Monthly reminder - tech

Posted by: TeacherRO

Monthly reminder - tech - 08/31/16 08:08 PM

Update and back up your tech gear( and software); GPS, phone, computers, etc.

I'm looking into google photos to back up my phone photos...
Posted by: roberttheiii

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 09/01/16 01:08 PM

Particularly regarding your smartphone and computer, if applicable, you really should consider regular backups and updates. Ideally your backups would be such that if the either was stolen say, right now, you wouldn't lose more than a day's worth of work/information.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 09/01/16 05:47 PM

I like Google Docs and Google Photos. You can set you phone to update automatically, and then clear out your phone's memory. Stay aware of how it all works and actively manage it or you could delete something you haven't backed-up yet or upload something you don't want to to somewhere you don't want to when you're just trying to share a picture or resume to edit with a friend.

Also note that despite what some of us think about Google, they don't actually give us unlimited storage. I actually hit my free limit accidentally a little while ago, and because all my Google stuff is linked together, all of it stopped working until I deleted content, including gmail. (Luckily, my problem was in my laptop upload settings so was easily fixed.)
Posted by: Mark_R

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 09/01/16 10:23 PM

I just use a combination of local encryption and idrive cloud storage. It's not real fast and you have to manually manage the versions. But, it will support multiple computers, and has 1 TB of space to play with

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/


I used to use MS OneDrive until it decided to update my backup with a corrupted local file. VERY unhappy with it.
Posted by: Eugene

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 09/05/16 05:56 PM

I have found that a lot of the services like google, etc are not very good about synching, they will move your stuff up to their 'could' but then you don't have a local copy.
I ended up creating my own server so I can actually control the synching and keep my own local copy.
Posted by: Bingley

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 09/05/16 06:11 PM

What do people do with photos and videos that they store on an external hard drive? I have a cloud backup service, but if I use it for the external hard drive, too, I see two issues:

1. The additional space may be too expensive.

2. The backup can happen only while the external harddrive is connected to the computer. My computer is a laptop that I take around with me. Hence the problem.
Posted by: Russ

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 09/05/16 06:35 PM

You have a home base where the external HD resides, that's where I keep the back-up. When I traveled (not so much these days), I would back-up when I got back. However, now another option is available -- Apricorn - Data Transfer Cable Then just pick up a 2.5" Serial ATA hard drives or solid state drive to use as the back-up -- totally portable.
Posted by: bws48

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 09/05/16 06:55 PM

I have an external hard drive, but have pretty much stopped using it. Instead, I started using USB Thumb drives. I have separate ones for different type files, e.g. photos, music, video, documents etc.

I just found them more convenient to use as they plug in directly (no cable), don't need external power, and are small and easily carried or safely stored. Also, with an OTG USB cable, I can access the data on these drives from my Android smartphone & tablet.
Posted by: Bingley

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 09/05/16 07:44 PM

It seems external harddrives still have the edge over thumb drives in storage capacity. There aren't USB thumb drives that can store terabytes of stuff -- it seems like the biggest they make is 1 TB. I'm confused by the pricing since 1 TB USB 2 is really affordable ($20-30), but 1 TB USB 3 is like $600.
Posted by: rafowell

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 09/05/16 09:23 PM

Originally Posted By: TeacherRO
...
I'm looking into google photos to back up my phone photos...

I use Flickr (1Tb) for that. Here's a writeup on that:
http://iphonephotographyschool.com/flickr-app/

One tool for backing up photos that seems quite ambitious is PicBackMan: http://www.picbackman.com/
for Android/iPhone/Windows/Mac - works with Google Photos/Picasa, Flickr, OneDrive, DropBox, Instagram, Photobucket, etc.

I haven't used it myself, though.
Posted by: Mark_R

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 09/06/16 09:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Bingley
It seems external harddrives still have the edge over thumb drives in storage capacity. There aren't USB thumb drives that can store terabytes of stuff -- it seems like the biggest they make is 1 TB. I'm confused by the pricing since 1 TB USB 2 is really affordable ($20-30), but 1 TB USB 3 is like $600.


