Greetings from 34,000 feet over Alberta, Canada. I am onboard Delta Flight 55 from Atlanta to Tokyo and we are moving at 532MPH – this may very well be my “fastest” blog entry ever! We are on a Boeing 777 aircraft and if it wasn’t for the power receptacle under my seat I would most likely not be typing to you right now. You see I have a 2 1/2 year old Gateway MX6455 and the battery is shot. :-)
Unfortunately, I think unless your in business, first class, a bulkhead or exit row there is just no room to work on a laptop – at least a regular size one. A fella one row ahead of me has an Acer Netbook – now that is the perfect size machine to use in coach class on an airline flight. It fits right on your tray table and doesn’t even bump up against the seat back in front of you. For me I am twisted sideways in my seat towards the middle seat for some room to type. Luckily that middle seat is empty. Turns out quite a few people missed this flight because Atlanta had a plane land and blow a tire and that blocked up a runway and caused delays. I hope everyone onboard was OK after that. Anyone see any news on that?
We have about 9 hours worth of flying left until Tokyo and I have already watched two full length movies – Eagle Eye and Righteous Kill. Both were very good and I highly recommend them. There are a few more movies I want to watch and I think the next one will be Slumdog Millionaire.
The weird part of this trip is we cross the International Date Line and so we arrive in Tokyo the next day – Sunday afternoon at 1:30PM Japan time. I will then be 13 hours ahead of home in Florida. On the return flight it is even stranger since we leave at noon and I am back in Jacksonville on the same day at 6:45PM – the wonders of travel.
I mentioned in a Tweet during my travels from Jacksonville to Atlanta Saturday this morning that I once again have Windows 7 on my laptop for the trip. After beta testing for several weeks with Beta 1, I restored my Windows Vista installation which I had backed up using Windows Home Server (WHS) and we took that on our vacation to Hawaii. Since it is just me travelling again I decided to et back to Windows 7 as I found it very reliable last time I travelled with it. You can read about that experience in this post – and it was a good experience.
Speaking of Windows Home Server – if you have not checked this system out and you have more than one PC at home then you should. I installed Windows Home Server on an old white box computer I had built myself and I added an extra internal hard drive and two external ones – just under 600GB. It has 2GB of memory and a single core processor running at just over 2GHZ. Once the system is installed it runs without a keyboard or monitor. Access to the admin area and files are via remote access from the client computers utilizing the Windows Home Connector software.
One of the external drives is a backup source for the entire data set on that system which includes all of our pictures, music and software downloads, updates as well as the backup database itself for all client PC’s.
The latest addition to my WHS is an UPS unit. I had been experiencing database consistency errors on a regular basis and I correlated it to power outages and some brownouts – Florida is famous for its summer storms. I have not had one – I repeat – not one database error since putting this UPS in place. WHS even has a great plug-in called Grid Junction that monitors the UPS and shuts it down when there is a power outage to protect the system. My only wish is that it could turn things back on once the power is restored. I guess that capability must exist out there somewhere – might be time to do some looking.
Anyway, WHS automatically backs up all of our home PC’s each and every night without me even thinking about it. As you install the WHS Connector software it provides default settings that will be used to back up that PC. WHS even wakes up the PC from sleep mode and does the backup and allows it to go back to sleep.
The price of WHS was reduced late last year so it is a good investment and can be installed on an older computer that is around the house and will run just fine. If you want try it out Microsoft offers a 120 day evaluation version and last time I checked will ship it for free. Give it a run for its money and I think you will find it worth it for the ease of mind you get in knowing your files are backed up. I can vouch for that – especially having not developed good backup habits in the past and seen many files and email data lost and unrecoverable. WHS is yet to let me down.
Wow – I was not sure what I was going to write about but that just kind of flowed out. I need to do more of these types of posts – talking about technology and its strengths – and yes weaknesses as well. Maybe there is insight to be gained by someone from it.