Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Office 365

I've been reading some on the new Office 365 that Microsoft has announced. Now I'm one that like to save money, but this product just wouldn't save me money.
I can get a copy of Office for three computers for $120. So let's say the next release of office is in two years, though more likely three years, but I'll just stick to $120 for argument sake. The equates to $60 per year. Now if I sign up for the cheapest at $6 per month for three people and that is $216 per year, much much more than just buying Office in the store.
The advantage is that the copies of locally installed office is that I don't have to rely on having an internet connection to use it. But I do have to admin, my DSL connection has had very few connection problems so I'm pretty confident I'll have a connection 99% of the time at home.
Now the advantage with Office 365 is that I could access my docs from anywhere that I could use a browser from. But not $156 per year more worth.
I do use Google Apps, the free version, for a few documents that I access at work regularly as it's much easier than using a USB flash drive. But again, have to rely on an internet connection.
Now granted I do have a smart phone but trying to work on a spreadsheet with a 3.2" screen is the pits. I will be upgrading my phone next month to a 4.1" screen and hope it will be more usable.
So for me at least Office 365 won't be for me or my household.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Motorola Triumph for Vigin Mobile

I'm going to be one of the early folks and have already ordered a Motorola Triumph to use as my main phone. I currently have an Optimus V, and it works great, but I really am wanting a larger screen and the Triumph is going to have a 4.1" size screen. So I can't wait for it! It should arrive towards the end of July so stay tuned for when I get it I'll be sure to make a video!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Backup Backup Backup

For quite a few years I've been using Windows Home Server to centrally store all the household documents, music, videos, etc. To keep it backed up I have three hard drives that I copy the files onto, making a mirror of what is on the server. I have been keeping one backup on me, but recently I decided that wasn't enough. What if I was home and some disaster struck and all my hard drives and the server were destroyed. Well I'd be out of luck!
So I decided with all the hulla-ballo about the Cloud I would try saving the more important files there. So, being the cheapskate that I am I didn't want to spend a lot of money.
I figured that I would classify my files into 3 categories:
  1. The files that I must absolutely, positively have no matter what,
  2. The files that I have purchased or are important (MP3s, photos), but if they were lost, it would be tragedy, but not the end of the world,
  3. The files that I have that have no monetary value (recorded TV shows) that could be lost without much "pain"
Thus my plan became to continue doing my normal backup routine with my physical hard drives, backing up the #1 files to a safe cloud, and backup #2 to the "less safe" cloud.
In looking around at backup solutions for Windows Home Server I decided on CloudBerry's product CloudBerry Back for Windows Home Server 2011. I also picked Amazon's S3 cloud storage to be the repository for the #1 files. I figured I had about 5 GBs worth of files that I would store there. CloudBerry works great, and I'll write about it another time.
For the #2 files, well I have about 60GB worth of those, so I thought, being the cheapskate that I am, to store those in another location. Well, I already use Picasa, and I went ahead and purchased 20GB of storage from Google for $5 per year which is pretty cheap. Okay, check those off the list. Next, the MP3s. Well I do use an Android phone and use Amazon's Cloud Player, so in looking into their service I discovered if I bought an album I could get 20GB for a year for free. Check! However, that isn't quite enough, so at some point I'm going to upgrade it to the 50GB of storage for $50/year.
As for the #3 files, I'll just continue the normal backup routine.
Well my DSL connection doesn't have the quickest of upload speeds, around 600 kbps so it took about 1 1/2 weeks to get all the #1 files and the photos uploaded to the cloud. I was working on the MP3s but when I realized I wouldn't have enough room I stopped figuring I'll get to those at a later time.
In CloudBerry I setup two different backup schedules for two distinct sets of files. Each happens once a week, I really don't update those files that often, so once a week works. The advantage with CloudBerry is once it is setup it is automatic and I don't really have to do anything but pay my Amazon storage bill.
With Picasa and Amazon's Cloud storage I do have to do those operations manually, but that's not too bad.
So far after doing the initial upload to Amazon S3 I've been charged 50 cents. So it will be interesting to see exactly how much I end up spending per month. I'm budgeting around $5/month and I think it will be, but I want to let it operate a couple months before making any final pronouncements.
I'll be back with updates in the future.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Virgin Mobile's Optimus V

Here's one of my videos where I talk about the Optimus V that is sold by Virgin Mobile. It's the phone I'm still using.

A Start

Here's post number one for my new blog on tech. I have a main website ( which deals with World War II, but I have another hobby that I dabble in, and that is Tech so here I go! Mostly I've done YouTube videos of the phones I have and the software I run on them and a few relating to other items I've got my hands onto so I could do a YouTube video on them as well.
So for now I'll point you to my existing YouTube channel ( but as I go I'll add the videos here too.
My plan is to do other thoughts on Tech, not just videos. But I'll just play it by ear and see how goes!