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Thursday, March 06, 2014
Thursday, March 06, 2014 Backup , Cameras , Cloud Computing , CNETTV , Collections , Customers , Data Encryption , Devices , How to , Life , Memory cards , PC , Photography , Photos , Portable , Safety , SD's , Servers , Services , World
Just imagine all the thousands of photos stored in phones, digital cameras and laptops. The Daily Mail estimates that almost 40 percent of such individuals have no backup of those files.
These devices break, wear out or are damaged every day, and with them thousands of photos are lost. Make sure you have backup plan for your treasured memories. Those moments in time can be lost forever if you don't protect them.
Local Backups and Broken Hard Drives
Most people know they should back up their files regularly. This often happens at home to a computer hard drive or maybe to an external drive. Local backups are a good idea because it does make a copy of the files. However, it's not such a good idea for long-term storage because hardware does break.
Backblaze estimates that 22 percent of hard drives, on average, fail in the first four years of use. The failure rate is higher if the computer or hard drive is used continually, or is used in hot, dusty environments. You also could experience a failure if there is a sudden spike on the electric circuit, such as during a lighting storm. You could lose years of photos on one failed drive.
While there are recovery services who will attempt to retrieve files off of a dead hard drive for you, these are expensive with no guarantee the recovery will be 100 percent successful. A better option is to have multiple ways of backing up your photos.
Backing Up to the Cloud
Cloud storage services have matured into an easy way for people to save all types of files, including photos. Most are easy to set up. Some offer automated backup, such as Mozy, so you don't even have to remember to do the backup yourself. Some vendors require you to load small programs onto your computer to do the backup while others rely on a browser-based online application.
Having a combination of backups is safest. Do a local backup of your photos from your phone or camera to the computer and a regular backup to your cloud storage. One way to use your cloud storage is as an archival system.
Since your files are in the cloud, you have access to them anywhere. For example, photos you take during a vacation can be uploaded to your cloud storage from your hotel room and then you can access them again when you get home. Or you can check on photos you took during your last trip to your destination to see if you already have photos of certain scenic spots.
The Safety of Your Photos
USA Today finds that cloud storage is as safe as other storage options. Most cloud service providers use encryption to store your files so they can't be viewed by others. Data is stored on huge disk farms, which are constantly monitored for potential disk failures. The systems cloud providers use allow the replacement of disk drives without creating any downtime. You don't have to worry about a drive failing and losing photos.
Keeping Those Non-Digital Photos Safe
If you have a number of regular film photos, you can keep them save as well. CNET shows how you can scan those photos to create digital copies. Or you can have a service do that for you. A digital copy of a film photo is easier to store, doesn't fade, or get damaged by water or fire. You could scan your print photos and store the originals in a fireproof box or in a safe deposit box with your bank.
We'd like to take a moment to thank everyone here for being a member of The *Official AndreasCY* club! It's because of your great feedback and constant support that we're able to continue as a powerful community. More will come! ;)
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014 Backup , Cameras , Cloud Computing , Collections , Customers , History , How to , Lenovo , Life , Memory cards , PC , Photography , Photos , Portable , Safety , SD's , Seagate , Servers , Services , World
Posted by Andreas Christodoulou
It's worse than a punch in the gut—that awful realization that your computer has crashed and your wedding photos are gone, your beach vacation photos are gone, and your baby's first birthday photos ... gone.
You scold yourself for not backing them up, saving them to a disk, or leaving them on your memory card. You swear you'll never make that mistake again, but how can you prevent a virus from wiping out your priceless photos again? Here are a few ways to make sure they're stored safely and securely.
1. Keep them in the Cloud
Upload your precious photos to cloud storage where they'll be safely stored until you need them again. Accessing them at any time is easy, and you'll never again experience that sinking feeling that comes with knowing you've lost an entire year's worth of memories to one annoying computer crash. Different features and fee structures are available at the various providers, so do your research—decide what type of storage you need and research cloud storage rankings for dependability.
2. Save them to Disc
Another efficient way of saving your digital memories is to burn them onto a disc. According to the International Journal for the Preservation of Library and Archival Material, CD-R discs made with phthalocynine dye are the ones that stand the test of time. They're less likely to exhibit laser rot and deterioration over time. The fact that the disc is a CD-R instead of a CD-RW, also means you can't accidently copy over the photos you have stored.
