I’m fed up with backups. Its unarguably true that they are one of the most important linchpins in computer security – providing support for integrity, availability and (if done correctly), not compromising confidentiality. However, no one likes to do them, and without the kind services of a small army of people to backup my data for me, I know I’ll forget.
Carbonite appears to provide that function. I’ve been using it for about a month now, to back up files on my PC, and it sits in my system tray, and copies anything changed to my own private vaultspace in their datacentre. They assure me its encrypted – not strongly, admittedly, as the keys are my email address, and a password, but in a risk reduction scenario, I’m happier having my stuff safe somewhere else, especially as the drive in the PC is showing S.M.A.R.T. failure, and I’m waiting for the new one to arrive from dabs.
I’m also a fan of Outlook (although many people aren’t). I like it because its flexible, simple to use, and I’m fairly confident that with the addition of Avast antivirus and spamfighter, that not too many nasties get into my inbox. Mail to me goes through AV services at Versatilia, then Google, and then finally gets to my Outlook inbox. However, one thing I would like is to be able to check my google calendar, and have that automatically sync’d up with my Outlook calendar.
I tried RemoteCalendars, but to be frank, its got a lot of bugs in it. It crashed frequently, and stubbornly refused to talk to the Google Calendar API (which is still in beta, but still). The only success I had was wiping out my Google calendar, which then gave me an opportunity to test the restore feature on my mobile. I have found SyncMyCal, which just works, and is available in a freebie or pay-for version, for only $25, which seems well worth it for such a handy little tool.
Music is handled by Last.FM, which yesterday was tricking Coltrane jazz over my ears like warm oil. Actually, it was a lot nicer than having warm oil trickled over my ears. Please don’t do that. I’m also trying the potentially quite amazing Jajah, which trunks VOIP calls between me and the other person, without requiring me to have a (yuk!) BT Softphone, SkypeIn/SkypeOut services, or other complicated animals. And yes, the pricing is equivalent to what you get from Skype, or possibly even a little better.
And finally, for when my family call me up for PC support, I’ve got a LogMeIn connection so I can jump onto her laptop without her trying to navigate Messenger to send me a remote assistance request.
 If you discover how to make a career in IT without people calling you asking you to fix their computers, let me know how.