BlogBackupOnline

If you are even a casual blogger you’ve invested a lot of time and thought into composing words and pictures you want to share. You may think that because you’ve published them to a remote server they are safe and secure and invulnerable to loss. Look closely at the terms of the agreements you have with your host and chances are you will discover that none of them will guarantee the safety of your data nor accept responsibility if it is lost. Things like redundant disk arrays and backup power generators reduce the likelihood of data loss, but if your blog is suddenly wiped clean and replaced with propaganda by a hacker from Turkey are you ready to restore it?

When Steve Jobs introduced Time Machine (the automatic backup feature of the Leopard operating system) he said that 26 percent of users ever back up any data at all, and less than four percent regularly back up their data using any kind of automated system. Since many bloggers publish their content on remote systems they believe are safe and secure from danger I suspect the percentage probably isn’t much higher for blog authors, even if collectively they may be considered more technically astute.

So when I discovered a beta testing opportunity with BlogBackupOnline I didn’t hesitate to give it a try. My blog writing is sporadic, rather than prolific, but I don’t want to imagine a situation where all of a sudden years of writing are gone. Having more than one blog is another complication when you consider how you are going to keep everything backed up.

Fortunately, BlogBackupOnline handles multiple blogs (even on different blogging services or software) with aplomb and in minutes you can configure an automatic backup of your content that includes pictures. Best of all, the service is free for up to 50 MB in content, with quite reasonable premium rates (49.95 a year) for more space and additional options. BlogBackupOnline includes helpful features like allowing you to export your backup files in case you want to migrate your blog to a new host or store a copy for safekeeping.

When I needed tech support for an issue I was having their email response was prompt, personalized (not a cut and paste answer from an FAQ), and solved my problem.

BlogBackupOnline is just now ending their beta test but continues to offer up to 50MB of backup space absolutely free, so if you haven’t set up automatic backups of your blog content, I encourage you to take advantage of their service now and get rid of that worry for good.

38 years ago our family lived at 3814 Jennifer Street in a subdivision called Martin Park in Alexandria, Louisiana, and my Dad had been back from his one year tour of duty in Vietnam for eleven months. After flying 283 combat missions in an F-100 fighter jet his new responsibility while stationed at England AFB was training young South Vietnamese pilots how to fly the A-37 “Dragonfly.” I was enrolled at Horseshoe Drive Elementary School with my brother and sister. The base is now closed, but the school is still there.

apollo_11_first_step.jpg

On the evening of July 20, 1969, my family gathered in our living room around the one television we had, a huge walnut console with a black and white screen, to watch something that I will never forget and has, in my mind at least, never been transcended. Even though we were very young we were children of the space age, when astronauts were our nation’s bravest heroes and the Cold War meant staying ahead of the communists to protect our freedom. Like many boys who grew up in that era, I built model rockets representing every stage of the space program’s progress: Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo.

We listened to the static-filled radio transmissions and watched the blurry images on the screen as our parents patiently explained what an incredible event we were witnessing. I am sure that we didn’t appreciate it fully at the time. I doubt we really appreciate it as much as we should now. The Apollo 11 mission that landed the first humans on the moon and brought them safely home is a landmark event in my life. I highly recommend this Wikipedia article that includes many facts that I was not aware of.

series3hddvr-large1.jpg

Yesterday I discovered that you can expand the storage capacity of a Series 3 TiVo as simply as plugging in an external eSATA drive and pressing a couple of buttons on your TiVo remote. This is amazing in comparison to the steps required to expand a Series 1 or Series 2 TiVo, which required swapping out the internal drive with one that has been “blessed” with special TiVo formatting software. Formatting the disk can’t be done on a Mac so you had to find a Windows machine to do it, or buy a preformatted drive  from a place like weaknees.com.

Now all I need to do is get a Series 3! Wasn’t there a special deal on those recently? No way I can get away with spending $799 on a new TiVo, even if it does record in glorious high definition and expanding the capacity is plug and play. My Series 2 is overflowing with American Girl movies, Saddle Club and Suite Life of Zack and Cody episodes, and more that my daughter won’t allow to be deleted.

Doggone it! The super-special deal to buy a Series 3 TiVo for $499 expired April 30!