My computer's external hard drive, which I have had for years and years (well, at least five), started running more slowly recently. Late last week, the computer stopped recognizing it. Since the self-employed fix-it guy who brought my previous PC back from the brink is now dead, and since none of the freeware utilities I downloaded from the Web did anything for a drive that couldn't be recognized. Hence, Plan B. I stopped by a place on Route 1 in College Park -- a little independent shop -- and the guy there said he could probably fix it for $100.
However, this makes me think that I really ought to subscribe to Carbonite or some other sort of offsite backup utility. Suggestions welcome. I have both Microsoft Sky Drive and Google Drive, but my Google Drive is not big enough to back up everything that's on the external hard drive (I think I have 4 GB on Google Drive and roughly 100 GB of stuff on the hard drive). I have only a few things on Sky Drive because I'm not sure what I'm doing with it. I hate the Windows 8 interface. I usually work in "Desktop" mode, which acts like Windows 7.
Another reason why I downloaded so many freeware utilities last week was that the SD card in the boy toy's camera got corrupted. He said he was having trouble getting his photos off the card, so I put it in my computer's micro-card drive, and the computer asked me something like, "It looks as if there is a problem with this card. Would you like the problem fixed?" and I clicked on "Yes." What happened next was that the computer replaced some of the corrupted images with non-corrupted images ... so that I had the same number of files, but "IMG_0849," "IMG_0850," and "IMG_0851" (to make up some filenames here) are all the same picture instead of three different pictures. Weird. So we ended up with a few
photos of our day in Boston, but nowhere near as many as we actually took. Blergh.
(Speaking of photos AND backup, yes, I do know that Flickr now gives each user 1 TB of space and no longer restricts uploads to 50 MB per month. I really ought to get around to uploading all my photos to Flickr, whether they're recent or not.)
And speaking of uploading, next week it will go a lot faster, because over the weekend I decided to upgrade everything to FiOS. Verizon installed the basic optical cables in my condo complex a couple of years ago, and now they're making a huge push to get people signed up for it. I have been loyal to my copper-line POTS because of all the power outages, but since Pepco (the electric utility) has gone on a reliability-upgrade rampage, maybe the battery-backup thing isn't so much of an issue anymore. Getting the dreaded "bundle" of cable TV, Internet and phone will save me almost $60 a month for the next two years (over what I'm paying separately now), and given my uncertain economic future, I like paying less (and getting a possibly faster Internet surfing connection too).
Yes, I know some people hate Verizon and some people hate Comcast (which I now have for cable). To me, it's six of one and a half-dozen of the other. Two big-ass corporations that are the alternatives in this county. (I don't want to get one of the satellite-dish companies because of all the hassles involved with the condo association in setting up a dish. And even today's smaller dishes look tacky, IMHO. The way my condo is built, I would have to set the dish up right in front of my living room, where the landscapers would be constantly bumping into it.)
Finally, so I can wrap this up before dinnertime: I joined Tumblr at last. I am http://lusciouspurple.tumblr.com
over there. I'm not sure what I am going to use that
site for, but at least I can nose around a bit over there.