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NedWolf’s Dog-Simple Guide to Cloud Storage - Part 1: The 800 Pound Gorillas

Published by nedpwolf on Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:31 in

NedWolf’s Dog-Simple Guide to Cloud Storage - Part 1: The 800 Pound Gorillas

Cloud Storage. What is it?

Cloud storage is nothing more than storing files on the internet.

Why do I need it?

3 Reasons:

  1. Backups
  2. File Sharing
  3. Access from anywhere

Is it free / How much does it cost?

Almost all services start out free, with options of paying for more storage.

File Copier

Published by nedpwolf on Sat, 11/05/2011 - 11:46 in


It's happened to all of us. you have a giant batch of files that you're copying or moving to another location. You're about 15 minutes in. Something happens. The USB drive is removed, or you have to shut down your PC. Your only option is to start all over, not knowing what was succesfully copied.

Teracopy does one thing only, but it does that one thing very well. it copies and moves files. Sounds like overkill? That's what I thought until I started using it. Let's say you're organizing your video library. With Teracopy, you don't have to wait for each file to copy over before moving on to the next. You just keep copying. The software queues up your files, so your system isn't slowed down. You can pause and resume transfers or clear something out of the queue. If there's a copying error, it will retry several times.

Oh, and it's faster. When copying from one drive to another, it's a lot faster. I don't really understand how it does it, but this quote is from their website: "TeraCopy uses dynamically adjusted buffers to reduce seek times. Asynchronous copy speeds up file transfer between two physical hard drives." I can't comment on that, I will take their word for it, but I can vouch that it is definitely a lot more zippy.

Home Media Center

Published by nedpwolf on Thu, 11/03/2011 - 10:53 in

Plex, the ideal home media center.

There are many, many media players out there, but Plex differentiates itself in several ways.

  • It connects to online information such as IMDB automatically to provide thumbnails, categories and general information.
  • It seemlessly integrates with your iTunes library.
  • The GUI is a fantastic.
  • It supports several online services including the following:
  • Apple Movie Trailers
  • BBC iPlayer
  • Game Trailers
  • Hulu
  • Joost
  • Major League Baseball
  • March Madness Basketball
  • National Public Radio
  • Netflix Watch instantly
  • Pandora Player
  • PBS online streaming content
  • Pitchfork Media
  • South Park
  • Spotify
  • SVT Play (Swedish TV)
  • The Colbert Report
  • The Daily Kos
  • The Daily Show
  • The Onion News Network
  • The White House Updates
  • TV4 Play (Swedish TV4)
  • YouTube

Online Office Suite

Published by nedpwolf on Sat, 10/29/2011 - 15:36 in

Zoho Office Suite

Full-fledged cloud-based office applications have been available for about seven years now, yet the vast majority of users still stick to traditional desktop apps, i.e., MS Office.

There is only one company that has a fully cloud-based suite of applications that can completely fulfill the needs of a business. Without the need for extra applications. Zoho.

When I say complete, I mean complete.

Website Monitor

Published by nedpwolf on Fri, 10/28/2011 - 11:16 in
Uptime Robot

Uptime Robot

If you have a website, you need to know whether it's up or not. Sounds simple, doesn't it? Unfortunately, unless you have an IT staff (or are the IT staff), it's likely that you don't have any system in place to make sure your webhost is actually delivering on their promised 99.9% uptime. Website monitors have a simple but necessary job, to make sure that websites are up and reachable 24/7. If there is a problem, you will be notified immediately via SMS or email. Additionally, you may want to check your uptime statistics to evaluate webhost providers (or to argue about a bill).

Uptime Robot monitors up to 50 websites every five minutes and alerts you via email, SMS, Twitter or RSS if there are any problems. Most other monitoring services limit you to one site or only check every half-hour or hour. Very, very useful.

PC System Information Tool

Published by nedpwolf on Thu, 10/27/2011 - 13:36 in
PC Wizard

PC Wizard

System information tools provide a convenient way to give you information about, hmm, your system. Hardware information from your keyboard to your RAM. Software information about running processes and installed programs. All details of your computer are laid out neatly for information or troubleshooting.

Panorama Creator / Photo Stitching Software

Published by nedpwolf on Wed, 10/26/2011 - 14:07 in


Freeware, Graphics


We've all seen them. Panorama photographs that cannot possibly have been taken with one shot. They can span a city, a beach, a desert. They are created using some kind of photo-stitching software.

