Friday, November 30, 2007

Free Online Storage

My son has been having issues with his computer today. Every time he opens an Internet browser, it shuts down. He has restarted his computer several times and attempted to do a system restore. Restarting doesn't help, and for some reason, every time he tries to restore his system, it tells him that it can't be done. Every time one of our computers starts acting up, I start wondering when the last time was that I backed up my files. We've had a couple hard drive failures, and we've lost some stuff in the past. You'd think I'd learn, but I haven't been backing my files up on a regular basis.

I do have all my pictures on CD and DVD, but the rest of my files are just on my computer. I really need to change that. Recently I signed up for an account with MediaMax. So far this is the best online storage I have found. My free account gives me 25GB of storage. I can upload and store my files, share the ones I want to share, host pictures or videos I want to use on other websites or my blogs, and access all my files from any computer.

Tonight I got busy and downloaded the MediaMax XL software and started uploading my files. Once I get them uploaded, I can use this software to schedule automatic backups of the files and folders I choose.

If 25GB isn't enough storage space, they have upgrade plans of 100GB, 250GB, and 1000GB available for a monthly or yearly fee.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Movie Lists

If you like movies, you've probably heard of IMDb - the Internet Movie Database. If you want to know anything about a movie, an actor, or a director, IMDb has the answers. They also have user ratings for each movie, photos, movie quotes, recommendations of similar movies, and much more. I think my favorite part is being able to add movies to 'My Movies' and keep a list of all the movies we own.

I started keeping a list of our movies in an Excel spreadsheet. I was using IMDb to get movie information to paste into my spreadsheet, because sometimes just reading a movie title isn't enough. I can't remember what that movie was about or who was in it. Then I realized I could save myself time by just creating my movie list on IMDb. As we buy movies, I add them to the list. Now, whenever we are thinking about buying or recording a movie, I can check the list first to see whether we already have it or not. That's important considering we have 348 movies on DVD. Who can remember them all? And, since the list is stored online, I can access it from any computer with an Internet connection.

A free personal account with IMDb allows you to add 10,000 movies to your lists in all categories - use theirs (Must See, To Buy, DVD and VHS) or create your own. I'm currently at 6% of my limit, so I have a ways to go before I max this out.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Giveaway of the Day

This is one of those sites I wish someone had told me about sooner. Every day they give away software - for FREE. The software is available for download for 24 hours, and that software is absolutely free. That means - not a trial, not a limited version - but a registered and legal version of the software, free for their visitors. The software has to be downloaded, installed and registered that same day, and there are no upgrades and no technical support.

One of the most helpful things about the site is that people who have already downloaded and installed the program can leave their comments and rate it. Often someone will leave a link to another similar program - usually also free - that they feel does a better job than the one currently being offered by Giveaway of the Day. So sometimes, instead of downloading and installing a program that I might need someday, I bookmark the other ones so I can find them if I ever need them. Also, be sure to read the 15 minute review by Bladed Thoth. He gives a more in-depth review of how the program works, if it works, etc. Very helpful.

I have added a ticker from Giveaway of the Day to my sidebar. Each day it shows the software that is available for FREE, and how long you have left to download and install it. If you see something that sounds interesting, just click and check it out.

And, if you're into games, you'll also want to check out the Game Giveaway of the Day.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Read it Later

I do this all the time. I surf the Internet. I find things I'd like to read, but I don't always have time to read them right then. I end up opening links in new tabs, planning to read them before I close my browser for the night. Many times I forget what tabs I have open, and end up closing everything - and never get a chance to read those things I thought looked interesting.

Today I found this Firefox extension called Read It Later.

Here's how it works:
  1. When you come across something you want to read later, simply click the 'Read Later' button and the page is inserted into your reading list.
  2. Then, later when you have some time, click 'Reading List' and it will randomly pull up something for you to read. (I'm not sure I like the random part, but I will have to play with it to see how it really works)
  3. When you are finished, click 'Mark It As Read' and it will be removed from your list. If, after reading it, you feel that it's something you want to keep and add to your bookmarks, you can use the dropdown under Mark It As Read to do that.
Chances are I will use this to create a whole list of pages and news items that I want to read later, and I won't read most of them. Still, I like the idea of having an easy way to save them, so I don't end up losing them at the end of the day when I close my browser.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Domain Update

It works! It wasn't working yet when I went to bed last night, but I got up this morning, checked to see if it worked yet, and it does! I had to make a change or two to the template because the images weren't loading, so I saved them to my computer and uploaded to a different server. Once I updated the images in my template, everything worked well.

I did end up getting impatient last night because it wasn't working yet, so I started doing a little more reading, and ended up following these instructions instead. Instead of creating a new CNAME record, I just had to edit the 'www' one and have it point to - and it works. I don't know if the other way would have worked, because I didn't wait to see, but these instructions are very clear and easy to follow.

Then I read this:
With GoDaddy Total DNS Control, you have 2 lists - "A" and "CNAME". The "A" list needs to be empty, and the "CNAME" for the "www" alias needs to be at the top of the "CNAME" list.
So, I deleted the one item in the "A" list - though I really don't understand it, and I did copy it to notepad first so I can put it back if I need to.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Switching to My Own Domain

I recently read an article saying I could buy my own domain, but continue hosting my blog here on Blogspot. By keeping my blog in the same place and letting Google forward everything, I won't lose any of my incoming links, readers, or PageRank. I know that doesn't have anything to do with this blog, because it is brand new. I don't have any links, readers, or PageRank, yet.

But I figured that, if I was going to try the custom domain, I would try it out on a new blog first - before switching an established blog. Besides, now this blog will always have its own domain - provided I did it right. We shall see.

I followed these instructions on How to Use the New Custom Domain Feature for Your Blogspot Blog. Then I followed the instructions to use custom domain on my blog. Now I'm waiting to see if it works. It says it could take a couple days to get everything switched, which means I probably should have followed the first instructions to tell my domain where to point. Then, once it was pointing to the right place, changed my blog, instead of doing it all at once. Because the blog is already pointing to the domain, but the domain hasn't forwarded to the blog yet.

I will be sure to let you know how it turns out.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

To Increase Traffic

I'd love to have more people read my blogs. I like readers. I like comments. I like traffic - just not the kind where I'm in a car, and other people are in their cars, and we're all trying to go our own ways, and no one is getting anywhere fast. I like website traffic. Today I was browsing through this list of 75 Ways to Increase Your Site's Traffic, and I really want to spend some more time with this list, figuring out how many of these 75 ways I can apply for my sites. I'm starting now with #1 - write more content.

Of course, I just gotta share it, because, if you've got a website or a blog, you probably like traffic, too.

An Intro

I spend a lot of time on the Internet. Every day I come across something interesting. Something that I really want to look at a little closer or that I think I can use in my life. Sometimes I bookmark the things I find, and sometimes I forget. Later, I remember there was something interesting, but I just can't find it. Do you know how irritating that is?

So, I decided to start posting all those fun and interesting things here. That way, I should be able to keep track of them, and, while I'm at it, I might as well share. You never know what I might find. It might be some helpful software, a great-sounding recipe, some great online classes or tutorials, a really amazing picture, a funny story or joke, or something else altogether.

Perhaps something I find along the line will interest you or be able to help you too?