USB3 is backwards compatible to USB2, but that's really the only commonality. It's a leap of several generations beyond USB2. USB3 has about 10 times the data transfer rate. Also, it's a true duplex (can send AND receive simultaneously), while USB2 is more of a simplex (can send OR receive). If you're moving large chunks of data around, like during a backup, the extra speed of the USB3 interface makes it that much more valuable, hence the $$$ price tag.

Also, while I am not an electronics engineer, I suspect that the flash memory in the USB3 thumb drives has to be faster then the USB2 drives to take advantage of the higher speed data.
Posted by: Mark_R

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 09/07/16 06:41 PM

Speaking of tech...
Yet another hole in the proverbial dike. I think the little dutch boy is running out of fingers.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology...cid=mailsignout
Quote:
Security firm Check Point has identified vulnerabilities affecting 900 million smartphones and tablets that use chipsets from component maker Qualcomm.

Check Point disclosed the vulnerabilities Sunday at the DEF CON 24 hacking conference in Las Vegas. The four vulnerabilities, dubbed “QuadRooter” by Check Point, affect Android devices using chipsets from component maker Qualcomm. Chipsets are collections of components or circuits that handle data flow within a device
Posted by: Fyrediver

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 09/08/16 01:34 PM

Grand idea! I routinely see people that have lost all their data, pictures, contacts and phone numbers, music etc in a fire. Both businesses and residential.

I keep two backup hard drives: one in my fire safe, one in my office off site.
Posted by: haertig

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 09/09/16 12:21 AM

I backup my stuff to an external hard drive. Between backups, that external drive is disconnected from everything. No USB connection to my computer, no power connection to my homes' electrical system.

This strategy of protecting your backups only works if you are diligent about remembering to do them (it's all manual). I am. Most people are not. On my wife's computer, I set it up for very frequent automated backups to an external hard drive, and her external is left connected to the computer, plugged in, and powered on. She never "does a backup", they are done for her automatically.

Depending on they type of person you are, your technical background, etc., you need to decide which is the best strategy for you. Personally, I do not do cloud-based backups because that means I'm trusting the provider to encrypt and make bandwidth available as good as they advertise. You can do your own encrypting before uploading to the cloud to add security, but then you're back in manual mode and might as well just backup to your own external drive. You don't get much space for free from the cloud-based folks, so you'll eventually have to start paying. Might as well spend that money on something you own yourself, like a second or third external hard drive.

A good USB3.0 thumbdrive is faster than the fastest of external hard drives (even USB3.0 hard drives). However, not all thumbdrives are created equal. Saying a thumbdrive is "USB3.0" tells you nothing about its speed. It only tells you that it supports the USB3.0 interface. I have seen plenty of USB3.0 thumbdrives that are barely any faster than a USB2.0 thumbdrive. So research thumbdrive speed first, and don't just buy the cheapest bulk pack of them at Costco because the label says USB3.0. That is meaningless (not totally meaningless, because a USB2.0 thumbdrive has an upper limit of how fast it can be, just due to the interface). So don't buy a USB2.0 thumbdrive these days. If your computer only supports USB2.0, you can buy an add-in USB3.0 card for under $15. I'd recommend doing that if you're currently stuck with USB2.0 on your computer. And research carefully which USB3.0 thumbdrive you buy.

My current recommendation, which is subject to change daily as new models come out, is the SanDisk "Extreme USB 3.0" thumbdrive. Larger capacity ones are marginally faster than smaller capacity ones. If you're buying a thumbdrive based on name, you have to be very exact in what you're looking for. For example, a SanDisk "Ultra USB 3.0" is a totally different beast than a SanDisk "Extreme USB 3.0". And next month, they'll no doubt come out with a different model named "The Ultra Extreme". Newer models are not necessarily faster then older models. Sometimes they are much slower, if the impetus for the new model was to hit a cost point and not a performance point.


