scribbles tagged ‘back-up’

cloudy backup

Sunday, October 12th, 2014 | tags: , , , , ,  |

What documents and technology should I:

  • Carry with me as hand luggage when relocating to Minneapolis?
  • Check into the hold – have ready when I arrive
  • Ship in the container with my furniture – will probably go into storage and I could be without for months

I’m sorting through my paper files today. Obviously I’ll carry my Surface, and the internet, provide access to much of the critical information. But not all. While thinking about what documents are critical I decided to backup my Surface, it’s got useful documents stored locally – photographs, resumes, a blog back-up etc

I looked for the “Windows Easy File Transfer”, this had helped me transfer some of my windows content from my last PC to this one. Discovered that it only allows you to transfer stuff ONTO the surface, not for use as backup or a way of transferring stuff to a new Surface. Explored the backup options and they all use the ‘Sky Drive’. Looks like the Skydive saves all my computer settings but not any files I’ve stored locally. Pain in butt.

Now I’m using what looks like the old windows backup to ‘copy’ all my files on an external drive.

Replacing this surface with another one *should* be relatively easy. Moving between service providers, for example from Microsoft to Apple would be painful by comparison.

cloudy backup
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phone damage mitigation

Friday, September 12th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

Orange phone store customersThe day after laundering my phone I trundled along to the Orange store where I loitered with the other customers who stood and waited. I listened to a lady being  attended  get gradually more agitated with the assistant as she learned that the assistant could not retrieve her phone contacts

but those are my business contacts’

The assistant frowned,    her companion  said they could try and use the home computer to try and retrieve the contacts from the SIM.   She appeared inconsolable,   her voice gradually raising as she made it clear that she had no back-up of these vital contact numbers,  no way of even telling people that she had lost their numbers.   Tension, amongst those who only stood and waited, grew.      

As time passed the bald fellow in black  gradually became more agitated, shifting his weight, checking his watch, glaring at the busy assistants. After about 10 minutes a new  assistant joined the beleaguered pair on the floor.   She looked at me stood by the desk and I pointed her to the bald man in black.   An inaudible conversation between them, lasted less than a minute before I heard him loudly announce

“you clearly aren’t interested in what I have to say so I’m going elsewhere”  

He marched out of the store, the assistant stood watching him for a moment then came over  to me.  She was clearly upset…

Assitant:that was so embarrassing, he said I was spaced-out, that I wasn’t listening to him,   that I wasn’t even trying to help, he was so rude.

Wendy: he’d been waiting a very long time.   We all have.

Assistant: but that doesn’t give him the right to be rude to me.

Wendy: no. it doesn’t.

Assistant:   (continues to enumerate all the ways that the bald man had treated her inappropriately while she tests my SIM in another phone and finds me a cheap replacement and back-up phone)

I left happy,   SIM intact,    cheap-new phone,   my phone numbers previously backed-up on Darling and my work-supplied computer.   There are times when tendancies towards geekyness make my life so much easier than those people who have not ventured into the pain that can be involved insynchronising their phone contents  with their computers

phone damage mitigation
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kitchen sink drama

Saturday, September 2nd, 2006 | tags:  |

can you guess which common (in the US)  household appliance just bubbled a fart at me  when I flipped the ‘on’ switch?    This mini Wendy House rebellion called for a plan and a back-up plan.   Hooray!

  • Plan:     Boldly, I climbed into it  wearing my fancy night-hiking head-torch and brandishing a pair of partially rusted pliers.   I tried twisting every bolt in sight.   Lack of any success quickly lead to boredum.   Nothing was twistable.  
  • Backup plan:     Cunningly,   I distracted the bubble-farter by using the kitchen sink.   Fabulous invention.   Every Wendyhome should have one, so versataile, reliable, simple and with fabulous lines.   Sigh.  

Kitchen Sink




Next, while the big white bubble-farter wasn’t looking I used Darling to find a repair service.   It’s going to have it’s cantankerous botty sorted-out by a pro!   In 2 weeks time.   Until then I’ll be savouring the dramatically simple beauty of the kitchen sink.

kitchen sink drama
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backup and recovery

Sunday, July 23rd, 2006 | tags: , , ,  |

When? After

  1. any insensitivity crime.
  2. sending an email  containing a  rude word (examples:  Toilet,   Communion) to a large distribution list.
  3. rear-ending the car in front (I haven’t done this… yet)
  4. purchasing a new Sony Vaio laptop called Darling.

We’re going to focus on #4.   Darling didn’t come with any CD’s,   no recovery CD’s,   no copy of Windows XP CD.   Darling travelled light.   This lack of CD’s was a little distrubing at first,   then,   in all the excitement of a new pink laptop I soon forgot the lack of recovery CDs….      

can you guess what’s coming?

Tonight I made a back-up DVD using the Vaio software.   All should be well in the Wendy House when Darling decides she isn’t playing ball.   Do I know what I’ve backed up?   Um,   ‘the system’ of course!   What’s the system?   I haven’t a clue.   Will recovery give me all my programs,   anti-spyware and antivirus subscriptions,   favourite lists,    digital photographs,  and email?   Darned if I know.   Why don’t these programs tell me.   All it said was “recommended“,   not what that back-up covers.   System????   How VAGUE is that!  

Obviously,   I’ll find out what ‘system’ is  when I have to ‘recover’ it.

backup and recovery
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Obiturary: Tinkerbell

Saturday, April 1st, 2006 | tags: , ,  |

Tinkerbell (HP Compaq nx9010) exceeded expectations.   Originally purchased as a ‘cheap’ functional laptop to enable exchange-student lovely, Swedish Frida, study and instant message from anywhere in The Wendy House.   Neither  were intended to last more than one year.   Rent a teenager,   buy a laptop.  

First power-up by Frida.   Connected to the internet with a new Microsoft wireless base station. (17 Aug. 2003)

Blaster worm  victim,  rescued by Mark and Fizzz  for the bargain price of a curry. (Aug. 2003)

New external wireless card.   Her internal wireless was Frida-irritatingly flakey. Irritating Frida is a very risky and dangerous passtime.   (Sept. 2003)

Bonding with Frida.  They regularly slept together (2003-2004).

Frida ceases torturing us by returning to Stockholm and leaves Tinkerbell with me. Tinkerbell becomes my main digital photograph store (Jul. 2004)

I bonded with Tinkerbell by  blogging on MSN Spaces (Feb 2005 thru Feb 2006)

Grinding noises  spook me.  I purchase a Network drive and use it to back-up Tinkerbell’s contents. (Aug. 2005)

Tinkerbell tours the UK.  I store my  travel photographs on  flick-r.  After several blue screen’s her hard drive ‘dies’. (Sept. 2005)

New hard drive. Installation was not easy.   Mark solved  the problem with  a bit of expert serendiptious trouble shooting  (Oct. 2005).  

Replaced Tinkerbell’s original Microsoft wireless base station with LinkSys wireless base station. (Nov.  2005)

Power-supply cable melts into Tinkerbell’s casing. (Jan. 2005)

Purchased a USB keyboard to augment Tinkerbell’s dodgy keyboard. (Feb. 2006)

Keyboard connection flakiness,   power-connection flakiness,  USB connections flakiness,   display reliability and recent bluescreens suggest that euthenasia is the best choice for Tinkerbell. (Mar. 2006)

Tinkerbell will be  dismantled to satisfy my curiosity and for parts. (Apr. 2006)

Tinkerbell pre-dismantling

Tinkerbell resting in pieces (RIP)

Obiturary: Tinkerbell
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Handling intoxicated shoppers

Saturday, November 5th, 2005 | tags: ,  |

Intoxicated purchasing skills have long been a British talent.

These skills are best observed after 3pm (Pub closing time) on Christmas Eve (last day shopping day before Christmas). I discovered this while working as an 20yr old shop assistant in a major city centre ladies fashion outlet, TopShop (1983). Working on Christmas eve paid 3x the standard hourly rate. Employees would rather have the day off to avoid the hassle and be with family (in the pub?). I didnt see it coming. My job description definitely hadn’t included handling drunken purchasers. Drunken male purchasers often want to be ‘handled’ by young female shop assistants and they normally shop in same-gender parties of 2 or more. This created a challenging business environment for a young gal. I learned how to:

  • quickly identify which Brit. has a need to buy a gift for one of the gals in his life.
  • prevent party members from falling over, puking on merchandise, or pulling-out anything other than a wallet from their trousers.
  • herd the non-purchasing members of the party to a position where they will cause minimum disruption to other customers & parties.
  • avoid getting groped or having to call for back-up.
  • focus the intoxicated Brit. on making a purchase decision. Identify viable ‘gifts’ by asking targetted, ‘un-innuendo-able’* questions about the recipient of the gift.
  • move the purchaser to the till (US = check-out) before he looses consciousness or pukes.

*This proved virtually impossible because the answers to necessary questions are a major source of hilarity to the intoxicated purchaser. For example, what ‘size’ does she normally wear? Has to be asked, prior to completing a satisfactory purchase. The intoxicated, debatably humorous, retorts to this question varied inexhaustibly with every question-phrasing variation I tried.

Intoxicated Brits know the shop assistants agenda and take pleasure in ‘teasing’. It becomes a very intricate game. For example,

  • how to stay in the store without prompting the shop assistant to escalate for back-up, or
  • How many levels of back-up can they produce before calling the police is even mentioned. Apparantly, with the exception of the police, each level of back-up heightens the entertainment value. Probably because it adds more female shop-workers to the mix.

The British have recently extended these shopping skills to the internet and cunningly taken advantage of the new physical context to ‘get their kit off’. Another popular British passtime, despite the unpredictable weather. I suspect internet purchasing is socially less satisfying than teasing shop assistants. These purchasers probably subscribe to other internet services to satisfy their social needs.

