- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
KELLNER: You better back up, or else
Question of the Day
This may not be the most “sexy” technology topic for the holidays, but, I promise, you’ll thank me someday. If you’re not backing up your computer now, you need to, and the sooner, the better.
Why? Life happens.
More specifically, power systems fail, computers crash, hard drives freeze, children do things, stuff breaks, files are accidentally deleted — all these are real-life circumstances, and there are many more. Data lost is often data lost forever, unless you have the aforementioned backup. It’s one thing to have to recreate a spreadsheet or that term paper. But family pictures, or that video of Julie’s first steps?
The question is how to back up and with what. Time was — and I’m talking only about 12 or 18 months ago — that a DVD-ROM or even a CD-ROM was the best you could do on a budget. Buy a pack of discs, grab the Sharpie permanent marker and start copying. It was time consuming, tedious and heaven help you if you lost one, but, hey, it was a way to go.
A Canadian firm, Storage Appliance Corp., has updated this for Windows users in a rather neat way. Its “Clickfree” (www.goclickfree.com) DVD product, which comes with three ($9.99), five ($14.99) or 10 ($27.99) DVDs, is seemingly effortless. Pick the file type of your choice - photos, music, Microsoft Office files - insert the matching DVD and it does the rest. The DVDs hold 4.5 gigabytes each, so a 10-pack should handle many ambitious projects. For the price, it’s a very good value.
The recordable disc quickly was succeeded by various hard drives that attach to a computer. These external drives were usually large and sometimes expensive: I spent $159 in January for a 320 GB hard disc from La Cie; today, Amazon.com is selling a newer version of the same drive for $40 less. Though a good drive overall, the La Cie suffered from a somewhat large size (about that of a wireless router) and the need for external power. Both limit effectiveness when on the road.
By contrast, look at Seagate Technology and its “FreeAgent Go” line of drives. The same 320 GB capacity can be had for a list price of $123 for PC users and around $160 for Mac users. Either one, in my book, is a bargain, because they are plug-and-play models that behave nicely with backup software found in both Microsoft Windows Vista and Mac OS X Leopard.
The FreeAgent Go is stylish: It comes with a docking station that puts the drive at a slight angle, making it look nice and ensuring maximum air circulation. It draws power via a cable connected to a PC, thus no external power supply is needed.
Now, there are limits. The “Go” is limited to a top capacity of 500 GB on the PC side and 320 GB on the Mac side. But for road warriors or the budget-conscious, this is a good alternative.
For those wanting more, Seagate has larger FreeAgent drives for the desktop. These will require an external power supply, and aren’t as portable, but they work the same way and should do the trick.
Remember the Clickfree folks? They also offer plug-in hard drives, priced from $99.99 to $179.99, and ranging from 120 GB to 320 GB. A $200/500 GB model is due soon. The firm claims simple plug-and-backup capability for each drive, and the software can back up from five to 25 different Windows-based PCs, with each backup separate.
Apple Inc. also has an entry, the nicely named Time Capsule, available in 500 GB and 1 terabyte sizes for $299 or $499, respectively. The units, which are low profile and stylish, add a wireless router to the mix. Plug in a Time Capsule next to your cable or DSL modem and share the Internet as well as your backup capabilities with the whole house.
The device will work with Windows-compatible backup software, but it also performs best with Mac OS X and Time Machine, the very good backup program. The cost is a bit steep, but a close inspection of Apple’s Web store (www.apple.com) will reveal refurbished models of both sizes for $249 and $419, depending on capacity.
I am hoping to report on online backup. On the Windows side, Carbonite (www.carbonite.com) has its legions of fans; the firm is developing a Mac client, but my early attempts were far from successful.
For pity’s sake, do something. Otherwise, your children might need years of therapy to understand that Daddy didn’t mean anything when he deleted their home movies.
About the Author
Mark A. Kellner is a religion columnist for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- KELLNER: Troubling tones in too many religious debates
- KELLNER: Did a prominent rabbi find Jesus — and does it matter?
- KELLNER: 'Failed' states among most dangerous lands for Christians
- KELLNER: Positive thinking key to Horowitz's 'One Simple Idea'
- KELLNER: The year in religion offered hope, peril
Latest Blog Entries
By Michael Widlanski
Leveling the battlefield to aid terrorists enables evil to fight on
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Norway expects imminent 'concrete threat' from ISIL terrorists 'within days'
- State Department indicates Nouri al-Maliki's days numbered as Iraq prime minister
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Russia sends Iraq fighter jets, helicopter gunships for ISIL fight after meeting in Moscow
- Tom Petty: 'No one's got Christ more wrong than the Christians'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq