Laptop rebuilding notes and links

It’s always a good thing when you realize that recovering from a crash isn’t going to be as bad as you thought.

Part of the reason it wasn’t that bad is that – because I bounce around between several computers – I’ve learned to keep most of what I need online. That means my bookmarks and email are all still there waiting for me as soon as I get back online. For bookmarks I use del.icio.us and for email I have accounts with all major webmail services. They all offer such large storage capacities that there’s really no reason for a traditional pop based account. Google even has a calendar app that rivals outlooks imho.

I didn’t lose any media data either. Music is backed up on the ipod, and it’s all mp3’s, so there’s no DRM issues to stress over. (There’s nothing worse than having legal music and not being able to use it the way you want.) I can use yamipod to pull the music off the ipod if needed. If you aren’t that excited about using some unknown application to pull files off your high dollar ipod you could always use the music locker from mp3tunes.com. $40 a year gets you unlimited storage space (or 1GB for free) and you can stream your music anywhere you have an internet connection. All photos worth keeping are backed up on flickr. Movies aren’t really backed up anywhere, so I’d be s.o.l. on that point. But all the above is kept on a NAS device so any computer can crash and I’d be ok. As long as the hard drive in the NAS doesn’t crash… knock on wood…

OK, links! Turns out there’s very little I use the laptop for. It’s mainly a web and IM machine. So for web I’ve been using opera (I even like it better than firefox) and for IM it’s the new Microsoft Live Messenger. I like AVG Free from Grisoft for antivirus and even though it’s probably sending all kinds of info to MS I like the Windows Defender for antispyware. A couple of times it’s found things that both Ad-aware and spybot have missed, and honestly, if you’re using windows in the first place, don’t you think Microsoft already has all the info they want on you? I also do a little light photo editing, and my choice of editor is picasa. It works even better than the software that comes with the camera.

Even though it has nothing to do with restoring files or keeping data online I want to highlight orb. It’s the best way to get that media from you home PC (or NAS) out to any internet connected device with a decent browser. I’m able to access all my video and music on remote pc’s, smartphones, and even my Nokia 770. And it’s free, although unlike mp3tunes mentioned above, if you crash and burn, your media is not stored online, so unless you have a backup, it’s gone. I also need to mention that all the software linked above is free, so have fun.

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