Combine internet purchasing with the disturbing trend of corporations cynically marketing alcohol to children and you’ve got drunk kids purchasing online. Add the potential for extended opening hours and handling drunken purchasers may become a part of the shop assistants job description…

W prefers-shopping-sober-by-proxy (its cheaper)

Handling intoxicated shoppers
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Mobile phone batteries dilemma

Thursday, October 20th, 2005 | tags: ,  |

An unexpected side effect of recently-dumped-ness is that your Mobile phone batteries start running-out way too frequently in places where your charger isn’t handy.


  • Use the car charger even when I’m not driving. Heck no! That means sitting in the car with the engine running waiting for the phone to charge. How sad is that? That’s 700x sad. I love my mobile, but not that much…
  • Carry a charger in my back-pocket. Bumpy-bum? I dont think so. The power-prongs could produce painful side-effects when enthusiastically approaching a chair. I’m prone to approaching chairs enthusiastically.
  • Carry a charger in my front pocket. Non-starter. Everything else is there. No room!
  • Put charger in a handbag (US ‘purse’). Can’t do it, my handbag management skills are catastrophic. A handbag is something that I can, will, leave behind because its not physically attached to my body. In my 20’s I tried using handbags but it just didn’t work for me. I left them on buses, trains, Pubs, Disco’s, in other people’s homes….. This normally resulted in a stressful ‘Oh shite where’s my house keys, money, phone, camera, sunglasses, flat-erik and emergency condom’ experience. Followed by “can I borrow your phone or small change for a public call box” for a round of urgent phonecalls to multiple places. Just finding the phone-numbers was a nightmare. Then I’d have to get back to pick it up. Retrieval trips could cover over a hundred miles each way. Nasty Nasty Nasty. I still have a couple of variations on handbags. I still leave them behind on the rare occasions I risk using them. A girlfriend recently suggested attaching the bag to my clothes with a chain. Novel, but somewhat bizarre and my bizarreness ratings do not need enhancing at the moment. I have bucket loads of admiration for people that have mastered the skill of handbag management to a level where it looks seamless and automatic.
  • Check the charge level more frequently and plan to charge it at sensible times. Ugh, I’ll try this one. Scattiness is also a by-product of recently-dumped-ness so I’m not too confident of this solution working.
  • Carry a fully charged spare battery. Is that even possible?
  • Have lots of chargers left in the places I spend lots of time. Back-up plan for the incurably scatty.
  • Tolerate dead-phone for hours. What? Can’t text, take pictures or feel the pleasant vibrate in my front pocket during ‘important’ meetings. NO WAY!
  • Use phone less to place and receive calls. Preposterous!.

Wendy mobile-phonophile

Mobile phone batteries dilemma
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My Home Network. Fiddling.

Tuesday, September 13th, 2005 | tags: , ,  |

<boring entry>

Initial set-up:

  • old desktop replacement HP laptop runnng XP SP2 Professional (Tinkerbell).
  • combined wireless base-station router (gateway?) connected to a DSL modem.

Problem space:

  • Recently Tinkerbell started making disturbing ‘whirring’ noises intermittently. Scared the kitties. Spooked me. A ‘tap’ on the side stops it.. …but its a mystery…
  • Tinkerbell could provide a useful resource on trip to the UK, homes with wireless networks and limited access to PC’s…


  • Back-up digital music & photographs ‘outside’ the laptop.
  • Storage accessible over wireless network (don’t want to plug it into my laptop).
  • Easily add a photo-quality printer to the Network.
  • Cheaper than replacing Tinkerbell.
  • More storage than I currently need.
  • No complex labeling and filing systems to manage (e.g. burning and maintaining a complex CD catalogue).
  • Opportunities beyond my & the kitties current imagination…

The solution is not immediately clear to the the kitties and I.


  • Searching online stores. Reading descriptions of Network thingy’s. Trying to work out what those descriptions meant and if they were good for the kitties and I.
  • Verified research by asking specific questions of a store assistant (Fry’s).

Implementing the solution

  • Purchase a network storage drive with printer-server (photograph attached).
  • Follow instructions. Everything set-up ok… …then…
  • changed the name of my remote storage folder…. ….things got too messy to describe here… …in time, i managed to ‘recover’.
  • Searched XP help for ‘Back-up’. It wasn’t helpful. Later discovered it would have been helpful if I’d typed ‘backup’.
  • 3hrs copying files from laptop to the remote storage – I havent got much ‘stuff’ yet!

Now Tinkerbell can ‘pop its clogs’ any old time. I can save for a light-weight, pretty, kitty-fur-repellant, replacement laptop. A small object of desire rather than a whirring functional brick!

Meanwhile, the brick will come to the UK with me. That means you’ll get more ‘verbose’ blog entries than if I used my phone…. Hooray! After all, it is all about you.

<boring entry finished>

My Home Network. Fiddling.
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