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XP - Uninterruptable Power Supplies? External Hard Drive Back-ups?

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  • Ned Barnett
    I m looking for recommendations on equipment - 1. Uninterruptable power supplies - I use a cheap-o Belkin system I got at Office Max - is this OK, or is there
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 24, 2006
      I'm looking for recommendations on equipment -

      1. Uninterruptable power supplies - I use a cheap-o Belkin system I
      got at Office Max - is this OK, or is there a better, more reliable
      system for protecting computers from brown-outs and power blips?

      2. An automatic external hard-drive back-up system that will back up
      the day's work every day (without having to back up the whole damned
      system every day) - again, I have one system, not sure if it's much
      good (I had a Maxtor that seemed to have caused a hard-drive crash,
      so I don't trust that brand) ...

      So, recommendations?



      Ned Barnett, APR
      Marketing/PR Fellow, AHA

      Barnett Marketing Communications
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      420 N. Nellis Blvd., A3 - 276 - Las Vegas, NV 89110
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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • kezia_jauron
      As you know, Ned, I do PR for data protection/storage companies, so I ve heard a thing or two about this computer stuff. I am of course not certified, but
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 28, 2006
        As you know, Ned, I do PR for data protection/storage companies, so
        I've heard a thing or two about this computer stuff. I am of course
        not certified, but people say I'm certifiable...ba bum bum.

        But rather than taking my word for it, I highly suggest browsing
        product reviews at PC Magazine dot com or PC World dot com. You will
        learn a lot in a short time, and I trust both publications' storage
        coverage.

        1. APC is probably the market leader in UPS devices, but we had one
        and it wasn't especially reliable. Knowing us, we probably bought
        the cheapest they have. One of the sites above will allow you to
        compare products. Belkin does not specialize in UPSes, but makes
        dirt-cheap peripherals of all types, from keyboards to modems.

        2. Full disclosure: I helped introduce Maxtor's "One Touch" backup
        devices. These are external hard drives with a button on the chassis
        that launches the backup software. Backups can also be configured to
        run on a schedule, but the magic of this product was the push-
        button, making it virtually impossible for people to NOT back up.
        Remember Kodak's slogan, "So advanced, it's simple?" Kinda like
        that.

        Since this was such a successful product, there are a few others
        available now, such as the Western Digital Media Center. This also
        includes the push-button starter and adds an extra function or two,
        such as a memory card reader for your digital camera, PDA, or other
        devices. This is great too, because if you rely on any kind of
        handheld device, you really should be backing that up too.

        Finally, Seagate, the other leader in hard disk drives, has recently
        acquired Maxtor, so you may or may not see any differences. Iomega
        also makes disk storage, but they tend to change their minds about
        what they do for a living fairly often so I question whether the
        support resources will be there.

        But minus the neat stuff the vendors do to the outer casings, hard
        drives themselves, the guts, are all about the same. We're talking a
        difference of milliseconds to kick up and start spinning to full
        RPM. (Your Maxtor drive didn't cause the crash, some sort of
        software conflict did.)

        The real intelligence in the system comes from the backup software.

        *GEEK ALERT*

        The process you describe of backing up only that day's work is
        called an incremental backup or a differential backup, and as you
        note, differs from a full backup because it captures only new and/or
        changed files each time it runs. Incrementals are more common in low-
        end home office software; they're simpler than differentials, but
        you may see both, and of course some products do neither. So get one
        that does incrementals.

        Whether or not you choose a push-button drive, your software should
        allow you to set up a schedule, so that your computer backs itself
        up when it's idle - say, midnight every day. But many schedulable
        software programs don't offer you a feature I believe to be
        necessary: shutting the computer off once it's done. Leaving a
        computer on all the time is bad for your data, for reasons I will
        not go into here. However, if you have apps you just cannot shut
        down, like if you host your own website on your own server, then you
        need software that will back up applications while they are up and
        running, as well as any open files. If this is a priority, expect to
        spend more.

        Finally, a backup on a hard disk sitting right next to your PC is
        not going to be much use to you if your house burns down or the
        upstairs neighbor's pipes burst, causing you to have a flood.

        I think it is necessary to have an off-site copy of your data that
        is reasonably current. Since you don't live in hurricane country, an
        online service may be overkill, but those of you who do may want to
        look into it. Generally you'll be charged based on the amount of
        storage space you hog. If you don't take up too much space, say, 5
        MB or less, there are some free services that might be worth using
        just for important files.

        For the rest of us, use the software to make a copy of the backup to
        a DVD, tape, old hard drive, or something easy to keep in another
        place. Use the encryption feature on your software, and/or password-
        protect the contents, if security is a concern. However, where you
        keep this need not be a bank vault; your sister's house or your
        neighbor's office downtown is just fine. And this off-site copy
        should be swapped with a new one as often as you feel necessary. An
        old backup copy offsite, even one that's six months old, is better
        than none at all.

        At the risk of repeating myself, anyone who would like further
        comments and tips on computer backup strategies can check my blog
        here: http://suasoria.blogspot.com/2004_02_01_suasoria_archive.html

        Good luck -
        Special K

        --- In prbytes@yahoogroups.com, Ned Barnett <ned@...> wrote:
        >
        > I'm looking for recommendations on equipment -
        >
        > 1. Uninterruptable power supplies - I use a cheap-o Belkin system
        I
        > got at Office Max - is this OK, or is there a better, more
        reliable
        > system for protecting computers from brown-outs and power blips?
        >
        > 2. An automatic external hard-drive back-up system that will back
        up
        > the day's work every day (without having to back up the whole
        damned
        > system every day) - again, I have one system, not sure if it's
        much
        > good (I had a Maxtor that seemed to have caused a hard-drive
        crash,
        > so I don't trust that brand) ...
        >
        > So, recommendations?
        >
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