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!


Huge Windows Update on Tuesday

64 patches coming on Tuesday in what Microsoft is calling their biggest update to date.  Check Windows update starting on Tuesday


Firefox 5 coming in June

Now, I must admit that I am a bit confused.  It took Mozilla over two years to get us from version 3 to 4, and now they are moving to version 5 in 2 months.  Mozilla has announced that Firefox 5 will be coming out June 21, 2011.  They intend to hold to a more frequent release schedule, preferably about every 6 months.  This is similar to Google Chrome.


Episilon, who are they?

Well, if you have any online relationship with any business, you probably have received an email from that business telling you that there was a data breach, blah, blah, blah.  So what is the short answer to the question?  Episilon is a third party company that pretty much handles much, if not all, of the email marketing that big companies engage in.  For example,  If you have a Best Buy account, signed up for email correspondence from them, any email you get from "Best Buy", really comes from Episilon.  Yes, we even outsource email in this country.   So somehow hackers got a hold of the email databases of all of the companies they represent.  No, allegedly no personal information was attained.  As far as we know now, they have your email address, but do not necessarily know who you are specifically.  So what you will most likely see in the upcoming weeks, if not months, is a dramatic increase in phishing attempts.  You will get an email from "insert company name here" trying to get you to click on a link to their fake website in an attempt to get you to give up personal and/or financial information.  It will be more persuasive now because they will now know what emails actually are associated with specific banks, credit cards, retailers and the like.  This will result in many more people being fooled.  The same rules apply in regards to protecting yourself from this scam.   Do not respond or click on links in emails that are telling you that your account is in danger or those that try to scare you.  If you are concerned, go to your address bar and enter the address to the website yourself, do not click on links in emails!  This post is dedicated to the 4 email alerts I got in the past two days from my accounts telling me about the goof.


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.