My backup post.

November 28, 2014

I have written about backups many times before. But I still know a lot of people that never do backups. And I think I know why. Every time I have written about backups I end up with a huge list of things people should do. I have also read a lot of similar posts.

This is the post where I tackle everything, and divide everything into different stages.

The first stages will go through the bare minimum that I believe that everyone need to have. It won’t cost much, and it’s a bare minimum setup. Then I’ll move on to what I think is a very good and adequate backup solution. Before I finish the series with my advice on a little bit more crazy backup solution.

The first step {#the-first-step}

The first step into the world of backup should be something simple, something easy; something that just gets you started.

I’m just going to explain how important backups are, before we move on. Most people that really care about backups have experienced major data-loss at some point. And you should be smarter than us, and do something about it right now. You hard drive will fail at some point; or your operating system might fail so badly that you need to re-install it; your file system could also fail; but the most annoying thing is when somebody steal your device, or something like a fire breaks it.

OS X {#os-x}

I think moving into some kind of online backup is the first step. It don’t require much money or knowledge. There are many alternatives, but I think Backblaze is the best option. I have used it for many years, and it just works. You get unlimited backups for $5 a month, per computer. They are one of the few providers that actually mean unlimited: you can backup all your data, no storage limits. And everything is uploaded as fast as your connection allows.

It’s also easy to restore backups on Backblaze. You can restore single files or folders in their web-interface, or order a USB drive with your complete backup if you need it all.

iOS {#ios}

We don’t have the same options when it comes to iOS, there are more or less one option. And that is the built-in backup solution. USE IT. You can backup 5GB for free. Enable it on your iPad and iPhone; and make sure everything is safe.

But I don’t have anything. {#but-i-dont-have-anything.}

I know a lot of people that claim they have “everything” in some kind of cloud syncing solution. Trust me, there are always something that wasn’t synced. Or isn’t where you expected it to be. A solid backup isn’t expensive, and it might save your bacon at some point.

A good backup strategy {#a-good-backup-strategy}

OS X {#os-x-1}

The next logical step is go have a solid local backup. This dosn’t require much money. Just get a external drive. I always go for a drive that is at least twice the size of my system. So, I use a 1TB drive to backup a 256GB SSD.

Just plug it in, format it; and configure Time Machine; and wait for it to complete. And Time Machine will back up your system every hour or something as long as the drive is plugged in.

This makes it very easy to restore single files, or moving to a new computer. I have used it when I’m upgrading to a new model, or when computers have failed on me. You just plug in the device, start the new computer and tell the installer that you are restoring from Time Machine. And wait for a few hours; depeding on how much data you have.

iOS {#ios-1}

There are not much you can do with iOS. But I always connect my iPhone and iPad to my mac and make a manual backup with iTunes once a month.

iCloud should be enough. But it’s such a time saver to have a local copy. Always do it before updating or restoring your phone.

Going crazy {#going-crazy}

You should have a pretty decent backup strategy by now. But there is no such thing as “too many backups”. I have three backups, plus a lot of stuff that is kept in Dropbox and Evernote. I have one copy of everything in Backblaze, I have a Time Machine backup. And I clone my system to another drive with SuperDuper. I mainly do this to have a bootable backups. To have something to work from, if my drive fails.

I also used to have a cloned copy of every single external drive containing something else than backups, back in the day.

Most people have less backups than me, and a some people have more. My personal opinion is that you are pretty secure if you have an online backup, plus a Time Machine backup and a cloned copy.

Different people, different needs.

Remember, any good backup solution should be automatic. Make sure you don’t have to do anything to back up.

Some people use two cloud backups, plus Dropbox, plus many cloned copies and Time Machine. I think that’s a little bit over the top. Just make sure to have a system that are secure enough. So you don’t have to worry about losing data.


Picture workflow

November 28, 2014

What to do with the pictures I shoot with my iPhone was a big issue for me, for a very long time.

I didn’t want to mix them up with my DSLR pictures. They serve a different purpose. They are more like a memory, than the pictures you make prints from.

And I didn’t want to leave them on my camera roll.

My current workflow is the following, I upload everything to Dropbox with the app; I remove the pictures from my phone. And then, I go through all of them and add the good or important ones to Day One.

The Dropbox upload is something I do a few times a week, while the clearing out my camera roll is something I do about once a month. It’s difficult to answer how often I add the pictures to Day One, I do it when there are a a few hundred pictures.

Then I just delete everything in the camera upload folder.

The reason I ended up with Day One, is because it’s my journal. It’s the place I add everything personal and important. It’s also the app I read and browse in, when I don’t have anything better to do.

Links {#links}


Evernote 6

November 25, 2014

Evernote just released version 6 of their OS X app. And there are a lot of great things about it. For example, the first user interface redesign that looks good.

But, I have some concerns about where Evernote as a company and product is going. They have introduced two new features that I don’t get: Chat and Contexts. I can’t understand how either of them belong in Evernote. There are a lot of better chat solutions out there. And Context in it’s current form is more or less useless; and I also have som Privacy concerns. Context wouldn’t be that bad, if it was limited to your notes.

Anyways. I hope that the company moves back into just improving the product.

