Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Technical Tuesday-Sort of!

One of the gals that helped me get started in blogging, Katydid and Kid, does a great weekly feature called Tech Tuesday, and as I always say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  But, I am not near as tech savvy as Kathleen, so actually I am wanting you all, my dedicated readers to help me out on this one.  I am a little concerned about my handy dandy laptop that I do all of my business on and am wondering if this is a common problem or a sign of serious computer problems.
Keep in mind that all of my issues are always resolved when the computer is shut down and restarted, but sometimes it gets so locked up that I do have to shut it down incorrectly, which as we all know is not a good thing.  I have gotten a couple of "Fatal" messages, which makes my heart go into my stomach, but again, it seems to recover just fine.  I am thinking that maybe if I do some sort of clean up that it should take care of the problem.  So, my questions to you, my favorite readers are:

1)  Do you all do any type of regular maintenance on your computers?
2)  Do any of you use those back up sites?  If so, what do you think of them?
3)  Where do you take your computer to have it worked on, or rather what is your favorite place?
4)  What about pictures?  Do you feel comfortable with things like Snapfish?

Now, I know that I am not the only person who breaks out in a sweat when their computer freezes up, so this is a great time for us to share ideas on how to save our sanity.  As far as business records go, I am pretty good about keeping a paper trail.  I do think I am going to spend some time getting all of my pics onto cd's just in case, and most of my other work like this blog and e-mail of course is kept on the internet.  As far as viruses go, I do have protection, but it is rather basic.  Again, I think this is a great opportunity for us to compare notes and brainstorm ideas to keep our "central nervous systems" healthy!


Jim and Pat Shepherd said...

HI Judy. We probably need to know what operating system you have.

Good old MS lets us get a lot of programs going at one time. Opening too many can really slow your system down.

The next item of concern is how full your hard drive is. Go to my computer and do a right click and then click on properties. That will tell you where you are. If your hard drive is pretty full, it will slow your computer down. Sounds strange - long discussion why.

Lastly, you really need to get a USB disc drive to back up your information. They are not too expensive and would be cheaper than an on-line backup system. Backup your data files and pictures only (you can always install the software if you have a crash). I do the backup manually by draging the data files to a folder I create with the name which includes the date of the backup.

Once I do the backup, I put the disc in a place outside the house for safety reasons.

Big subject - this is just a few cents worth

Love, Dad

Kelly said...

I have never tried an online backup system, but I know people use them. I have a portable hard drive and I try to back up my computer at the end of every month. I do use Snapfish and feel that it's pretty reliable,but, because I'm anal, I have a separate hard drive where I back up my pictures. My neighbor recommended something that I think is called Crap Cleaner that he suggested we use. Good luck!!

Tiffany said...

Having suffered a very traumatic data crash in December, I have a few things to say about this. I had been protecting my computer by not saving anything on it, and relying on restore points to fix up any mishaps that occurred (which is often). Everything of any importance was saved on an external hard drive (USB). 11 years of curriculum, photos, video, business documents, you name it. I got a great big ole hard drive too, so I could put all my ducks in ONE great big basket (you see where I'm going with this...). Yeah, so of course, Graham dropped the external drive on the floor, and it was completely destroyed.

I looked in to having the data restored by one of these big fancy shmancy recovery places in California, but they wanted like $2000 to do it. Which I was TOTALLY going to pay. But then I ended up giving it to a guy in Winter Park my mom recommended. He used some kind of software shortcut and recovered about 80% of my data, and charged me only $200. Absolutely worth it. But lesson learned...

Now I have backed up my external hard drive, and am looking into an online data backup just in case. I can NOT afford to go through that again.

Good thing you are figuring this out before it's too late. Like I always do. )-:

Jim and Pat Shepherd said...

I have considered on-line backup ever since I heard the story about a guy who maintained two computers that were "mirrored" continuously. He had a big assignment and decided he needed both computers. He was on the plane that crashed in the Hudson.

Like Tiffany, I back up to more than one remote hard drive. I leave all of my data on my main laptop, but have the same data on two additional hard drives.

I try to keep the hard drives in a separate area (or building)to further protect the data.

I recently had a computer crash (not the disc) that I had not done a good job of synchronizing with my main laptop. I was lucky and was able to install the hard drive in an adapter (easily available) and was able to do the synch. I use some software for that effort. However, I favor doing a manual backup, as I can control what gets backed up.

I am very careful to put my photos and data in folders that I create. MS seems to want to lump everything in general folders. After a while those folder would have huge amounts of data/photos. Instead, I create yearly folders for data and photos and then I only have to backup that year.

Free advice and that may be what it is worth.

Love, Dad