An ancient A-Data USB2.0 thumbdrive:
Davids-Linux-Desktop ~ # hdparm -t /dev/sdd1
/dev/sdd1:
Timing buffered disk reads: 34 MB in 3.08 seconds = 11.02 MB/sec
Davids-Linux-Desktop ~ # umount /dev/sdd1


An old Optima Attache USB2.0 thumbdrive:
Davids-Linux-Desktop ~ # hdparm -t /dev/sdd1
/dev/sdd1:
Timing buffered disk reads: 54 MB in 3.02 seconds = 17.88 MB/sec
Davids-Linux-Desktop ~ # umount /dev/sdd1


A relatively new SanDisk Cruzer Glide USB2.0 thumbdrive:
Davids-Linux-Desktop ~ # hdparm -t /dev/sdd1
/dev/sdd1:
Timing buffered disk reads: 34 MB in 3.04 seconds = 11.20 MB/sec
Davids-Linux-Desktop ~ # umount /dev/sdd1


A "Costco special" USB3.0 Lexar two-pack thumbdrive:
Davids-Linux-Desktop ~ # hdparm -t /dev/sdd1
/dev/sdd1:
Timing buffered disk reads: 276 MB in 3.01 seconds = 91.73 MB/sec
Davids-Linux-Desktop ~ # umount /dev/sdd1


A SanDisk Extreme USB3.0 thumbdrive:
Davids-Linux-Desktop ~ # hdparm -t /dev/sdd1
/dev/sdd1:
Timing buffered disk reads: 502 MB in 3.01 seconds = 166.74 MB/sec
Davids-Linux-Desktop ~ # umount /dev/sdd1


A Western Digital Passport USB3.0 external hard drive:
Davids-Linux-Desktop ~ # hdparm -t /dev/sdd1
/dev/sdd1:
Timing buffered disk reads: 288 MB in 3.01 seconds = 95.64 MB/sec
Davids-Linux-Desktop ~ # umount /dev/sdd1


For reference, here is an internal SATA-3 SSD drive, but it's currently plugged into an old SATA-2 interface, so that severely limits its speed ... It would be much faster when connected to a SATA-3 interface:
Davids-Linux-Desktop ~ # hdparm -t /dev/sdc1
/dev/sdc1:
Timing buffered disk reads: 798 MB in 3.01 seconds = 265.49 MB/sec
Davids-Linux-Desktop ~ #
Connected to a SATA-3 interface, this SSD would be expected to come in around 490 MB/sec


Additional reference, an internal Western Digital Black SATA-3 hard drive, also connected to a slower SATA-2 interface, however that doesn't matter because a hard disk is not fast enough to outrun even a SATA-2 interface. SATA-3 gains you nothing in this case.
Davids-Linux-Desktop ~ # hdparm -t /dev/sdb4
/dev/sdb4:
Timing buffered disk reads: 398 MB in 3.01 seconds = 132.12 MB/sec
Davids-Linux-Desktop ~ #


Note that my SanDisk Extreme USB3.0 thumbdrive is FASTER than my both my internal hard disk and my external one. That's the state of things now - a good USB3.0 thumbdrive will be faster than your internal hard drive, but not faster than your internal SSD drive.

Also note, these tests I ran are for sequential read speed. You rarely do that on a computer (almost never). You do random access reads (which are significantly slower than sequential access reads, both for an SSD and a hard drive). Random access reads from an SSD run circles around random access reads from a hard disk, but these random access reads from an SSD rarely saturate the speed of even the older SATA-2 interface. So despite what the numbers above would appear to show, using a SATA-3 SSD on an older SATA-2 interface makes very little real world difference. It feels just about as fast as a SATA-3 interface (that's because normal computer operations are more random access and not sequential access).

Also note that most thumbdrives have a read speed that is faster then their write speed. On a good thumbdrive the two speeds are close. On a cheap one, the write speeds lag way behind. This is another reason to research your thumbdrives before buying. You want one with good read AND write speeds.

All of the above were plugged into a USB3.0 port on the computer for their test.
Posted by: Bingley

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 09/10/16 04:48 PM

Good post, haertig.
Posted by: Ors

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 09/28/16 04:26 AM

In 2008, our town was hit with a 100 year flood. We lost all our paper files.

At that time I became interested in digital files as well as carrying them all with me on a flashdrive at all times...you just never know...

Last week, that same town (although I recently moved to another state) was hit with another flood nearly as bad...reminded me of my unfinished data backup plans.

