At home, data backup is something you know you should do, but never quite get around to. I think that's about to change. For many of us the home PC is becoming a media centre. It suddenly holds thousands of dollars worth of music, hours of video, and hundreds of priceless photos.
I've been using a Maxtor drive to backup my home PC every couple of months. It's a great product, but a lousy solution. I could easily lose a hundred family photos if my hard drive fails. And if the house burns down I lose the PC and the Maxtor.
Fred Wilson is recommending Carbonite's online backup solution and I'm going to give it a try. It's cheap, only a couple of bucks a month. And there are some smarts involved: the program only uploads data when it senses the PC is idle. That eliminates the infuriating problems with sluggish performance that plague users of many automatic software updates.
I hang on to my computers a bit longer than the average tech-obsessed male. In fact, thanks to a CPU upgrade from Powerleap, I've managed to run my Dell Dimension 450 for almost six years.
I've dreaded the inevitable misery of swapping to a new computer, but finally had to accept that the old box had exceeded its shelf life and it was time to move on. In an iPod world it's hard to live without USB 2.0 or Firewire, for example. And it's almost impossible to survive with only two USB ports.
I drooled over a Mac G5 for a week or two, but reluctantly conceded that I am not an architect or games developer so a Windows-based machine is still the way to go. It was back to Dell.
Since I only pony up for a new machine every five years, I figured I could break the bank with a clear conscience. Playing with Dell's spec sheet can be quite fun (how much can you spend?), but after an hour I stopped mucking about, pushed ENTER, and ordered . . . the Beast.
Where shall we start? Dual core Pentium D 840 CPUs (just in case one isn't enough). Top of the line Geforce 7800 GTX graphics card, dual hard drives, dual DVD+/-RW. I think it has more RAM than the hard drive memory on my first PC.
Shall I play a video game or assume control of NASA? This thing is awesome.
Jeff thinks Apple has screwed their customers by launching the new video iPod just weeks after the nano. I can't help but think he's just trying to stir up controversy, and I'm not convinced he'll succeed this time.
The nano and the new iPod are both GREAT products. But their form factors and functionality are clearly differentiated and I believe they'll attract different consumers. In some cases customers may choose to own one of each. The nano holds 1,000 songs versus 15,000 for the new iPod. The nano is small, sexy, and cool. It's perfect for exercise or for travel. The new iPod is a media center. It can hold all your music, all your photos, plus your favourite home videos.
Regardless, at $199 the nano is approaching a "disposable" price point. It's just not a lot of money for a hugely desirable piece of kit. I doubt there's much buyer's remorse out there.
I'm enjoying the blog-spat between Hugh MacLeod of Gaping Void and Ben Metcalfe. I read Hugh's blog every morning because it hits so many of my interests: irreverent humour, bespoke suits, marketing evolution, the internet, the blogosphere.
I don't agree with Ben that Stormhoek and Hugh's blogvertising strategy somehow pollute the blogosphere. Yes, Gaping Void is popular, but at the end of the day it's one of 17.8 million blogs. Go And Read Something Else. Hugh's passion is pushing the online marketing envelope-- that's his game.
It really doesn't matter whether Stormhoek is a great wine or not. Ben's argument that marketing Stormhoek "defies natural selection" just doesn't stack up. Should only Porsche and BMW be allowed to lend their vehicles to car magazines? Does allowing Kmart to advertise their "crappy" clothes defy natural selection? I also think Ben misses a vital point: this was a very high risk strategy, a calculated gamble. Hugh has put Stormhoek's brand (and his own brand) at risk. From the saftey of their keyboards, bloggers tell it like it is. They are an utterly ruthless bunch.
Tom Evslin fired back a comment in response to doubts I raised about blooks like his new novel, Hackoff. He plans to also publish a hardcover for people who don't have the time or inclination to read a who-dun-it on their computer. Tom believes the blook will encourage sampling, reviews from respect sources and invaluable publicity.
I buy that. And if I saw Hackoff in Borders tomorrow I'd buy a copy . . . thanks to the blook.
As of a few moments ago, Technorati is only listing seven (7) blog links to "Hackoff." Feedster lists 209 links and Icerocket lists 8 posts (16 for Hackoff.com). That's not an avalanche of interest, but perhaps this will be a slow build?
I'm going to watch Hackoff. But despite my fascination I doubt I'll read the whole story, I just don't have time. And that's where I think the "blook thing" is going to fall down. Put simply, if I'm sitting in front of my computer it's because I Have Things To Do. I read novels on planes, after the kids have gone to bed, on holidays-- not on my laptop at the office.