The mysterious "Cloud"

Pittsburgh Tech Guy

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How to Backup your computer online for free

Welcome to the Pittsburgh Tech Guy!  Your local source for good, dependable technical support and information!  Keep up with the latest Tech news here!

Remember, all home computer analysis are free!


Carbonite over Mozy by a landslide

In my backup section, I speak of different online backup solutions.  The two industry front-runners have always been Carbonite and Mozy.  For the past couple of years, they have been almost identical as far as what they offered and how much it cost.  Not anymore.  Mozy has recently raised prices and lowered storage size, making Carbonite, hands down, the better solution. 

Carbonite is $54.95 a year with unlimited storage.  That comes out to a cheap $4.57 a month.  The longer you sign up, the cheaper that price gets.  Two years is $99.95 (or $4.16 a month).  Three years is $129.95 (or $3.61 a month).  By comparison, Mozy is $5.99 a month for 50GB of storage (or $71.88 a year).


Amazon Cloud Player may change how you listen to music and store it

Amazon has announced a new music service.  You can now upload your music collection to their servers, or the "Cloud".  Once uploaded, you can access your music collection on any device with internet access.  It can be your computer, your friend's computer, your smartphone, Barnes and Noble Nook, etc.  You just go to a special web page and start playing your collection.  The best part is that it is free (up to 5GB, or the equivalent of about 1200 songs).  If you need more storage, it is just $1 for each gigabyte (about 240 songs).  Personally, I can't use it as my collection of music is almost 52GB, but most can, easily.

In a stroke of master marketing, Amazon has gone a step further.  If you buy an album from their music store, it does not count against your storage limit.  No music purchased from them counts against the storage limit.  In fact, if you buy just one album, you automatically get your storage bumped from 5GB to 20GB, still free.  To continue, the online storage is not just for music, you can store any kind of file on the the "cloud drive", as they call it.  What does this mean?  Essentially, you could back up your whole computer (personal files that is) to the internet for free by simply buying one album from Amazon.  Needless to say, the music industry is not too happy with this, but so far nothing that Amazon is doing is illegal.  Let's see how this plays out.  It is rumored that Apple and Google are working on their own versions of this service.


Special Characters on you Keyboard

Ever have a need to use them, (Ex. ♥, ◘ or ♣)?  Check out the new page I have on how to use them and for the complete list of special characters you can use in every windows application.


For those who miss Firefox 3

I have received a lot of feedback on the re-design of Firefox 4.  After the past couple of years of using Firefox 3, many of you are just accustomed to it.  Well this video will tell you how you can make Firefox 4 look like Firefox 3 with a simple add-on.


Oh, do I long for magsafe connectors for Windows laptops

Apple has a cool, patented technology call Magsafe.  It is a magnetic power brick for their laptops.  It was introduced in 2006.  Instead of plugging into the laptop, the power adapter attaches to the laptop through a magnet.  It greatly reduces the damage done when a laptop is bumped or if the plug is tripped over.  The magnet simply falls off.  With Windows laptops, when you do the same thing, you tend to break the DC adapter plug in your laptop.  Unless you know a soldering expert, you have to replace the whole motherboard to fix it.  This weekend, I picked up my third laptop this year in which I have to replace a whole motherboard because of a broken adapter plug.  This is a pain in the backside to fix.  Call it open heart surgery for a laptop.  Here is a picture of the Magsafe connector.


How NOT to use social media...

Seems a first grade teacher in New Jersey has a very dim outlook for her students.  She posted on her facebook page that they are "future criminals".  As somebody who worked in an elementary school, I understand how the occasional student would stir up those thoughts in your head, but the whole class?  As you may imagine, she was suspended.  In case you thought this was an isolated incident, in our very own state, a teacher from Pennsylvania (Bucks County) was suspended for blogging that her students were "whiny, simpering grade-grubber with an unrealistically high perception of own ability level."  To read more on this one check out the article here.  I suppose the lesson to learned here is that despite how much you may dislike or dismay over your students future abilities, it probably is not a good idea to put those thoughts on Facebook or your personal blog.