Saturday, September 25, 2010

Drobo vs. ReadyNAS

For those looking for a home networked backup/storage system, the 2 products that immediately come up are Drobo and ReadyNAS.  Both support RAID type technology and feature hot-swapping hard drives in case of failure.

Does anyone have experience with any of these products?  What's a good recommendation for home networked storage?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Online Backup: Mozy or Carbonite?

In terms of online backup, there are two front runners: Mozy & Carbonite.


Both services require you to install their software on your PC or Mac so that it can do automatic backups of the files you'd like it to save. Mozy offers 2GB worth of backups for free and also has paid MozyHome and MozyPro plans.  Carbonite's subscription includes pricing plans that range from 1 to 3 years.

Does anyone use any of these services?  What are your thoughts on online backup?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Xmarks: Sync your bookmarks between browsers and computers

Xmarks is a FREE bookmark syncing browser add-on that allows you to sync between different browsers and computers.  It's compatible with Firefox, Chrome, IE, and Safari.

Using it is very simple.  Go to Xmarks' website and download the appropriate add-on for your browser here: .  Next, create an Xmarks account and sync your bookmarks to the Xmarks cloud.

Once you have your bookmarks synced to the Xmarks cloud, all you have to do is install the Xmarks add-on to each browser and/or computer you use and sync that specific install with your Xmarks account.  Whenever you add a new bookmark to any of your browsers, the change will sync to the cloud and then update when you open the other browsers on the same computer or different computer.

I've found Xmarks to be most helpful when using a work computer and home computer.  If I'm using my work computer and find something that I want to bookmark, I just bookmark it the conventional way (protip: CTRL+D on PC and CMD+D on Mac are the default shortcuts for bookmarking in browsers), and when I open the browser on my home computer, it will sync with Xmarks and show my new bookmark.

Syncing is very easy with Xmarks.

Xmarks also gives you the option of syncing your passwords.  In regards to storing passwords, Xmarks says: "Password Sycnhronization encrypts your passwords using a secret PIN of your choosing before they ever leave your computer. This ensures that nobody but you, not even Xmarks, can gain access to your passwords."  (On a side note, I store my forum passwords in Xmarks but not others since I like to think storing them in my head is most trustworthy.)

If you're currently a Xmarks user, have you had positive/negative experiences with this service?  Please share your thoughts.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Internet Explorer 9 Beta is Available as of September 15, 2010

Last week, Microsoft released the highly-anticipated beta version of Internet Explorer 9.  You can see the new features, take a test drive of the application, and download IE9 on Microsoft's official page located here:

With the most recent release, Microsoft is hoping to gain back ground lost to Firefox and Chrome in recent years.  What's your preferred/primary Internet browser?  (See poll on the side.)

Has anyone downloaded and used the beta IE9?  If so, what do you think about it?

TidySongs keeps your iTunes Clean

If you're an avid music lover as I am, you have hundreds and probably thousands of songs in your iTunes library. But with different computers and iPods, you may have double, triple copies of the same song or missing artwork... this is where Tidysongs comes in to save your music day.

I first ran into this software when I was ripping my old CD's to my iTunes library, and depending on what program you were using, it would tag the song incorrectly or not tag it at all, and you would get the music stanza (which in my opinion can pretty annoying.) This can also be a problem if you do not use iTunes as a music store.

iTunes and other programs rely on correct information in your songs to find album art--not TidySongs. Even if your song names have misspellings or missing info, TidySongs' intelligent database technology will find the matching artwork.

Tidysongs also helps remove duplicate songs, fills in missing artists, and adds missing album art work. You can finally remove the music stanza image from your players display, all automatically. Tidysongs is available on both Windows and OSX and it is 39.99, which is a little pricey but it does get the job done and does it well.

For more information and download of a free trial version visit Tidysongs:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dropbox: Managing Your Files Everywhere You Go

Managing files between computers and mobile devices has just got a lot easier with the help from the folks at Dropbox. Dropbox is service which allows you to store your files on a cloud network (which means an Internet-based network, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on demand)

The benefits of Dropbox includes automatic syncing when new files or changes are detected, automatic backup of your files, and the ability to restore previous versions of your files.Dropbox is available for Windows, OSX and Linux a free Dropbox application for iPhoneiPad, and Android, which lets you access your files anywhere you go. For Blackberry users a mobile-optimized version of the website is also available for owners of Blackberry phones and other Internet-capable mobile devices. 

Dropbox's pricing plans start with the Basic plan which is 2 GB of storage for free. A Pro 50 plan of 50 GB for 9.99/month and the Pro 100 of 100 GB for 19.99/month. Every time you refer a person to Dropbox, you get an extra 250MB added to your account for free with a maximum of 8GB.

For more information, visit Dropbox at

Sunday, September 19, 2010

E-Readers And How To Get Them Working For You

Trying to get an e-book to an iPad or any other device (Sony e-reader, Nook, Kindle) can be difficult, but with this is simple program Calibre e-book management, reading your books from your devices will be harmonious. 

What i like the most about Calibre is that it has a very simple interface that anyone can use, and it also can convert many of the popular formats such as PDF and EPUB with just a couple of clicks. It even searches a database that will help tag your files as well as find cover art and creates a separate file so that you can keep your original file and upload it to your device.

If you are using any iOS device (iPad, iPhone, iTouch), just open iTunes.  Go to file, select add file to library, sync to your device, and that's it. The best part is that Calibre is free and is available on Windows, OSX, and Linux.

Below is a quick guide tour from the creator of Calibre.  For more information, visit the homepage for Calibre: