Your Quick Tips, 30 June 2008

External Drive for Backups
I have found a great backup for my thousands of pictures, copies of documents, church records, and personal records like IRS materials. With my CDs getting out of hand I went to Office Depot and purchased a Maxtor One Touch external drive. It plugs into the USB port and is easy to set up. I purchased one the same size as my internal hard drive. I set it up to back up each evening after the virus check is completed thus I know I have a clean backup at the end of the day.

Several handy items with the program, it will back up the line of directories to keep everything where you originally put it on the hard drive, also if you have deleted a file, it updates your backup but it keeps that deleted file in another folder which at the end of the year or whenever, you can clean out all the deleted files if you want. I have checked the backup several times and have found it to be as expected. I just love being able to push the button on the hand size drive and know all is as it should be.
Mike Yakstis

Power Backup vs. Surge Protectors
In a recent newsletter, Herb advocates the use of “surge protectors” to avoid computer losses from power surges. 
Using a power backup is another and related good idea. A power backup unit usually includes anti-surge protection while also providing a large, rather long-lasting battery to supply power to one’s computer in the event that regular AC power fails. Instead of having the screen suddenly go blank as the lights go out, a power backup unit gives you time to save work in progress and shut down the computer. You even can continue working for a time, though doing so will hasten the time when one must replace the battery.
Such power backup units generally include sockets into which you can plug in printers, scanners, and auxiliary hard drives, giving them protection as well from power surges and power failures.
Backup power units tend to be relatively expensive–$60 and up–but, if you can afford them, they are much less expensive than loss of data or the computer on which data is stored.
There’s a discussion of backup power units online.

Neil Bibler in Phoenix

Gimp Freeware for Photo Editing
I’ve found the freeware program ‘Gimp’ to be a very easy and cost-effective alternative to the pricey Photoshop program. It is in my opinion, much better than Photoshop, and I’ve used it exclusively for several years now, even publishing my class’s annual yearbook with it. It can be downloaded here.

Have fun!
Peggy Holstine

Click here for a printer friendly version of this article.

If you have a suggestion you would like to share with other researchers, send it to: . Thanks to all of this week’s contributors!

Quick Tips may be reprinted, with credit to the submitter, in other Ancestry publications, so if you do not want your tip included in a publication other than the “Ancestry Weekly Journal,” please state so clearly in your message.

1 thought on “Your Quick Tips, 30 June 2008

  1. Making backups is necessary, but it’s also important to store a copy of your backups away from your computer in case it’s stolen or destroyed in a fire. A safe deposit box is a good place, but that can mean frequent trips to the bank. There are sites where you can upload your backups to an offsite server, like You get up to 2GB free to store data, and it’s inexpensive to get unlimited storage from them. If you don’t want to go that route, buy a fire-proof safe to store a harddrive in. Be sure to take it out frequently since a fireproof safe seems to hold in moisture which can damage a harddrive over time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *