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Technology Today - October 2013
By Robert Sanborn

Windows 8 or is it something else

“OMG !  This is the worst update you have ever done! You totally changed and this is not good.  I can’t find anything.  I hate this update!  Don’t you? I feel bad for your phone, now it looks ugly.”

And I bet you thought this was someone complaining about Windows 8.  You know what, people are not complaining about Windows 8 because there are a lot of pretty neat utilities to hide it if you need and you also know what, people are beginning to like the touch screen concept.  For those of you running Windows 8, the new release will be a free upgrade.

Where the quote from above came from was when my daughter (nine years old) discovered that my iPhone was updated to IOS7.  She has an iPod and how long do you think it will be before she updates it?  And I was just getting used to the interface and look and feel. I wonder how many others will be howling when the new updates hit them?

Monitors

Got a new monitor for someone yesterday and was struck by a couple of things. One is that it is so much lighter in weight than what I had been setting up for people. The new LED screens are also a ton less money than the older LCD monitors. A third thing was the settings on the monitor seemed a bit difficult to get right.  The monitor had been set to 100% brightness and that was way too washed out and of course, with a new monitor comes new ways for tinkering with the brightness/contrast settings which was a bit annoying.  I will have to take my tape measure with me when I see it next as I could also swear that the monitor was shorter height wise than my current 22 inch monitor.  Nice thing about connecting it to a Windows 7 machine was that Windows automatically set itself for the new monitor’s preferred screen resolution.

Backups

For years, I have gone the Network Attached Storage (NAS) route when it came to backing up both my work computer and my test computer as well as my laptop. The advantage was that I could set up the backup software on each of the computers, connect them to the network (the work & test machine usually were always connected) and then not worry at all.  The NAS box had four drives installed in a RAID5 format where data written to the unit is actually spread across all four drives so that if one of them fails, you can easily replace it, the system will rebuild the RAID array and you are back in business without losing a thing.  Great theory. Boy did that come crashing down on me. My first NAS box that I got some nine years ago was from Intel and I thought that would be great; big company, big support center. Using Seagate drives that came with 5 year warranties made me feel very secure until I ran into the flakiness of the backup software that came with the box. I could never count on things being backed up so I gave up on the software and installed Norton Ghost to do the backups and that sailed along just fine for several years.

Well, Intel decided that it did not want to be in the storage business and Norton slowly gave up on Ghost and the drives were getting long in the tooth so I decided it was time to upgrade to a newer and larger storage unit.  This time after research, I purchased an Iomega Storcenter NAS box and again, suffered the same fate of really lousy backup software. It was so flaky that again, I was forced to give up on it and go with a new backup package from EaseUS, the Todo backup. www.easeus.com  The software is far easier to use and I could tell it to send the backups to the NAS box and so thought life was just fine. Then I ran into the problem that unfortunately is normal for these kinds of systems and within a year, had three drive failures to be replaced. Then comes the terrifying thought that if two drives failed at the same time, your system is toast. That has happened to two friends so far. By now, the Iomega is four years old, the brand has been sold off to Lenovo and who knows what they will do to it. I guess it is time to do another round of research.

 

 

Robert Sanborn

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