Newsletter Archives

  • Don’t forget about….

    The other day I was reminded that sometimes it feels like we focus on the new shiny thing instead of the thing we’ve had for years.  Not to worry…. all of this Windows 11 coverage isn’t going to crowd out me making sure that you have all the information you need to use your Windows 10 machine. We still also have forums for Windows 8.1, Windows 7 and even older operating systems. If anyone starts to wax poetic about Windows NT, however, I draw the line. Dealing with drivers and dip switches on that platform was NOT fun.

    Windows 10 is going to be supported until October 14, 2025 and if you are like me, you are going to squeeze every single last bit out of that operating system – or rather – until the hardware won’t run it or it it’s too risky to run it anymore. Like many other businesses and consumers of every size and budget, I have too many systems still running it and even with budgeting for upgrades, I still predict that once 2025 comes, they will allow extended security updates – but probably with a hook to Microsoft 365 subscriptions.

    Therein is my first reminder of anyone using hardware that is starting to get a bit older. Make sure you take care of it. Start always with having a backup of that operating system. I will once again urge everyone to ensure you have a backup method that makes sense to you. If you want an EXACT image of your computer, make sure you have a third party backup software that makes an exact copy.

    It annoys me that to this day Microsoft stresses backing up to their cloud (onedrive) as a preferred way to backup rather than making sure we backup the operating system. Sorry Microsoft, Apple is superior here with their built in backup solution versus your “Windows 7” era backup solution.

    So it’s the weekend before Patch Tuesday. Set your deferrals to ensure that you won’t receive updates right away?

    If you do have Windows 11 Home, look out for a registry key in Monday’s newsletter that I’m hoping will keep Home systems from receiving “moment” updates.

    So? Got your backup running this weekend?

  • What kind of backup do you need?

    Seeing the devastation in Florida reminds me that having key records stored someplace else is wise. But there are two things to always keep in mind:

    1. Security of where that is stored
    2. Where that is stored

    Should you have digital records stored on a portable flash drive or external usb hard drive?  Should you have it in a cloud service?

    When deciding what it key to keep, think in terms of what is important for recovery purposes as well as what is important for your legacy and memories.

    If extreme events occur, having things stored on the cloud is actually not a bad thing.  You can sign up for inexpensive storage on onedrive.  If you are a small business you can look at products like Cyber Fortress (used to be called Jungle Drive) .

    Another option you can use is products that “sync” your data.  Now I’m not talking about Onedrive, but rather products that Sync to Onedrive or other cloud services. So you still have your full file structure locally, but then there is a copy elsewhere.  The one I use personally is SyncBackPro.  It works for both business settings as well as personal settings (they have a free personal version).  For many years Microsoft had this tool called Synctoy that worked great.  Too great.  They killed it. Yeah…

    One command line tool that still works wonders is robocopy – but mind you it’s best with mapped drives or local drives.  Depending on the Cloud service it may not work to copy items.

    Do you use syncing software?  If so, what do you use and why do you like it?  What do you sync and where do you sync it to?

  • Preparing yourself

    First off to anyone in the path of Hurricane Ian, please stay safe.

    All of us need to remind ourselves that while we may not be facing Hurricanes, we may be facing some other destruction.  I’ll be doing some articles and videos on backups and best practices but this is also a reminder to not be so quick to blow off any cloud solution in your backup plans because of the subscription model (which it has) or the risk of cloud access by attackers (which should also not be blown off as a non issue). As the images and videos out of Florida showcase, this is when you can not have enough backups.  Having your key information somewhere in a secure cloud is actually a GOOD thing.  Often your local devices are damaged, you can’t get back into your home, your office, or your bank where you stored your offsite backup.

    Also think of alternative ways you can access your information on a non standard device. Rather than a desktop computer, think of a device like an ipad or a chromebook which is much more portable and you can take it with you.

    Here are some other tips from the Florida Red Cross:

    Hurricane Ian | Press Release | American Red Cross

    Download the free Red Cross Emergency App for real-time weather alerts, open Red Cross shelters, and expert advice on emergency situations. Search “American Red Cross” in app stores or go to You can also enable the Red Cross Hurricane Alert skill on Amazon Alexa-enabled devices to receive warnings about an approaching hurricane and preparedness information.

    And if you like… donate to the red cross who are often one of the first folks back in to help clean up.

  • From the Lounge: Simple and cheap data backup and storage


    By Paul Tannard

    It’s axiomatic that the only good data-backup system is one you actually use — often and consistently.

    There are many options for safely storing your files, but they vary considerably in cost and complexity. I prefer simplicity whenever possible.

    Data storage really falls into three categories: active files you need to be able to access quickly; system backups, used to recover from catastrophic failures and small data losses; and archived files that you need to keep but might not look at ever again.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.13.0 (2020-04-06).