Back it up!
Too many of us (myself included) do not backup our data
frequently enough, if at all so I have decided to name
September 2004 Back it up! Month.
Let’s get together this month and work towards remedying this problem.
The simple fact is performing even a simple backup can seem like an overly
complicated task. There are many individual steps involved and written
directions on how to backup can intimidate almost anyone, let alone someone
new to computers.
Yet, performing a backup isn’t that difficult, if you have the right
instruction. I believe that a quick demonstration, along with a document
describing the process, can provide all of us with some much needed backup
While there are many ways to make backups easier and more automatic, this
initiative isn’t about that. Instead, I am focused on creating a
down-and-dirty, manually processed, “get-it-done” backup that
provides you some modicum of protection should you have issues with your
computer. You can always re-install MS Windows and your application software
from their original disks, but your data could be gone forever. Let’s
make sure this never happens to you.
Once we have established some basic backup peace of mind, we will have
the opportunity and the time to research more advanced alternatives.
What is a backup?
A backup is nothing more than a copy of your data. You should always have
2 copies of any letter, photo or drawing that you have created. This copy
can be made to paper, floppy disk, CD, a second, external hard disk or
even another computer on your network. The method of backup does not matter.
The fact that you HAVE a backup is all-important.
In the past, you only had to worry about smaller documents such as letters,
memos and such. Today, especially with the popularity of digital photography,
you may need to backup hundreds of megabytes each week.
Since your photos are no longer printed on paper by default, your only
copy of those photos is held somewhere in your computer. One small problem
could end up wiping out your entire photo collection. This makes it even
more important that you backup your computer regularly.
Once you have created a backup of your information, consider placing that
backup somewhere other than next to your computer. Sure, your new backup
will protect you against computer failure, but what about fire, flood
or young children. Placing a copy of your data “off-site”
offers you an advanced level of protection rivaling some large corporations.
This can be accomplished quickly and simply by asking a friend or relative
to take a copy of your data home with them. You can offer to do the same
for someone else.
Below I have provided a links to documents that gives step-by-step instructions
for performing the simplest and quickest backup of your data. It looks
more complicated than it really is, as I have tried to detail each step,
no matter how small. I have also included copious notes to make it as
clear as possible. I believe that once you have accomplished the backup
process a few times, it will become clearer to you. Sometimes the best
way to learn is simply by doing. This especially applies to backups.
What are we backing up?
The items that most concern us at the beginning are the contents of your
Documents folder, your digital photographs and your email. Both of these
items are usually contained with one or two folders on your hard disk
and are easily copied, en mass to CD. In some cases, these folders will
be too large to fit on 1 CD and we will have to break the information
down into CD-sized chunks. This adds some complexity to the backup, but
not enough to make it impossible.
Some programs, such as Inutit’s Quicken, do not store their data
in the standard My Documents/Documents file folders. We may have to hunt
down this information in order to back it up, but once located and identified,
it can either be moved to a standard location or shortcuts can be made
to easily locate the information, when needed. With Quicken it is advisable
to backup each time you log new transactions and certainly each time you
balance any of your monthly accounts.
If the backup procedures listed leave you confused, don’t fret.
A quick hands-on demonstration should make everything clear. Let’s
schedule a time to backup and protect your data.
up to CD for Windows
up to CD for Macintosh OS X
What additional services could I offer to make your
computing life easier?
* all info is optional. Enter as much or
as little as you wish.
introduces the iMac G5
At the Apple
Expo in Paris today, Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president
of Worldwide Product Marketing, put the rumors to rest by unveiling
the new iMac G5
in his keynote address. A totally reconfigured design with a high-performance
G5 processor. Appearing similar to the rumored look, the iMac G5 integrates
the entire computer right into the flat panel display. The iMac G5 packs
a complete computer system into a mere two inches of depth, making it
the world's thinnest desktop computer. The new line offers 17- or 20-inch
active matrix widescreen LCDs and G5 processors running up to 1.8 GHz
starting at just $1,299. [MacMerc]
Bagle E-mail Worm Spreads
A new version of the pesky Bagle computer worm is racing
across the Internet, with a new feature that allows it to trick antivirus
software. (PC World) [Chronicle.com
- The Wired Campus]
XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) is on its way!
