Free backup software that's great!

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Another backup program for you to try. Genie Games Backup is the little sibling of a range of much more powerful backup software but is completely free. Despite being free Genie Games Backup gives you a pretty wide range of options to work with, from zip file encryption to script generation for automatically backing up the important files for specific programs. Despite the name Genie Games Backup is able to backup any file you wish, the key difference between it and its bigger siblings is that it can't back up to removable media (CDs, DVDs, tape, etc), instead only to another directory or a zip file. Honestly, though, its features should be enough for most people, and once you do a backup you can always save it out to CD or DVD manually. Go give it a spin!

New power supply is great!

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After last night's fun we picked up a new power supply for our computer. Its a beefy 500Watt thing by the company Antec and had some discounts this week at CompUSA to make it easier to swallow. Anyway, twenty minutes of fiddling later and I've got everything where it should be - the video card is working again and the DLT drive isn't making the system freak out. The DLT drive is actually recognized now, which it wasn't last night for the five minutes before the video card decided to take its ball and go home, and I've been able to erase a tape as a test. Next off is a complete backup - the drive will store up to 35gig of data uncompressed and can go to about 70gig if the files are compressible. I'll let you know how it goes, but so far I'm pretty darn happy - we can finally do proper backups!!

Backup drive = needs lots of power

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After finally getting a backup tape drive to replace our previous one which decided to not work right, I've managed to a) probably blow another video card, and b) have finally realized that the power supply in our computer just isn't strong enough for what I want/need to do. Because I consider backups to be pretty darn important we'll be picking up new power supply to get it all working, and hopefully tomorrow night actually be able to start making backups! Fingers crossed!

We no need no stinkin Exchange!

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Microsoft Exchange Server is a hulking beast with many ingrained problems yet is still the most commonly used mail server with most companies. Several oranizations have tried to come up with a good replacement for it, and it looks like there may finally be one with a chance of doing so:

Basic file backups

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Its important to keep regular backups of your data, particularly files that are you'd really be upset if you lost (finances, baby pictures, etc). I recently found a free program called Cobian Backup that is designed for making basic file copy or zip archive backups of your files - it won't burn them to CD or DVD but its a good start. Its a little fiddly to get working correctly mainly because there are a large variety of options, but once you do you'll have pretty reliable backups as needed.

What I suggest is creating a Zip backup of either 50mb or 100mb chunks, and if you have the drive space keep about ten days worth. You should schedule it to run every day after work / at night so you've got your important files backed up daily. You should first do one backup to see how much disk space it ends up using, which will help you work out how many CDs or DVDs you'll need later. Once you get it all set up and its working well for a few days, you could then start copying a set of backup files to CD or DVD and putting them in a heat-proof firesafe or safe deposit box, preferably in a different building to your computer just in case of e.g. fire. With a few simple practices like that you shouldn't have too many problems.

I'm going to write up some documentation on how to use it for work, then I'll also post it here.

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