SyncToy

Ever since my little hard drive incident last month, I’ve become more concerned with… you know… backing up my stuff. While the photos are my main concern, I also am sick of re-downloading or re-ripping my entire music collection whenever I screw up. So I purchased an external drive that could be configured as RAID 1 array to act as my real backup solution. Once a week I would copy everything new up to it and then shut it down to prevent any shenanigans. The only problem was how to limit the backups to just the new and updated files – no matter where in the directory structure they are located.

Imagine my surprise when I stumbled across a Microsoft power tool called SyncToy that does exactly what I want. Not being content to hand my backup scheme over to a stable piece of software, I skipped directly to their beta for version 2. I can’t really compare it to the old version, but I will say that this new one kicks ass.

I’ve already set up 3 pairs of folders to accomplish certain tasks. One syncs the music folders on my external drive that I take with me to work with my home computer. Now I can make changes at home and at work and know that everything will transfer properly. But with the other two folders, I just want a one way sync. I used the “echo” function, which will replicate any changes to the photo and video directories on my external drive to the backup device. And today, when I knocked the external drive over, I only had a mild heart attack as I knew all of the important data was already synced.

Crap

12 days in and I blew it. I even had something I wanted to post when I got home (already forgotten) but got so wrapped up in little chores that I never actually wrote it. Argh. I have to admit, I didn’t expect it to be a difficult task. But when you’re not completely inspired, it becomes almost a chore to log on and post – even if you have a topic in mind.

But, I’m not giving up. There’s still almost 20 more days, and I don’t want to miss another one…

Sunday Photo: The Hills Go On Forever

The Hills Go On Forever

I took this photo at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. Repeating patterns are very appealing in photographs and the repetition of tens of thousands of tombstones is both sad and intriguing. The sun was a tad too bright out there, which means you’re not going to get very somber photos of such subjects. So, instead, I oversaturated it some and really brought out the colors in contrast with the whiteness of the headstones.

And what did you do Friday night?

Hmm, I’m trying to figure out how I can post from my cell phone. You see, I’ve got some cool videos that I want to upload. Videos taken while we sat in the fourth row for this. It’s a tad odd, but I’ve now seen Duran Duran live 3 times – including these awesome seats and a special club appearance when they first reunited.

I have to admit that I really dig a lot of the new album – there was some great dance music. And the band still knows how to put on a great show. After they played the new album (Red Carpet Massacre) in it’s entirety, there was a brief intermission before they kicked into the second and third acts. The second act was called the Electro Set and it felt as though they were channeling Kraftwerk. The third act was when they really kicked in with the classics, including an awesome rendition of “The Reflex”.

Although the tickets were way more than I wanted to spend on a concert (apparently The Woman agreed to go before finding out just how ridiculous the prices were), we still had a blast. Hopefully I’ll figure out how to post the videos from my phone to avoid this being just a really lame review…

Fine, I won’t link to you

I was all set to link to an adorable collection of really cute Guinea Pigs. But, apparently, the person doesn’t want me to link to them. Or maybe Flickr doesn’t. Either way there’s some stupid spaceball.gif image that sits on top of the photos to prevent me from just posting a quick photo with a link back to their page without jumping through the hoops of Flickr’s horrid “Blog This” interface (which, of course, wiped out my post).

Yeah, I could easily work around it. All it really takes is a quick click in Adblock and spaceball.gif will never bother me again. But why make it difficult for me to just use my archaic HTML skillz? You don’t want me to download the photo directly? Hate to break it to you, but my computer did that automatically – it’s called browsing the web…

The person got traffic from Cute Overload anyway, but I’ve lost interest in going back to see the photos again. I’ve got my own adorable little blob to go home to and watch devour basil leaves (yes, I’m talking about Shadow – what’s wrong with you?). Sometimes I just don’t get the Internet – if you don’t want to share, then just hide everything…

Corner Gas

You know, keeping up this once-a-day schedule can be a lot harder when you don’t post when you’re inspired. I had something to say earlier, but once again I find my mind pretty blank as the “deadline” approaches. Oh well, in the meantime I’ll leave you with this clip:

Does anybody else out there watch Corner Gas? I just love me some Canadian humor. Heck, even if it wasn’t that funny, it’s worth it just because it stars a guy named Brent Butt. That alone is comedy gold.

It would make sense to me…

Verizon came by today to repair the fiber that was ripped off the pole. As much of a pain as it was to schedule an appointment and then get any information regarding said appointment, I was assured that they were “committed to having the issue resolved by 4PM Wednesday”. That’s why the trucks showed up at 3:30PM. Fortunately I was smart enough to say screw ’em and just went to work like normal – I would have pissed if I wasted an entire personal day waiting for them.

But what I don’t understand, is why I still don’t have an HDTV cable box or a DVR. Several weeks ago I complained that I got no HDTV service on my brand new, totally awesome Visio. No, I’m not an idiot. I know why I wasn’t getting it, but I also understand that you have to act like an idiot to not get screwed by these companies. Regardless, they insisted that I needed to pay to have a tech come out to drop the new box off and pick up the new one – unless I was willing to swing by one of their service centers.

That trip, unfortunately, ended with me swearing at their voice prompts for 15 minutes and nearly throwing the existing box through the doors of their office that was magically locked with all lights turned out at exactly 6PM. My, what convenient hours you have…

But what I want to know, is why didn’t the techs have a box? Why are these guys not carrying around extra equipment with the idea that they can upsell home customers with better products? If you come to someone’s home to install a service, and then he or she decides to pay you more money for better service, wouldn’t it make sense to not make said homeowner jump through hoops again to go through this exact same process?

Verizon, however, is far from the worst when it comes to dealing with techs in the field. That distinction rests with Comcast. There is a reason why I will never use them again, no matter where I live in the future. When we first moved into this house, I had the usual problem of scheduling a time for cable installation. Why? Because they won’t let you schedule installation until the previous occupant – who has no interest in living without cable for their last few weeks of occupancy – cancels their service.

With the timing of our move, that meant that we would have no TV during the Super Bowl. Why? Because we couldn’t schedule an install for a few weeks since no techs were working weekends. Super Bowl Sunday rolls around and, what do you know? A Comcast truck rolls into the neighborhood. The tech comes to speak to me and asks if I want to sign up for service. I explain that I already have, and was wondering if he was doing the installation early. Nope, he’s here to disconnect me – well, disconnect the previous occupant. And, since I already signed up for service, he couldn’t leave it on. I would have to wait for the previously scheduled appointment…

Please, think about that for a second.

Think about it a little more.

Let me clarify exactly what Comcast did. They were unwilling to pay techs to work on weekends to setup new customers. Instead, they were paying a tech double or triple overtime to go around on Super Bowl Sunday and disconnect customers that were trying to pay them for service… Can you think of anything more anti-consumer than that? Well, aside from suing your customers like the RIAA…

Sunday Photo: Moon Over Santa Fe

Welcome to the triumphant return of the Sunday Photo!

Moon Over Santa Fe

This was taken our first morning in Santa Fe. I have to give Lisa inspirational credit, as she pointed out the great photo opportunity with the moon in broad daylight. It took a few shots until I found this framing – I had to squat down in the road to get the moon in the right place. There’s minimal post-processing – just contrast and shadow adjustment. Unfortunately I’m doing this post-processing on my notebook, so the colors might not be quite right.