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					                                                                         Coastal Currents
     Tips, Tricks and Handy Information from
            Coastal Computer Care
            Dana Point, CA 92629
                                                                                                                    Issue 45 March 2009

In this issue:                                    Without the applications, you won’t        including everything you want, then
   Backups explained                              be able to open your data files on a       contact your PC support tech for help.
   Do you want a netbook?                         new or repaired computer, unless you
                                                  obtain new copies of the apps, either      Where do you store your backups?
                                                  by buying or downloading, and often
      BACKUPS EXPLAINED                           having to pay for them again.              The most common way is on an
                                                                                             external hard drive, or sometimes on a
To paraphrase Highlander’s “There                 Don’t bother to backup applications,       flash drive if you’re only interested in
can be only one!” there is only one               unless you use imaging software such       specific data such as QuickBooks
important part of your computer –                 as Ghost or Acronis.                       files. The problem is that most people
the data on it! No matter what                                                               leave the external hard drive
breaks, if you have the data backed up,           Data files are what you want to back       connected to their computer. If there
it can always be put back on to a new             up. Where are these data files? Most       is a fire or theft, then the backup is
or repaired computer, provided that               newer apps now store their data files      gone and useless.         Keep your
you also have the software needed to              in the My Documents folder in XP (or       backups offsite!
open the data file(s).                            the Documents in Vista). But when
                                                  you set up your backups, don’t forget      Another way to backup is using Mozy
First of all, there are 2 types of files on       your email, internet favorites, and data   ( or SOSOnline
a computer: data and applications                 files on your desktop.                     ( These
(previously referred to as “programs”).                                                      are painless and store your data in
I tend to use the terms “program” and             For your email:                            encrypted files on their servers.
“application” interchangeably.                                                               Unfortunately, uploading (sending)
                                                  Outlook Express stored email files in      files over the internet is slow – assume
Applications are tools, and are files             various locations. The best way to         around an hour per GB, so your first
or sets of files that do things on a              find out where these files are, is to      backup will take a long time if you
computer. Firefox, Photoshop, Word,               click on START > SEARCH and then           back up everything, so only use online
and so forth are all programs. Think              do a search for a file named               backups for files that are important
of them as tools.                                 inbox.dbx. Be sure to adjust your          and changing, such as Quicken,
                                                  search to include hidden files.            QuickBooks, Outlook .pst files, etc.
Data files contain information and
are created by applications. Your                 Outlook usually stores data in a file      Here’s my personal method:
Word documents, .PDF files, photos,               named Outlook.pst, and archived data
and so forth are all data files.                  in Archive.pst, although not always.       1. Every week or two, I do an image
                                                  Again, the easiest way to find out            of my office hard drive to an
Before Windows, when DOS reigned                  where the .pst files are is to do a           external hard drive.
supreme, you could (usually) just copy            search for .pst files.
applications from one computer to                                                            2. I periodically backup my data files
another. With Windows, this is rarely             Other email clients such as Eudora            to DVDs and store the set in a bank
possible, as almost all programs must             and Thunderbird have their own                deposit box.
be installed on Windows. For that                 locations – look them up by searching
reason, you should keep copies of all             the internet (google, yahoo, etc) for      3. I use Mozy to automatically
applications in a place where they can            Eudora backup, Thunderbird backup,            backup     selected    data files
be retrieved.                                     etc.                                          (Outlook, Quickbooks, etc) to an
                                                                                                online server every night.
If you have only one computer, put all            If you’re using only webmail, which
application CDs into a single box,                means you always look for your email       External hard drives often come with
along with the CDs that came with the             on a web page such as hotmail, gmail,      “lite” versions of backup software, but
computer. If you have 2 or more                   AOL (arrgggghhhh!), then you don’t         be sure to read the box before
computers, put CDs with applications              need to back up your email because         purchasing an external hard drive,
into a separate box (or baggie) for               it’s not stored on your computer.          because not all packages include
each computer, unless the application                                                        software. The "lite" version works
is installed on more than one                     As for your other files, they can be       OK but is limited in your choices.
computer. Then use a third box for                anywhere. Use backup software to           The nice thing is that such software
applications on multiple computers.               make the task easier. If you think that    usually backs up by category such as
                                                  your backup software still isn’t           photos, documents, email, and so
forth.    However, being a “lite”           and any files that are either missing on
version, you sometimes can’t specify        one, or where duplicate files (same         The processor is a 633MHz Celeron.
