Backup is Your Friend

Do it.
Do it now.
Do not pass Go.
Do not collect $200.

I’ve been meaning to back everything up for a while now. And then last week I had to reinstall Windows because my computer wouldn’t boot properly, and it was too late.

Luckily, I had moved some things to my D: drive recently, so I didn’t lose everything. Just the stuff that was still on C: – which was bad enough. The photos that hadn’t been backed up to DVD are still on the SD cards, so I didn’t lose those. It could have been much worse.

I plan to back my files up on a more regular basis now. I want to use a combination of online storage like MyBloop and Windows Skydrive as well as backing up to CD or DVD.

In addition, documents can be stored, edited, and shared with Google Docs. Actually, I’ve had some problems sharing documents with Google Docs, but I love that I can create and edit online, and the docments are available from any computer. Some of the documents I had stored there came in really handy when my computer was down. I just need to get busy and upload the rest of them I want to save.

I just signed up for Evernote, too. It’s supposed to be a good way to keep track of everything and sync it between the internet and different computers. I wish I had been using this earlier because I lost some important information I had in my email – all the email I had on my computer is gone.

So, taking my own advice, I’m backing up everything as I go now.

Unlimited Online Storage

After my post about Windows SkyDrive, I received a comment which led me to this list of the Best free online storage and backup services. It looks like there are quite a few options out there if you are looking for online storage.

I browsed through the list and ended up signing up for the unlimited file storage at MyBloop.com. I downloaded and installed their uploader, but it doesn’t seem to work for me. However, the online flash uploader works really well, just browse to and select the files you want to upload. You can select multiple files at once, none of that browsing to and selecting one file at a time.

MyBloop claims that you can store as many files as you want for as long as you want. Your files will never be deleted unless you delete them. They ask that if you upload back-ups of copyrighted files, like music and movies, that you mark them as private and don’t share them. You can create playlists with your music files and embed them on your website or blog, so people can listen, but they can’t download.

like this:

You can upload any files, except the ones they consider a ‘security risk’. For whatever reason, html files fall under that category, so I haven’t been able to back up some web pages I wanted store – so I uploaded those to SkyDrive. It looks like I am going to have to use multiple sites to store my files. Back to the list!

Free Online Storage

20px|Windows Live Logo Windows Live SkyDriveImage via Wikipedia I received an email this week inviting me to check out the new Windows Live site and see how my Windows Live ID can make my life easier. I already use their Messenger and Windows Live Writer, and even have my own Windows Live Space – not that I use it much. So, I was interested to see what else they had to offer.

I was really excited to learn about Windows Live Skydrive. It’s a virtual hard drive you can use to store up to 5GB of files, documents, etc. – for FREE. You can use it to backup your files, to make those files accessible from any internet connected computer, and to share files with other people. Everything is password protected, and you decide what is shared and what is private. 5GB sounds like quite a bit of storage, but what if you need more?

Tonight I found this hint:

If the 5GB storage limit on SkyDrive isn’t enough for you simply sign-up for multiple Windows Live IDs and set your primary Windows Live ID up as an Editor to those other SkyDrives. Voila. Effectively infinite storage, just make sure that all your accounts stay active.

Source: 10 hidden secrets of Windows Live

You can apparently have multiple Windows Live IDs, and you can even link all your IDs and switch between them easily, so that ought to work, if I ever need more room.

I uploaded some files, but having to browse to each file and select them individually, and only being able to upload 5 files at a time is a little bit of a pain. I checked the help menu and read that there is supposed to be an upload tool I can download and use, and hopefully that will be better. However, I could not find a link to download the tool, no matter how hard I looked – until I opened the page in an IE tab (I do not, will not, use IE) just to see, and there the link was. How exactly and why exactly they hide a link if you do not use their browser is beyond me, but if you want to get the upload tool, you have to use IE, or the IE tab in Firefox. I haven’t downloaded it yet, but I do hope it will make uploading files easier. I have quite a few files on my computer that I’d like to upload and store online. That way I can get to them whenever I want, no matter where I am, and share if I want.

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Where Do You Host Your Images?

That was the question in a forum I visited the other day. Since I haven’t settled on any one place or service to host my blogging images, I was interested in what people had to say. Several people mentioned Photobucket and ImageShack. I had heard of both of those, but there was a new one I hadn’t heard of called Shareapic.

I started using Photobucket recently when Yahoo discontinued their photo hosting so they could focus on Flickr. One of the options they gave me was to transfer the photos I had on Yahoo Photos to Photobucket, so I took them up on it. I haven’t been too disappointed with Photobucket except for the time I was trying to use one of my images as a background for my blog. No matter what I did, it just didn’t look right. Then I realized Photobucket had resized the image when I uploaded it, so it wouldn’t work the way it was supposed to. One of my favorite things on Photobucket is that I can add an image I find on the Internet without downloading it to my computer first.

I’ve never used ImageShack, though I have seen their logo around the Internet. You know the one I’m talking about – the little yellow ‘bandwidth exceeded’ frog that takes the place of the image you really want to see. It doesn’t give me much faith in the service. I’d be worried that an essential image wouldn’t be available all the time. If you’ve had good results with ImageShack, go ahead and let me know.

The image hosting I hadn’t heard of was one called Shareapic. This one sounds really promising, so I ran over and signed up. They say you can upload unlimited pictures with no size restrictions. They also say they’ll pay you when other people view your pictures. Hopefully that means no ‘bandwidth exceeded’ messages. They also claim one click posting to Blogger, Xanga, MySpace, and more. It sounds like I should be able to use this for all of my blogs. Why no image here? Well, I haven’t figured out exactly how it works yet, but I will.

Free Online Storage

My son has been having issues with his computer today. Every time he opens an Internet browser, it shuts down. He has restarted his computer several times and attempted to do a system restore. Restarting doesn’t help, and for some reason, every time he tries to restore his system, it tells him that it can’t be done. Every time one of our computers starts acting up, I start wondering when the last time was that I backed up my files. We’ve had a couple hard drive failures, and we’ve lost some stuff in the past. You’d think I’d learn, but I haven’t been backing my files up on a regular basis.

I do have all my pictures on CD and DVD, but the rest of my files are just on my computer. I really need to change that. Recently I signed up for an account with MediaMax. So far this is the best online storage I have found. My free account gives me 25GB of storage. I can upload and store my files, share the ones I want to share, host pictures or videos I want to use on other websites or my blogs, and access all my files from any computer.

Tonight I got busy and downloaded the MediaMax XL software and started uploading my files. Once I get them uploaded, I can use this software to schedule automatic backups of the files and folders I choose.

If 25GB isn’t enough storage space, they have upgrade plans of 100GB, 250GB, and 1000GB available for a monthly or yearly fee.