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    Insights and interesting news on computing




    FIELD NOTES

    Insights and interesting news on computing


    By Tracey Capen

    A recent trip to Hawaii shows that there is still plenty of room for computing innovation and better help on the Web. Plus: A reminder that email is never a good medium for venting thoughts best kept to oneself.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/field-notes/insights-and-interesting-news-on-computing/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    Dropbox has an app called Carousel - https://carousel.dropbox.com/
    which does exactly what you described.. It allows you to upload images from your gallery,
    and then deletes them once uploaded to save space on your device.

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    I backup my best saved photos in Google Picasa, also upload images i post in forum to Postimage, you can retrieve from either of those.
    There is available Picasa App for IPad:

    http://webalbumsapp.com/

    About Postimage links:

    http://postimage.org/about.php

    http://postimage.org/faq.php

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    Flickr - 1TB of cloud spare - app has auto-upload function so new pictures are automaticly uploaded to cloud.

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    If you're a dedicated photographer, you most likely have a 'real' camera and have raw files to deal with rather than tiny jpegs. In addition, if you're going somewhere really decent, connectivity is sketchy at best. Common data protection practices actually work, but as you alluded, require prior planning.

    I loaded up my Lenovo tablet with as much storage as it will hold, and also carry both spare memory cards and a small, portable, 2T USB3 drive. My nightly ritual includes copying the days shots and GPS logs to the tablet, and then to the hard drive. This gives me three copies of every shot. While traveling, hard drive goes in my wife's carry-on, memory cards in my checked suitcase, and tablet in my carry-on.

    Unless the plane crashes, we should be in good shape. And I don't spend hours trying to back up hundreds of 25mb raw files over WiFi...

  6. #6
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    On a recent three week trip to Europe I just used a couple of 16 gig CF cards. No need to upload images as that requires some type of data connection which can be a problem in Europe as many hotels don't offer free WIFI or any WIFI at all. Data on cell phones is expensive and only works in the cities. Best is to not worry about the issue with large cards. Keep the cards in the same place you keep your passport. Work on the images when you get back so you can enjoy your vacation.

    My upcoming trip to Europe to attend a wedding is different. I will be photographing the wedding and will need to process the images. For that I will be taking my Surface Pro 3 with me on the trip. I have Photoshop and Lightroom installed. I will be taking a couple 64 gig thumb drives and will backing up my images on those thumb drives with each being a duplicate of the other. That gives me four locations for the pictures. The CF cards, the Surface Pro, two thumb drives.

    Before leaving Europe I mail one of the thumb drives to myself in the USA in case the TSA decides to help themselves to my belongings. The camera and Surface Pro travel with me, the second thumb drive is in the checked luggage.
    Last edited by rayt435; 2015-05-14 at 07:59.

  7. #7
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    Lightbulb Article or Series idea - Home Media Sharing

    I would have loved to read about this here instead of discovering the various pieces on my own. Maybe others will be interested...

    Like many families today, we're reasonably connected. We typically watch shows that we record or download, and rarely live TV. We also have a collection of family videos, and have ripped all of our CDs to mp3s. Like many people, we have several rooms in our house where we'd like to have access to all this media. And of course it would be nice to have it in a secure place where a failed hard drive doesn't result in disaster.

    The solution for us has been a Synology DS214play NAS, along with Plex server. The Plex server runs right on the NAS. You copy your music to the Music folder, your movies to the Movies folder, and your TV shows to the TV Shows folder. Plex takes over from there. It indexes and categorizes ALL of your media, and does a particularly good job with TV Shows, Music, and Movies. It organizes your tunes and makes them easily searchable, and organizes your TV shows by season and episode, complete with pictures from the show and a plot description for each episode. You can access all your media from practically any device, both locally and over the internet. We have Samsung smart tvs which have their own Plex client that works great. Plex also supports DLNA, so my network-enabled receiver has full access to my music collection. All your media - stored on one redundant device - accessible from anywhere...

    Doesn't take a computer genius to operate, either. The NAS has a web interface and is pretty easy to navigate. Supports connections to both Macs and Windows PCs. Does all the typical things a NAS does, enabling file storage, sharing, backups, etc. But the free Plex server makes it a must-have box for the connected home.

    Well any more than this and you'd either think I work for the company, or was writing the article. Neither. Happy to provide more details if you're interested.

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    You might consider an anti-static packet for the thumb drives. I've had too many thumb drives fail - that solution makes me nervous. You might consider a small portable hard drive as an additional option. As long as you properly dismount them before packing, they're actually very resilient. Don't trust TSA - they mess with mail too :-(

    Hope you're using a camera that produces raw files... Good luck with the wedding!

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    While everyone is talking about your interesting photo problem, I will comment on being owned by Penton. I hope you make little change in your design and format. It works great for the reader. (but probably not great for generating revenue for you)
    Web based newsletters are so covered in advertising, it makes it distracting to read the articles. Your email format is very clean. Ads are between articles and clearly marked. I can only imagine we'll start getting this gigantic email, filled with images and flash based ads and all the junk that makes it hard to read. Or even worse, a link saying go to our web site to read the newsletter. That's when you'll lose me. I find a lot of useful information in your newsletter, I hope it will continue that way under Penton.