Very soon, a major update of Microsoft Windows
will appear in the Windows Update panel of your computer. This update
is designed to address a large number of bugs and security issues in
the current version of Windows XP.
Lists Apps Affected by XP SP2
Microsoft has published a list of nearly
50 software programs that require tweaking in order to work with its
most recent Windows update. [Microsoft
Watch from Mary Jo Foley]
and Tips: Quicken Glitch
Doug Eldred describes a printing bug with
the new Quicken release. [MacInTouch:
Mac news, information and analysis]
Cost of Computer Naivete
wiredog writes "What happens when you put
an unprotected Windows 98 box on a broadband connection? Two perspectives
from two reporters for the Washington Post (frr,yyy): The User's " an
odyssey that has taken $800 and roughly 48 man-hours over nearly three
weeks" and Digital Doctor's "Her PC was in such bad shape, it required
10 1/2 hours of surgery to restore it to working condition."" [Slashdot]
XP SP2 patch already has first new vulnerability
"The first new vulnerability affecting Internet
Explorer on Windows XP with SP2 has been discovered," John Leyden reports
for The Register. "The vulnerability allows malicious websites to place
an executable file in a user's start-up folder when a user drags or
clicks on a program masqueraded as an image. http-equiv of malware.com,
a so-called White Hat hacker, has posted a sample exploit which demonstrates
security weaknesses in the drag and drop function of IE that give...
counts coins and displays total
This $15 jar-topper senses and counts the
coins you deposit into your coin-bank and displays the outcome on a
little LCD. Link
(via Red Ferret Journal)
- Cory Doctorow [Boing Boing]
Windows XP SP2 sports dangerous security hole
"Windows XP Service Pack 2 promises to raise
the security bar for the sometimes beleaguered operating system. Unfortunately,
one of the new features could be spoofed so that it reports misleading
information about system security, or worse, lets a malicious program
watch for an opportunity to do damage without being detected. The feature
is the Windows Security Center, which displays the status of the key
elements of your defenses: Firewall, Updates, and Antivirus. If your
a Windows XP SP2 CD Sent to Your Home for FREE
If you don't want to waste hours downloading
Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), Microsoft is happy to deliver a Win
XP SP2 CD to your home for FREE. In fact, they encourage you to distribute
it amongst your friends just to don't put it up on a BitTorrent
site to share, Microsoft doesn't like that (so we've heard). Supported
XP Operating System Upgrades Included: Home Edition Professional Edition
Media Center Edition Tablet PC Edition * Takes approximately 4-6 weeks
for delivery... [eHomeUpgrade]
XP Service Pack 2 CD - Free CD-ROMs and DVDs
You can order a free CD with free shipping
from Microsoft with Windows XP Service Pack 2. The service pack can
also be downloaded from Windows Update, but it is about 75 megabytes,
so if you have a slow connection... [About
To Be a Boor
Learn some email etiquette with this manifesto from ChangeThis.com.
Excerpt from the manifesto: "Alas, your parents knew squat about
email when you were growing up. They didn’t hector and hassle
and harass you every time you blind cced a friend on a catty flame you
sent to that girl who doesn’t like you as much as she said she
did. So no one taught you the stuff you will now learn."
You probably already know how important it is to process
your Windows Updates
on a timely basis, but now there is an easy way to update your Microsoft
Office programs, as well, Office
Microsoft Office includes a variety of programs, including
Entourage, Word, Excel, Access and more. Office
Update will confirm yoru current versions and automatically download
and install any necessary updates.
Update is a great way to keeo your Microsoft products working as smoothly
as possible...and it's easy, too!
Now Accepts Credit Cards
Now accepting credit card payments via
*small additional processing