other locations.                            name AND location) exist the dates          That’s right – only 633MHz. That’s
                                            are different, the newer files are          because this slow processor doesn’t
Backup software means that all files        copied to the other drive. A one-way        use much electricity and runs cool, so
on the source are copied to the             synchronization is the same, but in         it doesn’t need a larger power supply,
destination.     One problem is the         only one direction - typically the          heatsink, and fans. For internet use,
accumulation of data that you have          source overwrites only the destination.     however, it’s quite sufficient.
deleted, since most backup software         This is similar to a backup but not
won't delete anything from the              quite the same if you give it some          It has 512MB of memory, which
destination drive. However, you can         thought.      A good example of             again, is sufficient for many purposes,
write whatever you want from the            synchronization is when you sync data       unless you have Windows Vista as the
destination drive to a CD or DVD and        on a PDA (Palm, etc) with on a              operating system. Here we come to
then delete it, and since it's not on the   computer.”                                  the good part (my opinion!), which is
source drive, it won't be put back onto                                                 that it comes with a Linux operating
the destination drive.                      I could write many more pages               system that closely resembles
                                            detailing backups, but I think this is a    Windows XP, so it doesn’t take much
Better backup software will do full,        good place to stop. Call or email me        getting used to.
differential, or incremental backups.       if you have any questions about
                                            backups.                                    Because it’s a Linux OS, you won’t be
A full backup is just that -                                                            able to install your usual Windows
everything is copied to the                                                             applications on it, such as MS Office,
destination.      Whenever a file is             WHAT IS A NETBOOK?                     etc. However, there are thousands of
backed up the "archive bit" on the file                                                 comparable applications designed for
is set to on, so that software knows it     In response to the One Laptop per           Linux, including the
has been backed. Whenever you               Child project, some very basic and          alternative to MS Office, Adobe
change a file or create a new one, the      inexpensive notebook computers              Reader and other PDF file readers,
archive bit is set to OFF so that           emerged.       Then it became a             Firefox, etc. Don’t be intimidated by
backup software knows it should be          movement. For you trivia buffs, the         this – the versions of Linux used on
backed up. This is important only for       Palm Folio, released in 2007, was           netbooks are probably more like
supplemental backups, which are             probably the first netbook, but it didn’t   Windows XP than is Vista, so it’s an
differential an incremental backups.        survive long. Then, about a year ago,       easy change.
                                            other manufacturers starting coming
Differential Backups backup only            out with netbooks, and since then they      They are small, which means that the
new or changed files (with the              have taken off so much so that              keyboard is cramped and takes some
archive bit off). This is good for          (depending upon your source of              getting used to, but certainly much
archiving, although since it doesn't        information) around half of all new         better than trying to access the internet
reset the archive bit, differential         notebook computers are netbooks.            on a smartphone such as the Samsung
backups get larger and larger as time       So…just what is a netbook?                  Omnia, Blackberry Storm, or iPhone.
goes by. Typically you would do a
full backup on a week-end and               A netbook is an inexpensive, small,         Is a netbook for you? Only you can
differential backups on every other         lightweight, and slightly slow              determine that.      But if you’re
day of the week.                            notebook computer.         The term         interested in a small, inexpensive,
                                            netbook is probably because this            notebook computer that you can easily
Incremental Backups are like                computer is really designed mostly for      take with you, then take a look at
differential backups and are used           internet use – checking your email,         some netbooks.
the same way, except that the               browsing, etc – and only secondarily
archive bit is changed, so that only        for normal PC chores.
files that are new since the last full                                                  This newsletter is a service to clients of Coastal
or incremental backup are copied.                                                       Computer Care. Please remember us when you
                                            And I do mean inexpensive. Most             need professional computer support or tutoring.
This is more efficient than a               netbooks are selling for between            If you are not currently a client but wish to
differential backup, although it does       $350 and $450.                              receive this free newsletter, send me a request
make retrieval of data from any given                                                   via email and I’ll be happy add you to the
day more cumbersome. However,                                                           distribution list
                                            The ASUS Eee PC and MSI Wind
backup applications usually make this       are getting the best reviews, with the      Disclaimer: Coastal Computer Care presents
type of a restore easier.                   ASUS Eee PC usually coming out on           information in this newsletter as a courtesy.
                                            top. Since most netbooks are very           The recommendations are made in good faith
Synchronization       differs    from                                                   and are believed to be reliable and safe. CCC
                                            similar, let’s look at an Eee PC.           cannot, however, foresee every possibility and
backup is that it looks at the dates                                                    assumes no responsibility for any problems that
on    files.      With      a   2-way       The 80GB, hard drive should be              may be encountered as a consequence of the
synchronization, all files on both the      plenty of space for most people, while      recommendations. Always backup your
source and destination are compared                                                     computer and make sure that System Restore is
                                            traveling.                                  set to On.

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