works! Yes, it does cost money ($24 to $267 a month or a one time fee of $89) – but it’s worth it. They offer a free 30-day trial for sites that are less than 100 pages – why not?

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2009 in Recommendations

 

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Hello some of the world!

Goals:

  • To not have to work for extended periods of time in order to solve the same thing twice. That’s why I’m writing this blog. If it helps others, awesome. So if you have any ideas for common problems, or a question/correction feel free to comment.
 
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Posted by on April 12, 2009 in Recommendations

 
 
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