If you choose this method of storage, it's still a good idea to have a backup system in place. Even the best CDs deteriorate over time, so have an alternative storage method.
3. Use an External Hard Drive
Although external hard drives can be susceptible to viruses, they're a good back up to discs and to the regular hard drive on your PC. External hard drives hold a ton of photos without slowing things down and they're easy to retrieve when you need them. PC Magazine recommends the top five external hard drives, which include:
• LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt (1TB SSD)
• LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt (120GB SSD)
• Lenovo ThinkPad USB 3.0 Secure Hard Drive
• Seagate Backup Plus
• Seagate Backup Plus Portable Drive for Mac (1TB)
4. SD Card
SD Cards are the small memory sticks that go inside your camera before you leave on a photo expedition. These are a viable option for storing photos, except that they have a size limit and can fill up quickly if you're not cautious of your volume of large file sizes. These are also not foolproof for life, but they'll do until you have a chance to upload your memories to the cloud.
5. Combination Storage
Of all these options, cloud storage is the safest file storage method of hanging onto precious digital files. Be extra safe, however, by using a combination of storage solutions. With more than one dependable storage solutions in place, your cherished memories will be safe and secure for years to come.
We’ve shared our ideas, now we want to ask you – how do you preserve your family memories and not lose them forever? Share them with us in a comment below!
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 Business , Career , Customers , Entertainment , Games , How to , IBM , Industry , iWin , Life , NASA , Navy , Office , PC , Simulations , Social Workers , Testing and Optimizing , Tools , Training materials , World
Posted by Andreas Christodoulou
What if your company looked at the workflow coming in as an obstacle to be conquered rather than a task to be completed? The next paradigm shift in the business world may be turning the tedium of everyday work into a game or challenge that everyone is eager to participate in.
The success of the corporate gaming craze has already begun to hit home, with Business News reporting that gamification can increase productivity by some 40%. How can you take advantage of games in order to generate better employee work efforts at the office?
Gaming as a Means of Testing
Taking on a new employee represents a major investment for the employer due to the time and resources needed to get them trained and up to speed on a new system. While there are few jobs out there that require you to fight one-on-one in a deathmatch or take down waves of attacking trolls, companies have figured out how to use video games as diagnostics and training tools for their new employees.
CNN reports that institutions ranging from the Navy to IBM to NASA use video games to create simulations that require a participant to solve a problem or complete a diagnostic. How could your company benefit from combining testing and training with games? For starters, employees would be far more eager to show up for a workshop where they may be mentally challenged, or one where they can conquer their co-worker. When bringing in new employees, you could ensure better retention of company policies during training by keeping the content lively and engaging when presented in the form of a video game.
From One to the Other
Multi-tasking is one of the most valuable skills any worker can bring to a company, but not everyone can quickly go from one task to the next. A study by Psychology Today indicates that strategy games can help. When gamers make different choices commanding workers, powerful units, and economies, their brain improves at jumping from task to task. It's not just strategy games either. Mazes, memory games, and matching puzzles are very stimulating.
Hidden object games from iWin, for example, require a gamer to look over different areas and use different clue-finding techniques to solve a visual puzzle. With a few games under their belt, employees can better make a decision when the best solution isn't immediately clear. This pays off when it comes to productivity for any company that has multiple deadlines per employee or per project. With gamification like strategy or hidden object games, employees can manage deadlines that conflict across time or space better than they could before, potentially resulting in projects that come in on time or ahead of schedule.
Fortune favors the bold, said Alexander the Great. It's a maxim that applies perfectly to the corporate world, even two thousand years later. Employees who have responsibility for making decisions can become more efficient at their job by—you guessed it—plugging into a console or PC in order to duke it out with their gun of choice. A first-person shooter title like Call of Duty has the potential to help a person make decisions at a faster pace due to the influence of having to pump the opposition full of lead before they return the favor. There's no compromise in the quality of these decisions, either.
You don't have to worry that the first FPS-influenced conclusion you come to will be any worse than one you could mull over if you had more time to consider the various options. Employees need to make a bevy of snap decisions each day, ranging from the options that a marketing team uses to promote a product to a sales member who has to identify the best customers out there. With faster decisions comes less time wasted on second-guessing and scrutiny.
Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comments below. Please share and help spread the information with your friends and other social circles.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 Able2Extract , Apps , AutoCAD , Business , Career , Converting , Customers , Education , Excel , HTML5 , Industry , Office , PDF , Powerpoint , Presentations , Pros and Cons , Reviews , Software , Tools , Word
Posted by Andreas Christodoulou
One of the greatest things about the constant evolution of technology is that it makes our lives easier in many ways. This is especially true when it comes to our professional lives. As the workplace shifts more and more towards computer-related activities and the Internet, there is a constant influx of products entering the marketplace that are specifically designed to make your job easier, lighten your workload and increase your productivity.
One tool that falls into this category is, without a doubt, the PDF converter. The PDF is a document format that is incredibly popular in today’s business world. There are two main reasons for the popularity of the PDF. Firstly, it is a universal file formats. That means that it looks exactly the same, no matter what platform you are using. So if you have created a PDF on your Windows computer and you send it to someone who is using Linux, the PDF will look exactly the same on both computers. This is a very important feature in the business world when it comes to convenience.
The second big reason for the popularity of the PDF format is the fact that it is very compact. It allows you to include a lot of data into a reasonably small file size. That’s what makes the PDF great for not only sharing data, but also archiving it.
The one thing that the PDF does not have going for it is the fact that it is virtually uneditable. So if you receive data via PDF that you have to manipulate and work with further, you can see why this would be a big problem. And that’s where the PDF converter comes in to play.
There are many types of PDF converters available. There are online PDF converts that are used by people who might only need to convert a PDF into another file format every once in a while. Most are not incredibly accurate and often make you wait a while to get your converted file. But people who need to extract important data from PDFs on an everyday basis tend to go for a professional PDF conversion software solution. One such tool is Investintech.com’s Able2Extract PDF Converter.
While there are plenty of PDF conversion tools to choose from on the market, Able2Extract’s most recent version 8 has a lot of features that you just won’t find anywhere else. Let’s take a look at what they are:
A huge variety of conversion options
Able2Extract is designed with just about every type of professional in mind. Are you a bookkeeper or auditor that is constantly working with numbers and tabular data? Able2Extract allows you to accurately convert PDF tables into Microsoft Excel. Are you an architect or interior designer? Convert PDF plans into AutoCAD formats so that you can edit the designs further. Are you a content writer and receive lots of great ideas in PDF format? Convert them into Microsoft Word and begin writing immediately. And that only scratches the surface of Able2Extract’s conversion options. It also supports PDF to PowerPoint, HTML, a variety of image file formats, text, and much more.
Pin-Point accuracy when converting
The whole point of purchasing PDF conversion software is to save time. You’re not going to save any time if your converted file is formatted incorrectly and requires further editing upon conversion. Able2Extract provides you with accurate conversions that almost perfectly reflect the original format of the PDF you are extracting the information from. The software even has special custom Excel conversion options, because the makers or the software realize how problematic it can be to convert tabular data accurately. Able2Extract allows you to convert your files and then immediately start working with the information that was earlier trapped within your PDF.
Fast conversions every time
Have you tried online PDF converters and you’re sick of having to wait for your file? Most online tools in this niche require you to upload your PDF, enter your email, and then wait at least a half hour before you can download your converted file. Able2Extract allows you to perform each conversion in mere seconds.
Cross platform capabilities
As mentioned earlier, the PDF is a cross platform format that works on any computer. So why should your PDF converter be any different? Able2Extract works just as well on Windows, Mac or Linux.
Have you received a zip file containing dozens of PDFs that need to be converted into an editable format? Instead of converting them one by one, you can use Able2Extract’s batch conversion option and convert them all in just one process.
Ability to convert scanned PDFs
The professional version of Able2Extract also includes the industry’s best OCR technology. OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition, and this technology enables you to convert not only natively created PDFs, but scanned ones as well. So if you are looking to use text found in a PDF of a scanned magazine article, the OCR capabilities of Able2Extract can decipher the scanned text and convert it into an editable Word, OpenOffice or text file for you.
On top of everything, Able2Extract also has a very sleek graphical interface that is very user friendly. Even if this is your first experience with PDF conversion software, you’ll be able to start using it immediately.
If you want proof of just how easy it is to use, check out this tutorial video. And if the video intrigues you further, head over to Investintech.com to download a free 7-day trial version of Able2Extract and test it out yourself.