Hugin is the most feature-rich panorama creator available, free or otherwise. You can take a series of photos with different cameras, different lenses, even different perspectives, and Hugin will help you transform you series of snapshots into a beautiful panorama.

Anti-Virus Software

Published by nedpwolf on Tue, 10/25/2011 - 10:55 in


Security, Freeware

Microsoft Security Essentials

You know that anti-virus software that came pre-installed on your computer? The one that keeps telling you to register? Or upgrade? THE ONE THAT'S SLOWING DOWN YOUR MACHINE?

Get rid of it. Now. I mean it. Uninstall it completely.

Once you've done that, head over to Microsoft Security Essentials and install their free anti-virus software. This is something that Microsoft has done right. It's easy to install and get started, and regular updates are pushed out to you without any hassle.

Web Application Framework Environment

Published by nedpwolf on Mon, 10/24/2011 - 12:53 in


Okay, what the hell is a "Web Application Framework Environment"? It's a server configured to run Joomla and/or Drupal and/or, PHPmyAdmin and/or Wordpress, etc. The boys at Kodingen have a treat for Web Developers and Designers that need a playground to build and test out their new sites or web apps without having to deal with the hassle of running a development server.

Duplicate File Detector

Published by nedpwolf on Mon, 10/24/2011 - 12:21 in
Duplicate Commander

Duplicate Commander

It's pretty much inevitable that you will wind up with several copies of the exact same file saved on your local drives. Whether it is the same video clip, the same cute kitty photo that people keep emailing you or perhaps your term paper that you keep saving in different places.

Not only does this eat up drive space, it also makes it very, very hard to keep track of the correct, most-recent version of the file you are looking for.

Internet Filtering / Internet Monitoring

Published by nedpwolf on Mon, 10/24/2011 - 11:40 in


Online, Internet


But what about the children! Won't somebody think of the children?

I'm being silly, but the sad truth is that the 'net can be a pretty slimy place. The best way to watch out for your kids is to monitor and filter their surfing activities. OpenDNS is a simple, effective method of filtering and monitoring the network activity on your home network. Various categories such as games, sports and adult can be easily allowed or disallowed. You can set up a white-list for approved sites, or a black-list for the no-no's.

Bookmark Manager

Published by nedpwolf on Fri, 10/21/2011 - 15:14 in


For those that don't know, bookmark managers allow you to save, manage and share your bookmarks from computer to computer.

There are quite a few online bookmark services out there. Some are browser-specific. Some are social-centric. The best all-around bookmark manager / bookmark synchronizer is Xmarks. It integrates with all major browsers and operation systems and works flawlessly.


Portable Note Taker / Word Processor

Published by nedpwolf on Fri, 10/21/2011 - 14:19 in


Portable, Office


Do you need to take notes when you're not on your own PC? What about modifying a Word document where no MS Word is installed? Maybe you want to have a collection of documents available with you at all times.

Jarte is a full-function word processor and note taker that runs off a USB drive. (I actually keep a copy on my phone.) Take your documents and the word processor with you wherever you go.

Portable Chat Software

Published by nedpwolf on Fri, 10/21/2011 - 12:48 in


Portable, Internet


You're on the road and need to have a quick chat with your family. You can't install software on the machine you're working on. What do you do?

Chat on all the networks (AIM, ICQ, MSN, Jabber, and Yahoo! Messenger) with one client that you carry in your pocket. Pidgin has a plugin architecture that extends to every new chat server or protocol that comes up including Skype.

Portable Antivirus Software

Published by nedpwolf on Fri, 10/21/2011 - 12:27 in


Portable, Security


Yes, you can infect your personal files by plugging in your portable drive into another computer.

Do not trust a strange computer. Run an antivirus program. These days, it is not an option. It's a necessity.

Best Ebook Manager

Published by nedpwolf on Thu, 10/20/2011 - 14:31 in


Freeware, Office
Calibre Features

There is no other. I use it daily.

Calibre manages all common ebook file formats including LIT, MOBI, EPUB, FB2, HTML, PRC, RTF, PDB, TXT, PDF and more and converts between them. You can edit metadata such as author and the date the work was published and automatically sync the correct format to your device. It also has a built-in reader to read on your computer.