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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbaer View Post
    I would have loved to read about this here instead of discovering the various pieces on my own. Maybe others will be interested...

    Like many families today, we're reasonably connected. We typically watch shows that we record or download, and rarely live TV. We also have a collection of family videos, and have ripped all of our CDs to mp3s. Like many people, we have several rooms in our house where we'd like to have access to all this media. And of course it would be nice to have it in a secure place where a failed hard drive doesn't result in disaster.

    The solution for us has been a Synology DS214play NAS, along with Plex server. The Plex server runs right on the NAS. You copy your music to the Music folder, your movies to the Movies folder, and your TV shows to the TV Shows folder. Plex takes over from there. It indexes and categorizes ALL of your media, and does a particularly good job with TV Shows, Music, and Movies. It organizes your tunes and makes them easily searchable, and organizes your TV shows by season and episode, complete with pictures from the show and a plot description for each episode. You can access all your media from practically any device, both locally and over the internet. We have Samsung smart tvs which have their own Plex client that works great. Plex also supports DLNA, so my network-enabled receiver has full access to my music collection. All your media - stored on one redundant device - accessible from anywhere...

    Doesn't take a computer genius to operate, either. The NAS has a web interface and is pretty easy to navigate. Supports connections to both Macs and Windows PCs. Does all the typical things a NAS does, enabling file storage, sharing, backups, etc. But the free Plex server makes it a must-have box for the connected home.

    Well any more than this and you'd either think I work for the company, or was writing the article. Neither. Happy to provide more details if you're interested.
    I'm definitely interested! I currently use a WDMyCloud to host my online media (mostly movies). The problem is the WDMyCloud is sooooo sllooooowwww. Do you have any problems with speed when you play a movie on your NAS? I've tried Plex server before and unfortunately Plex has a very large problem with anything LG. Plex did not get along with my two LG TVs and they had problems with Plex also; both would lock up when I tried to play a movie. Typically Plex blames LG and LG blames Plex. Do you have anything LG and have you had any problems playing a movie from your NAS?

    I'm looking for an alternative to my WDMyCloud so I'd like to learn more about the Synology DS214play NAS.

    Thanks!

    Craig

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    "With this acquisition, there will be some changes in the newsletter, designed to make our information even more useful and timely."

    I wasn't aware of the acquisition. In talking about "some changes," I hope one of them is not to adopt the recent design fad that used lots of space vertically, page after page down on the monitor. I like that your newsletter uses a "tight, old style" layout.

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    Tracy; The best software for your problem is made by: https://www.techsmith.com They have capture software for your problem.
    Such as take a photo with your phone and send it to the cloud or to anywhere. Free trials etc. try their "SNAGIT" program and see others too!
    Jerry Rosenberg

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    As a landscape photographer traveling to places with average to poor WiFi signals in the hotel/motel, the first time I tried to use the cloud I very quickly realized it was an exercise in futility. A single RAW file is 76MB, and a day's shoot can easily result in anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred captures. Uploading a single file took forever, and I quickly calculated that uploading a day's shooting was impossible even if I left the process running all night. So the cloud is simply not a viable option for backup when traveling.

    The alternative is making copies - plenty of copies. So my current process is to first copy images from memory card to laptop, then from laptop to two thumb drives. When I leave home, I bring two small padded envelopes, pre-addressed and stamped with sufficient postage. At the end of the trip, after verifying that the files on the two thumb drives exactly match the files on the laptop hard drive, I seal one thumb drive in each envelope and mail each one to my home address - from separate post offices in different towns. So I have everything on my laptop, on the plane with me, and two other copies in the mail in case something happens to the laptop. I've never had to use the thumb drives, but knowing they are in the mail is a nice security blanket. BTW, I used to burn to DVD instead of thumb drives but DVDs are much heavier to mail and slower to write, and I decided that having two thumb drives was sufficient security, and WAY more convenient.

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    How about using something like a WiFi SD card in the camera, assuming it takes SD cards, as most do?

    http://www.amazon.com/Eyefi-Mobi-32G...N%3DB00TKFEPHA

    The Eyefi isn't the only one, or the only vendor, and as I understand it you can set this up to automatically (or manually and selectively) transfer pictures to another wifi-enabled device, tablet, phone, computer, and from there push them into the cloud for storage as well.

    This stuff isn't new, it just seems it has never really caught on.

    --Redd

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    it is worth noting a good analogy to email is that it is like postcards: email contents are not, by any stretch of your imagination, concealed.

    + sending an email transfers the data through multiple relays before it reaches your mail server.
    + the mail server resolves the recipients and forwards the email contents, along the way the email content is once again jumped between multiple relays.
    + each and every one of those relays is a potential Point of Failure, where the contents of your email can be:
    ++ captured by a compromised system
    ++ read by prying eyes
    ++ scanned for keywords by indexing software
    + barring any compromised systems, it is also possible to sniff packets transmitted on the same network allowing anyone with a tiny bit of motivation to capture your email contents.

    to get an idea of how many relays your mail goes through just on it's way to your mail provider,
    Code:
    tracert mail.google.com
    or your own mail host (mail has 9 jumps, my work email has up to 16 jumps).

    yep, best you encrypt those messages!

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