I've been working on transferring our family over to being as paperless as possible. In everyday life, it's been amazing. Able to pull up necessary documents at a moments notice...no need to keep those paper receipts...

But I am always working on improving my system.

We're an Apple family...we all have MacBooks and iEverything. We recently bought a Time Capsule...wireless auto backup. I also use several cloud based services..iCloud, Dropbox, Evernote, Backblaze, Drive.

I love having all my data accessible on all my devices, synced through iCloud, but I am paranoid about data loss. What if there is a catastrophic cloud failure?

And let's face it, living in SoCal, the "big one" could hit an any time.

Our developing bug out plan involves packing the Time Capsule (possibly in a padded Pelican Case) as we grab and go, but I am also looking at ways to have the same information on rugged external hard drives as well as flash drives.

The intention is to keep the flashdrives (rugged) on us at all times, and have the others as part of the (OCDish) redundancy plan.

And this back up...I have to automate it as much as possible. Time Capsule is amazing...now to get the redundant backups almost as automatic.

There is a Mac app called Hazel...an automation tool.

Before Mac OS automatically synced local data to the cloud, I was using Hazel to accomplish some of that...still am with Dropbox. I set it to watch a documents folder, and when any changes were noted, Hazel would sync with all the folders I designated.

I am hoping with automation tools like this, a couple of USB hubs and a schedule for the flash drive backups, I can get some piece of mind that I have done all I can to ensure my data will survive most events.
Posted by: TeacherRO

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 09/29/16 08:18 PM

remember to encrypt your data
Posted by: TeacherRO

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 11/21/16 09:46 PM

charge everything periodically
Posted by: TeacherRO

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 01/14/17 06:36 PM

update your programs
Posted by: Quietly_Learning

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 01/15/17 03:16 AM

With the cold weather in much of the US and Canada it's a good time to juice your battery powered jump starter if you haven't in a while.

I charge mine monthly and it is always down a bar during the winter.
Posted by: TeacherRO

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 01/24/17 11:47 PM

backup your files - easy to do and will save you in the future.
Posted by: TeacherRO

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 04/12/17 05:43 PM

Back up your info and update your programs -Including those on your phone. A hard drive is often as little as $39.
Posted by: TeacherRO

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 05/24/17 10:59 PM

Update your OS and browser(s) and other devices -- phone, tablets, etc.
Recharge your external tech batteries as well
Posted by: Quietly_Learning

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 05/29/17 01:48 AM

Update Google Maps offline maps. They expire monthly.
Posted by: Mark_R

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 06/01/17 07:57 PM

Backup phone contacts and calendar to computer
Backup computer to online and external drives
Note: Flash drives can tolerate a lot more physical abuse then HDD drives. Just don't depend on them for long term storage.
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 06/02/17 01:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_R
Backup phone contacts and calendar to computer
Backup computer to online and external drives
Note: Flash drives can tolerate a lot more physical abuse then HDD drives. Just don't depend on them for long term storage.


As an IT professional I totally agree with this.

Long term local storage is a challenging problem. The best solution I've seen so far is multiple copies on high-quality DVD-R media, refreshed (meaning buying new media and burning new backups) at intervals to overcome the ravages of time.

I don't need that level of redundancy, so I maintain an offline hard drive backup plus a single DVD-R backup of certain critical data.
Posted by: LCranston

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 06/02/17 03:57 PM

There are DVD and bluerays designed for long term storage, if are are willing to spend the money.

M-Discs are not cheap, but durable- Best buy by me carries a 5 pack of 4.7 Gb MDisc for 11.99

They make 4.7 Gb
25 Gb Blueray
50 GB Blueray
100 GB blueray.

You just need to have a DVD/Blueray in or near your machine...
Posted by: TeacherRO

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 06/30/17 08:36 PM

do you tech updates/ tests/ recharges - Its nearly the first of the month.
Posted by: haertig

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 07/01/17 03:15 AM

Since this thread was begun, I have added a new player to my computer backup arsenal. I bought a Raspberry Pi3 (an inexpensive single board computer) for $35, plus a power supply and case for it - total cash for all that together was about $50. [edit] $50 for the Pi itself, and the power supply, and the case [/edit] Then I bought an external USB hard drive. 4Tb, and hooked that up to the Pi. I installed UrBackup software (free) onto the Pi. Then I installed UrBackup clients on all our computers (some Linux, some Windows). Now, every night, each computer is backed up to that 4Tb external drive. I can restore a copy of any file, chosen from all the different versions that were saved each day. I also have it doing image backups of each Windows computer in case I need to do a bare-metal restore. (The UrBackup software does not yet support image backups for Linux, so I just use file backups there.)