Personal Search Engine

Published by nedpwolf on Thu, 10/20/2011 - 11:31 in


Greplin indexes and searches your online accounts and returns immediate results to you as you type.

You have a lot of online accounts. Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, Dropbox, LinkedIn. How do you keep the information from all these sources straight? Greplin aims to bridge the gap between these various services. When you send or receive an email, Greplin will scour your accounts and return relevant information and a history of your contacts with that person.

Bulk File Renamer

Published by nedpwolf on Thu, 10/20/2011 - 09:52 in

File Renamer Basic

Now that everyone carries a camera with them at all times - and has an mp3 player - and pretty much stores their lives and records of their lives in digital files, it's become difficult for us to make sense of all this data. A bulk file renamer simplifies the process of keeping up with the vast reams of data we produce by providing a simple method of calling our files what they are.

Desktop Search - Computer Search

Published by nedpwolf on Thu, 10/20/2011 - 09:29 in
Everything Screenshot


Hard drives are massive. You have thousands of pictures, videos and documents. How do you find anything?

Everything runs in the background, using a very tiny amount of system resources, but it indexes and finds anything on your computer instantly. Really. Instantly. I mean, like faster than Speed Racer. Faster than the Flash. You know, fast.

Web Site Mark-up Notes

Published by nedpwolf on Wed, 10/19/2011 - 14:00 in

Note Anywhere

Chrome Extension

Web developers and designers often need to make quick, on-the-fly, notes about simple things that need to be addressed later. Typos, outdated images, whatever.

Portable Photo Editor - Graphics Program

Published by nedpwolf on Wed, 10/19/2011 - 12:48 in


Portable, Graphics
Gimp Portable

Gimp Portable

The Most Powerful Graphics Freeware is Portable

Imaging carrying the power of Photoshop from machine to machine

Password Management

Published by nedpwolf on Wed, 10/19/2011 - 12:06 in


Online, Security


The Last Password You'll Have to Remember

Single Password
If you're like most people, you use the same two or three (or one) password for all your webite logins. Not good. LastPass is a service that lets you use an unlimited number of paswords and logins for different sites, but only have to remember one. Your passwords are transmitted and stored encrypted on their servers, allowing you to access them from anywhere.

Automatic Freeware Installation

Published by nedpwolf on Tue, 10/18/2011 - 15:45 in


Just pick your apps and click Get Installer. Ninite does the rest — fully automatic.

Web Photo Album Creator

Published by nedpwolf on Thu, 10/13/2011 - 13:03 in


Web Developer


You can't go wrong with JAlbum, the most powerful tool in its class. It doesn't get easier than this. Drag and drop album creation, customizable album appearance, multi-language support, hierarchal folders, wizards, EXIF support, image filters, you name it, it's got it.

PHP Editor

Published by nedpwolf on Thu, 10/13/2011 - 13:02 in


Web Developer

PHP Designer

Extremely powerful, extremely customizable.

It includes syntax schemes for practically everything: PHP, HTML, XHTML, CSS, Perl, C#, JavaScript, VB, Java and SQL (Ingres, Interbase, MSSQL, MySQL, Oracle, Sybase and Standard SQL).

You can debug your scripts with the PHP interpreter. A PHP manual is built-in, and it includes all the standard coding goodies like parameter hints, auto indent, auto close brackets, etc.

It also has a built-in project manager, file manager, and ftp client.

I'm very, very happy with this product.

Portable Media Player / Video Player - General

Published by nedpwolf on Thu, 10/13/2011 - 12:45 in

VLC Portable

Excellent general purpose video and audio player. It handles all the major codecs and plays DVD's, CD's VCD's and all major video and audio formats. It's small and superfast with a clean interface.

Portable Picture Viewer / Image Converter

Published by nedpwolf on Thu, 10/13/2011 - 12:40 in


Portable, Graphics


XnView is one of my favorite image viewers (along with IrfanView), portable or not. It can view practically every image format out there and can convert between them. It has a rudimentary photo editor, and it supports Photoshop plugins. Nice!

Portable RSS Reader / NewsFeed Reader

Published by nedpwolf on Thu, 10/13/2011 - 12:37 in


Portable, Internet


A very nice, stand-alone RSS reader. If you prefer, you can use an online service like Plucker, Yahoo, or Google, but GreatNews has more customizable features such as the ability to categorize and label your feeds. You can also modify the appearance to your liking.