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    My website is administered by me.

    That means I'll be changing things as I figure them out.

    Which means I might move articles, posts, or bullshit (whatever you want to call it) to another part of my website.

    Use the Search.  It is a great search engine.  You will find what you want.



    More Tacos & Computers 

    Sunday was spent hanging out with my friend Michael.  He was installing a pair of SSD's (solid state drives) in his Dell Studio XPS.  He needed to Ghost his hard drive image to the new drives.  While Ghost was at work, we headed off for the infamous Sunday $.50 tacos.  With full bellies we went back to his house and finished working on his system.  He got it done and his Windows 7 Experience scores are almost maxed out!  He has a kick butt system!

    We went to Harbor Freight and Michael bought a tile saw to finish up his new kitchen floor.  He then loaded me up with more computer stuff (collected from his mother and grandmother).  Michael keeps them upgraded, and they give back the older stuff.  This time I brought home a lazer jet black & white printer, an ink jet printer, a flatbed scanner, and lots of various things!



    Michael's Mom came by his house before we got out to his garage to set up a new workbench.  I agreed to go back this coming weekend to help him clean out his garage and basement.  He's talking about getting a mini dumpster, so it should be interesting.  In the mean time, Michael is building a new home media server.  He has been wiring up his house as he continues to remodel it.  He now bought a 7 foot high rack to mount his servers, firewall, routers, etc.

    He decided to change what his media server will be and had an extra server case that he had bought.  He sent that home with me in exchange for my help next weekend.



    This case can hold 9 hard drives and will be all I can imagine needing.  This will be my next project.  I will put in a motherboard, low profile video card, and a dual e-SATA card (thanks for those, too, Michael).



    I will look through my boxes of parts and come up with a motherboard and some memory first and take it from there.  This will give me something to tinker with next week while I'm on vacation.

    Until then, it'll be another hectic week at work.  I'm going to take it easy before work.  Think I'll get a cup of green tea and contemplate life as a new 53 year old.  Seems like just yesterday I was a younger guy! 


    Hurricane Irene - The Lesson

    Back up your computer!  What if you were the one guy that got hit hardest by the storm?  What if your computer got washed out to sea?  What if you were ordered to evacuate?  What if you just hunkered down and crossed your fingers?  You need an off site backup of your personal data.   Not just an external hard drive sitting next to your computer.  That won't do in an emergency.

    I live in what is called "Tornado Alley".  I live in Kansas.  I live in the very middle of the country and get every kind of weather there is 24/7.  Hurricanes are the exception...thank God.  Oh boy, we get one exception.  The day a hurricane hits Kansas will be the day that I know Kansans outlived the rest of the country.  But that would be the exception!  Anyway, when Mother Nature does something, YOU aren't going to stop it.  That means you need to be prepared.

    Being prepared in a digital world means having a reliable backup of your email, passwords, or other writings.  It has to be off site, as Hurricane Irene showed.  I hope nobody lost irreplaceable belongings in the storm.  I know of a few people that were concerned and affected by Hurricane Irene.  It turned out that the storm diminished as it went along.  Thank goodness.

    There are lots of free ways to back up your critical stuff.  The free options have their drawbacks.  They require your personal time and attention.  Those are 2 major problems.  At least for me...and I don't have much of a life.  If you are an International Playboy, I would pay for something that is automatic.  Me and Jethro Bodine do.

    Let's say you are not me or Jethro Bodine.  All is not lost.  Start using some online storage for free.  Keep in mind that governments of the world want access to all of your digital information.  To keep your privacy, you need to keep in mind which online services offer storage that they, themselves, can not read.  The good thing is that nobody can see or steal your info.  The bad thing is that the Feds will be knocking at YOUR door if they want least you'll know what they are up to.

    I have used many different free online storage options.  But not lately.  I use an automatic backup.  No mater how you do it, just get started.


    A New "Foundation" is here

    Kevin Rose has produced a new episode of "Foundation".  I am watching it as I type this.  Check it out...Foundation.  There are several episodes and each is top notch in its own way.


    Back Up Your Computer!

    I have helped many people solve their computer woes.  I don't have any official schooling in computer technology, but it has been one of my hobbies for the past 20 years.  I have built them, upgraded them, changed software and operating systems on them, and worked with wired and wireless networking.

    As family members needed help, they would call me.  A lot of times it would cause me to investigate and learn new things about computer issues.  Eventually word of mouth got out to friends of the family and I started helping them, too, for a very nominal fee.  This allowed me to make a little beer money, while getting to learn about computers and systems I didn't own.

    I haved learned a ton stuff from being a fan of Leo Laporte.  I first saw him on a cable channel years ago called TechTV.  TechTV was bought out and changed to G4 TV.  Leo and many others lost their jobs.  Leo does a nationwide weekend tech call-in show on the radio called The Tech Guy and he has spent 7 years building up his own internet network called TWiT.TV.  I continue to follow Leo on TWiT.TV and continue to learn about new systems, the latest tech news, and trouble shooting problems.  I am definitely a tech junkie!

    This brings me to the title of this post.  Back up your computers!



    They are machines.  It's only a matter of time before something breaks, and depending on what breaks, you could lose your pictures, documents, and other irreplaceable things.  Computers are no different than cars.  Just because you buy a new car doesn't mean it won't break down, or even catch on fire!  You wouldn't want your life's savings in the trunk of your car because only you have the key.  What if it's stolen?  Bye bye life savings.  I think you get my drift.

    I have been working on a computer since last night that had 2 viruses on it.  Of course, like most people, this woman had NOTHING backed up.  I managed to save 4 folders of her family pictures, but I couldn't save her geneology program with her data.  The viruses had wreaked havoc with her system to the point I had to do a full system install.  She knew that things could turn out this way before I brought it home.  She said she would be grateful if I could save her family pictures.  If she had only backed up...

    After reinstalling Vista on her HP computer, hours of Windows updates have been chugging along.  First, 86 critical updates and 4 optional updates.  Then updates to patch those updates.  Now it is 98% thru Vista Service Pack 1, and when that is finished, there will be updates to Service Pack 1.  It's been a while since I worked on a Vista machine, but I'm pretty sure there will be a Service Pack 3.  I hope not!

    I might get this done before I have to go to work at 4 pm, but if not I'll keep it until it's fully updated, virus free, has a good anti virus program, and her pictures reinstalled.  I'm pretty sure she won't take my advice and back things up, but all I can do is tell her.

    Any backup is better than nothing, but to be the safest is to follow the 3-2-1 backup rule.  Have 3 copies of important files, the copy on your computer and 2 backup files.  Use 2 different types of media for the backup file, like a copy on an external hard drive & a copy on DVD or in the cloud.  Then make sure 1 copy is stored offsite.  Either mail DVD's to your Mom, or use an online site to keep backups.  This will save you in case of a fire, flood, or tornado destroying everything at your house, or if somebody breaks in and steals all your stuff.

    The trouble with backing up is that it is a pain in the ass.  You do it for a while, then it becomes about as fun as keeping every window in your house spot and dust free inside and out 24/7.  I use a paid service called Carbonite because it is automatic.  Just please use something!

    Well, Service Pack 1 for Vista finished just now and a check of Windows updates says ther are 71 important updates and 1 optional update.  Let 'er rip boys.

    Anyway, to be honest, I haven't been using the 3-2-1 rule myself because I don't have that many important things on my computer.  I do have backups of things, but it's not well organized.  But if YOU run a business at home, are a photographer, or an author writing your next book, then seriously think about the 3-2-1 rule.  It's insurance, just like car insurance or health insurance.  You'll be glad you did.