You all might want to check out this UrBackup software if you're needing something like this. You can even do remote computers - the don't have to be on your LAN.
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 07/01/17 06:36 PM

Nice haertig!
Posted by: Eugene

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 07/03/17 07:27 PM

I use a Pi3 to backup all our tablets/phones then sync those files down to our computers.
Posted by: haertig

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 07/03/17 07:43 PM

My Pi3 runs two applications: The UrBackup network backup server that I already mentioned, and also NextCloud server. NextCloud is like DropBox, iCloud, etc. except you run it yourself rather than paying for someone else to provide your cloud. NextCloud is free (as is UrBackup). You can sync Linux, Windows, Android, iOS with it. Maybe others too, but those are the only ones I've tried.

A Pi3 runs both of these applications, simultaneously, very well. Just get yourself an external hard disk for storage. I bought a Western Digital Red 4Tb drive because I wanted something that runs cool, quiet, vibration free and was rated for 24x7 operation. I bought a separate external enclosure - solid metal construction with a cooling fan. I have since found that the WD Red drive runs so cool that I have disabled the enclosure fan. No need for it. The drive never feels any warmer than ambient temperature, even during long accesses.

The one thing about a Pi3 though, is it only supports USB2.0 currently. People are speculating (and hoping!) that the next generation Pi4 might support USB3.0, but nobody knows. The Pi developers keep future enhancements close to chest. I find the current USB2.0 to be perfectly adequate for my Backup and Cloud needs. But obviously, USB3.0 would make those applications even faster.
Posted by: Eugene

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 07/04/17 10:26 PM

I'm running Owncloud which is the predecessor to NextCloud.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 07/05/17 08:15 PM

Pictures and videos. Uploading them from my handhelds and onto an external hard drive. Don't want to lose them or end up with a "Memory full" message when I'm trying to get that perfect shot.
Posted by: Eugene

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 07/06/17 02:30 AM

But do you have a backup of the external drive in case it dies?

One of the reasons I use foldersync on the phone/tablet is so it will copy all my pictures up each day. I don't have to remember then.
Posted by: Tjin

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 07/06/17 06:25 AM

well syncing is also not without risk. One virus/randsomware can spread easily. A seperate external drive, cannot be infected if it's not connected.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 07/06/17 04:38 PM

MY hubby's an IT guy so we've got back-ups for our back-ups. I just don't know what they are. smile
Posted by: TeacherRO

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 08/01/17 05:43 PM

Its the first! Update your software, patches and security. Check that your backup systems are activated and working properly. Charge anything that needs a recharge!
(This months tip: Double check your privacy settings on your phone and social media.)
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 08/01/17 06:13 PM

Originally Posted By: TeacherRO
(This months tip: Double check your privacy settings on your phone and social media.)


Excellent advice. I would also suggest that for those of you who are using Windows 10 to do the same for that operating system.
Posted by: TeacherRO

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 11/28/17 06:45 PM

Its almost the first of the month -
Time to update your software, patches and security. Check that your backup systems are activated and working properly. Charge anything that needs a recharge!

(This months tip:check your credit/debit card bills to catch any recurring charges!)
Posted by: Eugene

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 11/29/17 02:41 AM

Originally Posted By: Tjin
well syncing is also not without risk. One virus/randsomware can spread easily. A seperate external drive, cannot be infected if it's not connected.


I do make other backups on externals and swap those in the safe as well, but I'm also all linux so 99% less virus than anything else.
Posted by: TeacherRO

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 01/17/18 08:10 PM

to-do: Backup your files ( including photos) update your systems( including phone), order a spare charger and battery, improve your security
Posted by: TeacherRO

Re: Monthly reminder - tech - 02/02/18 07:08 PM

beginning of the month reminder