Archive for the ‘cloud’ Tag

04-30-2015 Journal – Microsoft Slipping Away!   Leave a comment

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Are you as sick as I am about all of these computer companies who insist on convincing or coercing every person in this country to use "The Cloud"? You can’t seem to buy software of any kind without that gentle shove by the company to convince you to place all of your personal writings, business writings, financials or anything else you can a think of on their version of "The Cloud".

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Is anyone on this earth unaware of the risks we take just by being on the Internet. Viruses appear without notice almost every day or so we’re told by McAfee.  Hackers are constantly breaking into those so-called secure sites and making the lives of us poor morons miserable. They’re costing us a lot of money each year to try and protect ourselves and it seems no matter what big companies do, they can’t protect themselves and our most private information.

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Three times in the last few years I’ve been forced to change my credit and debit cards because someone was buying music or other things with my card numbers in Paris, France, Cleveland, Ohio and Montreal, Canada.  I have those expert security specialists at Home Depot, Hannaford Foods, and Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield for making my information available to every hacker and thief who has a computer. I’m easily paying more than $200.00 a year for virus protection of my home computers and even a monthly charge for my freaking telephone.    Do you see where I’m going with this?

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Yesterday I was taken by surprise when Microsoft notified me via Facebook that they were making the MS Word program available for free to users of the IPad. I was thrilled because I’ve been loyal to Microsoft for decades.  It’s only within the last year or so that I’m becoming more and more disappointed with them.  After the X-Box One fiasco that make the device incompatible with a couple of decades of game software I’d already purchased, that was Strike One.  Strike Two was my purchase of a MS Surface tablet.  It crashed within a week of the purchase and with no help from their Tech Support took me a month to figure out how to reset it.  Of course I lost all of my information on it as well.

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Strike Three is this App which might be free but has a lot of strings attached. If you create any documents of any kind you’re forced to save them on the MS “Cloud” called “OneDrive”. There is no option that will allow you to save them just to your tablet.   In my opinion it’s those kind of strong-arm tactics that could get me to walk away from MS entirely.  Oh and by the way, you can take your Office 365 program and stick it where the sun don’t shine.

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Everyone knows and worries about Google becoming too intrusive  when they save every piece of information about us they can get.  I understand now they have access to and save information on virtually every website we visit on the web. People are concerned about Muslim terrorists but compared with Google they’re inconsequential.

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I took steps this year to install my own “Cloud” in my home with no available access from the net.  All of my information and backups are now stored safely out of reach of the online thieves and hackers and controlled only by me. 

So here’s my final thought  for Microsoft.  It’s time to get your collective heads out of your collective asses and get back to being the company we’ve all come to know and trust over the years. Bring Bill Gates back if you must and maybe he can stop you from following down that road right behind Google. 

Since you’ve used up your three strikes, I just deleted your free Word App from my IPad.  I never thought I’d see the day when Microsoft wasn’t leading the technology revolution by taking it in new and exciting directions instead of following along behind others like a lap dog.

11-13-2014 Journal – My Cloud, My Rules!   Leave a comment

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I’m relaxing this morning for a number of reasons.  This is the only time of the day I can really settle back and watch some NASA TV without interruptions of any kind.  I always try to keep current with what they’re doing especially with the upcoming launch of this country’s next generation of space vehicle, the Orion, happening within the next three weeks. This unmanned first flight is the next step to seeing people actually visiting nearby asteroids and then on to Mars in a few years. For me it’s something that’s pretty damn exciting since I’ve been a huge space nerd for my entire life and never thought I’d live to see some of the things I’ve seen in the last few years. It also relaxes me like nothing else seems to do (do not include sex in that thought).

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It’s also the time of day where I usually write my blog postings without phone calls and constant conversational interruptions.  Most of my recent weeks have been a steady diet of all things computer.  I posted a few weeks ago about the disaster that was my attempt to upgrade my home wireless network. After a great deal of time and effort I finally accomplished what I set out to do. Unfortunately all of those efforts were just the first and most important step in my much larger project of creating and installing my own personal Cloud system.  It required a great deal of research to find the proper equipment and software as well as the training I needed to do it myself.  As of this morning I’m just hours away from the completion of that project and I’m feeling damn good about it.

