Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Gmail Fail?

It seems that I, here in Silicon Valley, am experiencing an ongoing Gmail “server failure”. Is anyone else having this? If so, where, please.
502 error

Thanks to all who have added! Currently (2:15pm PT), phoning in reports are:
* New England
* Montreal
* Texas
* Kallyfornyah

Update: I’m back at 2:25 PT. Hope you all are too.

September 1, 2009 Posted by | computers | , | 10 Comments

Like Clockwork

By no means am I the hardest working man in the tech blog business, (IMHO that title belongs to Bill Mullins) but I have been posting daily computer tips & tricks & and How To’s for over two years now — just a hair shy of 800 articles . I have answered reader questions, and I have tried to raise public awareness of how the cybercriminals are ruining the Internet, as well as offered advice on protecting your computers from their malware.

Loyal friends of this site will be able to tell you that I have a couple of “pet” topics which I return to, and will remember that once a month, like clockwork, I would run an article on the Windows disk cleanup and defrag tools, (such as, Revitalize Your PC With Windows’ Utilities*) and say that this is the proper way to “speed up your PC” and make it run like it did when it was new. (Or, add RAM.)

Sad Also once a month – like clockwork – I would polish up and re-post some article describing how many fewer unpleasant conversations I would have as a computer tech (my real job) if – repeat, IF – the person had made a backup copy of their files.

Once a month, I would remind people that perfectly good hard drives will occasionally up and die for no apparent reason.

Once a month, I would remind people that some of the “infections” they can get hit with are now so nasty that the only trustworthy “cure” for them is to erase the hard disk and start fresh (called a “reformat”) which is much less of a big deal when you have a clean backup copy of your stuff.

But about six months ago, or so, I gave up that monthly reminding.

Those articles didn’t get reads – real ratings bombs, they were – and… well, let me put it this way: about a year ago I mentioned that in all the while I’ve been running Aplus Computer Aid, only one client had answered “yes” when I asked if they had a backup.
Yesterday I finally had a second. But he is a noted Computer Security expert, and I would have been !!shocked!! if he hadn’t.

Once a month, like clockwork, I used to ask people if they didn’t have irreplaceable photographs, music they had paid for, tax records, etc., on their machines, and that was their only copy? Hard disks die, you know!

Sometimes I think I managed to write so convincingly that at least two readers said to themselves, “he’s right. I really need to burn some CD’s”.

But did they actually ever get around to it? I don’t know. I wouldn’t bet on it.

So, folks, what about it. Have you made a backup copy of your hard disk in the last .. oh.. say, two weeks? Two months?
Yeah. I know. There aren’t enough hours in the day…

Maybe these articles will help.
* How To Use Windows Backup Tool
* Enable ShadowCopy On Home Editions / XP
* Save Thousands With a Free Tool (You Already Have)
* Backup, Backup, Backup With Free DriveImage XML

Because, perfectly good hard drives will occasionally up and die for no apparent reason, and you may surf to the wrong site and have to do a reformat.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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September 1, 2009 Posted by | advice, Backups, computers, file system, how to | , , , | 11 Comments