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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Should I Upgrade my iPhone to iOS 6?

While I was at my son's wedding this weekend I kept getting messages when I turned on my phone that a new operating system was available (6.0) Normally it is good to just download the newest one, but I decided to do some searching online first to see what people were saying.

One person said that it took a long time (45 minutes). I am glad I didn't just start it downloading when I first saw the message.

The biggest complaint is that Apple has decided to try to keep Google out of its phone, so it created its own Mapping App and got rid of YouTube. The default map that was on the phone was a Google Map, but with iOS 6 and on the new iPhone 5 it will be Apple's Map App. You cannot even download the Google Map if you wanted to. People do not like the Apple Map App. There are complaints that it is not accurate enough and that it is inferior to what people have gotten used to using. Since the map is one of the things that I use the most the thought of getting rid of it is not a good one. 

The second complaint is that the new Operating System is not that much of a change from the earlier OS. One article said that it was "evolution rather than revolution".

There are some good things too. When a phone rings and you cannot answer it you have a choice of quickly sending a preset text so that the other person has an idea why you did not answer. There is a "Do not Disturb" feature that you can set so that you do not get calls in the middle of the night or whenever you may not want to. It has improved Siri so that she can actually text for you and do things like make reservations. It has increased connections with Facebook and Twitter. You can send a Facebook update or a Tweet without going into their applications online. However, these things are not enough to make for a big change. 

I think I have decided to wait a bit. I like the way my phone is working now. Who knows, they might come out with a better iOS with some of these things corrected.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

To Post or not to Post?

Allison Morris saw the earlier post in this blog about posting to Facebook and kindly offered an infographic about the same topic which I have put below. It is from I like that it was copyrighted under a Creative Commons License so that it can be shared as long as they are given credit. It is good to be aware of this so that you can be careful about copying things that may be copyrighted and so not free to use.

Info Graphic about posting on Facebook

Look at their site to find the original.

Monday, September 10, 2012

How to Back Up your Computer

The best way to learn how important it is to back up your computer is to lose everything once. Most people have to go through that in order to learn, but not YOU. Starting today you are going to be careful about regularly backing up what matters to you.

1.  Put everything that you want to back up on "the cloud".  A good example of this is Google Drive. The slogan that they use is "Keep Everything, Share Anything". 

This is the easiest way to back up, but remember that whatever is put onto Google Drive is actually being put on a Server (a type of computer) somewhere owned by someone else.

I am very aware that much of what I am working on is already kept on "the cloud". I use to write this blog and so all of the content that is here is kept on a server somewhere that Blogger (actually Google) owns. I also have some pictures online using Flickr and some with Picasa. I often use Google Docs and whatever is done there is "on the cloud".

2.  Get a separate hard drive that you can plug into your computer and create a back up.

Of course if you back up using a hard drive it is important to realize that the hard drive should be kept in a different place than your computer. If there is a fire and you lose BOTH the computer and the hard drive, the back up will not help much. Some people recommend that you have three copies of everything (a double back up) so that at least one copy will be left if something happens. 

Most computers have a back up utility that will help walk you through the process. It is different for every computer, so I will not try to explain the details of how it works. You can either use the Utility that comes on your  computer or you can purchase a program that will walk you through the steps for backing up. I will give you one example, I use Time Machine on my MacBook.

I have purchased an external hard drive. The first time I plugged it in I opened the Time Machine program on my Mac and set it up to back up on that drive. Now every month or so I plug it in and my Mac automatically copies everything to the External Hard Drive. Time Machine backs up all of my programs, settings and data files on my computer. If something happened to my computer I could remake it with the Hard Drive. I really don't have to think about it much and it is easy to do. If I kept it plugged in all of the time it would do regular backups every hour.

In some computers the Utility (built in back up program) may be confusing, so it may be better to purchase a backing up program (something similar to Time Machine, but for PC) so that it will do the steps for you and make it easier. 

Some recommended programs that you can purchase for backing up your computer are: - This site reviews the top ten back up softwares for 2012.
This long URL may need to be copied and pasted into a browser to work. It is an article on PC World talking about 5 of the best Back Up programs.

Some places you can get external hard drives:
Go to these sites and search for external hard drive. - -

Office Depot -

Best Buy -

External hard drives come in different sizes. Some are in Gigabytes (GB) and some are in Terabytes (TB). All of the drives that I looked at came in at least 350 Gigabytes. That is plenty of memory for backing up most computers. If you are doing podcasts or making movies you may need more memory.