One of the things that made the project so easy (a relative term) was a device called the My Cloud.  It’s a Western Digital product that attaches to a home network and provides a storage area for any and all devices included in that network.  It sounds like a simple matter but it is anything but.  Not only does it connect all of my computers, laptops, IPads, Android tablets, smart phones and printers together, it permits me to access the network with any of my wireless devices from anywhere I can find a Wi-Fi connection. We can upload photographs and videos from our cell phone and IPad cameras from just about anywhere. Everything is heavily encrypted and virus protected with layers of passwords and firewalls making access possible only by previously approved people.  Unlike most commercial Cloud ventures from major computer entities, my cloud cannot be accessed by the government without my consent. 

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This all started a few years ago when our home was burglarized.  Part of that "smash and grab" crime involved the theft of my better-half’s laptop.  We lost more than two years of her photographs of family and friends which could never be replaced. Also every time I have a computer problem I seem to lose data when forced to restore or recover the device.  It’s not that we don’t do proper backups, it’s that we sometimes forget to do them.  With this new system some of our backups will now be done automatically into the Cloud which has been installed in an area not easily discovered by marauding  criminals.  Between the two of us we have more than thirty thousand photographs and five thousand songs in storage that are now safe from loss. It’s easy to replace a device but some other things are just irreplaceable and require extra protection. It’ll take a day of two to copy everything completely to the new four terabyte Cloud but I’ll certainly sleep better knowing it’s finally done.

So hooray for me and it’s back to NASA and another steaming cup of hot and delicious "Midnight Velvet" coffee.  That’ll get my heart started for sure.

10-14-2013. Journal Entry-More Nonsense and a Cat!   Leave a comment

I’ve had 24 hours for my blood pressure to return to normal levels after receiving that letter from Planned Parenthood.  It really got me going for a while there.  But on to better things to talk about today which will help me relax a little.

It’s a day of nonsense for me.  I finished a good solid 40 minute workout on the treadmill which left me soaking wet and somewhat winded, it was great. I spent an additional ten minutes in my continuing efforts to get my cat Stormy to walk on it with me.  It’s taken me six months just to get him to sit on the damn treadmill but he’s gone like a shot as soon as I turn it on.  I’m nothing if not persistent and I hope he lives long enough for me to accomplish this feat. He knows exactly what I want him to do but he’s just dragging this out to mess with me. I sometimes think he’s actually the one training me.

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‘Here’s what I want.’

‘Here’s what I got.’

Have I mentioned recently that I’m a bit of a klutz.  I trip over things, fall into things, drop things and occasionally break things.  It’s a life long issue that appears unfixable.  As I was in my workshop putting the finishing touches to a small book shelf I’ve been building I found it necessary to stain a few small pieces of trim before finishing the project.  I pulled out a quart of stain and an old rag to stain just two small 8 inch pieces.  How much trouble could I get in? That evil klutz that lives inside me decided it was time for another visit to make my life a little more interesting.

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I opened the can of stain carefully after putting on my latex gloves.  I hate getting that stuff on me because it’s as hard as hell to remove.  I picked up the rag and placed  the pieces of trim the on the bench to begin staining. As I turned to pick up the rag my arm struck the nearby can of stain and sent it flying.  Needless to say I now have a stain on the floor of my workshop that’s approximately 6 feet long and four feet wide.  That doesn’t even include the splash-back onto my arms, chest, face and glasses. I ended up spending more time cleaning that up than I did building the damn bookshelf in the first place. The evil klutz got me again.

I then returned to my man-cave to post about Planned Parenthood and what do I find?  No internet connection. I’ve been having periodic problems with my connection for the last few weeks but this time my home network was dead. After running diagnostics, checking cables, cursing a blue streak, and making a quick visit to a nearby Time Warner office, it was once again operating.

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I’ve been considering a complete upgrade of my home network and after today I’m convinced it’s badly needed.  Along with the network upgrade I’ll be adding a home cloud system and hopefully it can all be done at the same time.  At least with my own cloud I’ll feel much more secure about the safety of my music and photographs.

I’m off to take a shower and clean the remainder of the stain from my magnificent body.  It’s like having graffiti on Michelangelo’s “David”.

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That was supposed to be funny in case you were wondering.  After that I foresee a large mug of Jack Daniels and Pepsi to smooth things out a little more.  Another wonderful day in the neighborhood comes to a close.