One of the nice things about using a notebook is that if there's a sudden power outage, you won't instantly lose your work. Desktop users aren't so lucky, which is why it's essential to plug everything into a battery backup (aka uninterruptible power supply). If the lights go out, you'll still have a few minutes in which to save your work and power down the machine safely.
Best Buy has a CyberPower battery backup on sale for $29.99. It includes six wide-spaced outlets, all of them surge-protected and three of them powered by the … Read more
Just about every computer available these days comes with a CD/DVD burner as part of the package. Whether your primary use for this drive is to make mix CDs for the car, backup data, or burn DVD backups for your movies, you need a good program with the right type of features for the job. Though Windows offers some burning features, you're not going to get the options you'll find in a stand alone app.
Nearly all broadband Internet accounts come with storage on the ISP's servers, but I'll wager not one in 10 broadband users ever store anything there. That's a shame, especially if you find yourself schlepping a USB thumbdrive or rewritable CD full of your personal files from computer to computer. There are dozens of free utilities out there that make transferring files between your local PC and an FTP or Web server as easy as dragging and dropping. The two I've been using are the open-source FileZilla FTP client, and 2Brightsparks' SyncBack, which is also available in … Read more
Are you making regular backups of your PC? Please, don't lie--it just embarrasses both of us. Don't tell me it's because you don't know how or you can't afford pricey backup software. Excuses don't pay the rent (or restore your data).
Buy.com has Norton Save & Restore 2.0, by all accounts a solid backup utility, for a mere $2.99 (shipped!) after a pair of mail-in rebates. Granted, one of them is a competitive upgrade, but just about any utility software qualifies: antivirus, antispam, firewall. You supply the proof of purchase (confirmation … Read more
The partnership spotlights the growing influence of Amazon's S3, which provides customers with online storage whose costs are tied to the amount of storage needed. It's one of several online services Amazon offers.
Amanda (Advanced Maryland Automatic Network Disk Archiver--a contrived acronym if ever there was one) has been around for years; Zmanda was founded in 2005 as a provider of commercial support. There are several others, too.
Why would anyone start futzing with their PC if the machine is working OK? Two reasons: to make it safer and to make it faster. Dividing your hard drive into multiple partitions accomplishes both. By separating your applications and data from Windows' system files, you speed your backups and protect your files and programs from being wiped out if Windows conks out.
Windows Vista lets you create new partitions (which it calls "volumes") quickly and simply via the Disk Management utility. Unfortunately, the only quick and simple way to partition a hard drive in XP is to use … Read more
As their capacities have grown, USB thumb drives have become the method of choice to transfer data between PCs for many consumers. Some have also started using them as backups for their hard drives.
The latest SanDisk Cruzer Titanium Plus flash drive takes the concept even one step further by making backups of its 4GB storage automatically to an online company, BeInSync. The $60 drive comes with six months of this online service, after which an annual fee of $30 is charged.
When the Cruzer is plugged into a connected machine, the contents are automatically synchronized both ways and the … Read more
Here's an interesting question: should I turn off my external hard drive when not in use? Leo Notenboom, who I mentioned back in July, addressed this issue a few days ago on his Ask-Leo.com Web site.
In short, there is no one clear answer, a number of issues have to be considered. What surprised me, though, about Leo's answer, was that he didn't mention my reason for turning off my external hard disk.
Being a pessimist is necessary for defensive computing. The main reason I turn off my external hard disk is to protect it from … Read more
Symantec's Norton Ghost is a super tool for backing up your PC. The latest version, 12.0 (wow, is that like the first 12.0 version of anything, ever?), normally sells for $69.99, but you can get it free, kinda, from Buy.com.
You start out paying $50 (free shipping!), then get back a $30 Visa debit card as part of Rebate #1. To qualify for Rebate #2, a $20 Visa debit card, all you need is proof of ownership of just about any semi-related utility: "A stand-alone, retail (boxed or downloaded) version of any Norton or … Read more