Staying Awake All Night

Several years ago we had 3 different laptops crash and lose all of their data in marketing. The “last straw” was Michael R’s. Using Retrospect backup software, Nancy’s old laptop, and a couple of large external hard drives, we set up a system that would back up the “My Documents” folder and “Desktop” of anyone who wanted backing up. Runs like clockwork. It is very addictive to get the “You’ve been backed up” message each day. Over the years it more than paid for itself by recovering Mark P, Russel, Mark H, and Anne’s data. This week, Michael R’s laptop crashed again (he who started all of this.) We were able to restore 20,000+ files to his new laptop.

The challenge was that I.T. sets our laptops to go to sleep after 20 minutes of being idle. We needed the laptop to stay awake all night as the files were restored. The video here shows the solution. An oscillating fan, two rubber bands, and two paperclips. Thanks to our legal council, Tori, for the rubber bands and paperclips!

Know what’s online and in databases about you.

[Reprint from USA Today.]

TECH TIPS: Ask Kim Komando

Ever wonder just how much information about you is contained in corporate databases and on the Internet? Here’s a hint. It’s much more than you think.

If your telephone number is published, a simple Google search can turn up your home address, phone number and a map to your front door. Everyone knows that. But there are other databases and sites that contain intimate details of your life.

Specialty reports let potential insurers check your prescription history. Retailers can view your purchase returns history. And your employment and rental history are also online.

This information may be incorrect. It can haunt you when you apply for a job, credit or health insurance. So, it’s a good idea to do a background check on yourself from time to time.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act lets you request free credit reports once a year. You can also request a report if you’ve been denied credit based on information it contains. And, you can request that any errors be corrected.

Credit reports

Credit reports are widely used to verify your credit-worthiness. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion are the three main reporting agencies. You can request your free report by visiting You can request reports from all three agencies.

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Retaining Wall Graph

Stuck in traffic on the access road to 85/75 coming up to 14th street, I spotted this long retaining wall painted white with a graph. The data point labels may be causing wrecks.

This photo is about a 10th of the entire wall.