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BACKUPS – don’t lose it!

By Mark Rawcliffe features@algarveresident.com

A back up regardless of the make, model or the age of computer is simply a safe way to collect and protect files, data and information that would be impossible to recover, and cause great hardship if not retrievable following the loss, damage or theft of a computer. Backups are very specific and must be handled in a certain way for the information to remain safe. Applications will usually need to be re-installed and activated with the original installation media, so do not worry about backing these up although this can be overcome with MAC if the preferences are set as such.

MAC’s and PC’s use different ways to backup, but the philosophy remains the same.

Select more than one location and media type when performing your backup. There are various solutions available, including hardware units, and cloud based options.

For safety, this column recommends using hardware as the primary backup, followed by a cloud based solution to backup the backup. There are various hardware and software options. Your IT advisor should be able to advise you on a one-to-one basis.

There is however one important issue that reveals itself more and more to hardware engineers. A hardware device such as an external hard disk, that is to be used as a backup solution, must remain solely for the use of the backup. Do not use it as a day-to-day additional source of space.

by Sérgio Fortuna – Microsoft support professional, with over 15 years’ experience in all types of computer systems. Algarve Computer Centre

The location of files on Windows based computers can vary depending on which version of Windows you are using and also depending on which email program you are using. The backup of emails and contacts can be tricky so it’s always better to seek advice of someone with the right technical knowledge to help setup the backup.

The process of backing up your files can be manual or automated. A manual process is a simple copy and paste of the files from original location to its backup destination.

In an automated process the backup will be done with the help of software. This method allows you to schedule a date and time for the backup and also what to back up. Windows has built-in backup software for this, but it’s mainly for home use. Businesses need more sophisticated software to facilitate backups of one or more computers.

Backups can be done from the computer directly to an external device via a USB connected external hard drive, or through a network whether computers are wireless or wired to a router or via the Internet through a cloud based system. Cloud systems are some of the easiest to setup and most convenient.

The network solution works better in an office environment because the backup is done in the background with minimal user intervention. The setup however requires a certain level of technical expertise and some maintenance to ensure that the backups are being carried out.

To prevent the loss of your important files, always make sure you test your backups regularly, if you not sure seek professional help.

by Russell Newton – Apple certified Macintosh technician, Apple certified support professional. Newteq Solutions

Apple’s Time Capsule – from €289.00 - €489.00 with options including 2TB and 3TB hard disks
Apple’s Time Capsule – from €289.00 – €489.00 with options including 2TB and 3TB hard disks

Backing up on a Mac could not be easier – literally. Simply plug in any external hard disk and Mac OS X’s built-in Time Machine software will ask you if you would like to use it as a backup disk. Clicking OK will begin your first backup – a complete copy of every single item on your computer – system files, applications, user accounts, preferences, pictures, music, videos, documents and emails. Thereafter your Mac will regularly and quietly watch for changes you make and record them on the hard disk. It’s that simple! As is often the case with Apple, though, the simplicity of the user interface completely belies the complexity of the technology beneath. Accessing the backup is also a very easy process – and actually quite fun. With a single click of the Time Machine icon your desktop falls away to reveal a 3D view looking back in time allowing you to travel backwards and forwards and retrieve items that have since been moved or deleted. This incredible interface works whether you are looking for files and folders in the Finder or exploring your email messages.  What about situations where it is not convenient to regularly plug in an external hard disk?

Apple provides a solution to this also. It is a device known as Time Capsule. Time Capsule is essentially a Wi-Fi router with a built-in large-capacity hard disk that allows you to back up one or more Macs, with no cables and very little configuration. The Time Machine software will recognise the presence of the Time Capsule on your network and guide you through the simple set up process.  There has never been an easier, more reliable or more enjoyable way to back up a computer.

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What weighs 2.02Kgs and is 1.8cms thin? The new MacBook Pro with the retina display launched with Apple’s iPad 3. Prices are from €2,349 to €2,979 and available from outlets in the Algarve to order including Algarve Computer Centre. The launch of the retina display model of course means a reduction of the older version with prices now starting at €1,299 for the basic 13” model.

iOS 6 is the latest upgrade to wet the lips of iUsers. Available on the iPhone 3GS and newer, the iPod Touch 4, the iPad 2 and 3, all for free this autumn. Changes include reworked maps, improved Siri interface, integrated Facebook, Passbook (helps with boarding cards, movie tickets loyalty cards), Facetime (with cellular networks functionality), and improvements to Safari, Mail and the telephone.

Samsung is talking about pre-orders totalling nearly 10 million for its new Galaxy S III. With the latest version of Android, a whopping 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD screen and a whole suite of Apple-beating features, is the new Samsung Galaxy SIII the greatest phone ever? It is bound to be less expensive than the iPhone, but only time will tell. Of course the impending launch date of the iPhone 5, could scupper Samsungs takeover plans.

It’s official. We all love birds, especially angry ones it would seem. Over 1 billion downloads later and the app that made its debut in late 2009 has become the best thing to hit a smart-phone ever – and then some. And now you can play it using your MAC or PC through Google’s Chrome browser. Whatever next!