The thing I really hope for in 2015 is a real competitor to Evernote. They need it for two reasons: to get their act together and make the service as good as possible, and to make sure they focus on features that are relevant to the product.


Why I care.

November 25, 2014

I sometimes write about both my thoughts, and problems about making money on apps, podcasts and websites. This might be odd to some people. But the reason is quite simple. I have a website, while I don’t have any podcasts or paid apps. I might get into them at some point. But I would love to be able to make money on my site at some point.

But the real reason I care is that I love the work indies and small companies are doing. For example app companies like Tapbots and Agile Tortoise; podcast networks like 5by5 and Relay; or writers like John Gruber and Patrick Rhone. Just to mention a few.

They all provide something large companies or media houses can’t. Small podcast network or indie podcasters test and do the stuff the large corporations can’t. Small app developers do all kinds of great and interesting things, that large companies can’t; and they can afford to make delightful apps, that target a small audience. While indie writers can do the kind of writing that I love to read; it’s not generic writing; it’s personal, something large websites can’t.

We need both small and large; but we need to figure out how to make both parts of the business sustainable.


Cannot connect to App Store

November 24, 2014

I spent a large portion of the weekend trying to figure out why I couldn’t access the App Store from my phone. The strange thing was that the step listed at all the sites I visited didn’t work. But I finally managed to find out how to fix it last night.

I’m just writing it up here, to know where to look the next time around. I’m going to include all the usual tips, plus the thing that solved it for me.

  1. Restart your phone.

  2. Hard reset: press and hold your home button and power button until the device powers off.

  3. Reset Network settings: Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset network settings

  4. Force quit the App Store app; double click your home button, find the app store app, and drag it up and out to kill it.

  5. If on wifi: try Celluar; and the other way around.

  6. Reconnect to your wifi network; go in to Wifi settings and “forget” the network, before connecting again.

  7. Reboot your wifi router.

  8. View your AppleId; go to Settings — iTunes & App Store -> Click on your Apple ID -> View Apple ID. This is the one that solved it for me. It asked me to enter my password, and suddenly I was able to use the App Store again.

  9. Restore your phone. This is the last resort. There are times when this is the only option.


Monument Valley

November 23, 2014

Ustwo released an update to their amazing game: Monument Valley, not long ago. The game is amazing, and the $4 game, with the $2 iAP to get access to new levels is worth it.

It always makes me sad when some people on the Internet start complaining about having to pay for extra features or new versions.

It’s okay to complain somewhere the company behind it can respond. This is unfortunately impossible on the App Store. And we also see the same “1 Star” problem every single time. The amazing thing that happened this time was that a lot of people that love the game, and respect Ustwo went on the App Store and responded with adding 5 star reviews; after they tweeted about it.

Monument Valley is my all time favorite iOS game, and you should go and get it.


Podcast revenue

November 23, 2014

I just wrote about Serial. They are the fastest podcast to reach 5 million download, according to The Guardian.

I was met with a “please donate” pop up, when I went to their website last night. It’s clear that there are some shows where ads alone might not be sustainable. Too limited audience or large production cost are two possible reasons for it.

I don’t mind ads on podcasts, most of them are good. But I think a combination of ads and listener support is the only sustainable way going forward. Unless we don’t want any experimental or only shows with huge audiences.

Even 5by5 are doing it. I think things like Patreon is great.

I have no idea where this will end, but I hope it is a place where podcasts are funded with a combination of ads and listener support.



November 23, 2014

This American Life is without doubt a great podcast. But it never clicked with me. There are many “radio” podcasts that I just listened to in certain periods of my life. They created the first spin-off a while back called Serial. This is one of the best podcasts, I have heard in a very long time.

They have done something very interesting. The whole premise for the show is to back it with investigative journalism and use a season to present it.

You should check out Serial if you haven’t done it yet.


A job for LCP.

November 12, 2014

Launch Center Pro, is one of the apps I just never got started with. I have had it installed on my phone more or less all the time since it launched. But I have never found a use for it.

One of the things I have done, and still do a lot on my phone is to launch a few different sites. Everything from every few days, to many times a day. These are sites like Facebook, Fastmail, my university e-mail address, and a few other university related sites. The common factor for all of them is that I need 1Password to log in, but I don’t want to stay logged in.

I might be lazy. But I hate typing those URL’s all the time.

My solution to the problem is to use LCP as a glorified bookmark “launcher” for 1Password.

The problem with my needs and LCP was, and is that the there are not much between what Drafts + TextExpander or Editorial + TextExpander can do, that LCP would be a elegant solution for.

Check out LCP if you look for a fast way for opening a predefined set of urls in 1Password.


Tim Cook

October 31, 2014

Tim Cook: I’m Proud To Be Gay

I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.

I read this article yesterday, when everyone else was linking to it. I didn’t have the time to write anything, but there it is. This is one of the best things I have read in a very long time.

The quote above is my favourite from the OP-ed. Activism isn’t for everyone, but doing something is. What Tim Cook is doing here, is to sacrifice something that obviously is important to him(privacy), for the greater cause; that is even more important.

Everyone should read it.

There are still assholes out there that think it’s okay to discriminate people on the color of their skin, their sexual orientation or their religion(or lack of religion). Seriously. Upgrade your values to 2014.

Everyone is different. Accept it. And embrace it.