April 25th, 2010 by bigjim
We have spoken about computer backups in the past in this column, and there are some things that you just can’t remind people of enough! However, some recent experiences have encouraged this column to be on more than just backup, but total disaster recovery.
Most large corporations have what is known as a ‘business continuity plan’ which basically covers how the business can make sure that it can keep the doors open, even in the face of a catastrophe. Usually, the plan is a mixture of backup, redundancy and preparation: multiple, regular backups of all critical data; extra pieces of computer equipment as spare in case something breaks; and planning and communication to all staff to ensure that best practice is followed.
There is a lot the average home user can take from these plans. With the price of external hard drives so low these days, there really isn’t much of an excuse to not be backing up your critical files and photos regularly. But backing up isn’t just copying to a hard drive. Make sure you follow the 3-2-1 model – 3 copies (1 primary, 2 backups), 2 on different formats (e.g. hard drive and DVD), with 1 copy stored offsite (including online).
Also think about the less obvious outages: what happens if you lose your internet connection? Do you have a backup dial-up modem? How long can your home business run without email? Do you have paper copies of really critical documents in case the digital copies were lost forever? Do you test your backups to make sure they’re ‘good’?
The best time to plan for a disaster is well before it happens. So we suggest you hop to it!
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April 11th, 2010 by fastmikey
One of the great things about the internet is it’s ability to allow people to connect all over the globe. By jumping online, you can be up and communicating with someone on the opposite side of the globe immediately. Now this reach has stepped even further with the ability for you to tap the internet to reach out and help someone on the other side of the world! Welcome to the world of microfinance.
Microfinance works on the principle that there are a lot of people who would like to try and improve their position in life, but due to falling below the thresholds required by traditional financial institutions, are normally unable to get access to loans. Microfinance institutions help give these people a chance to better themselves, and the internet has brought this concept into the 21st century – allowing people to directly connect with others in need of help to lift themselves up.
Kiva is a fantastic example of an organisation working in microfinance. Kiva was set up in 2005, to provide a way for the public to directly help people in developing countries help themselves.To date, $128 million US dollars have been loaned to 323,000 entrepreneurs in needy countries with a 98.5% repayment rate. Kiva even partners with other microfinance institutions to broaden their reach – including a number of Catholic partners. You can find out more at http://www.kiva.org/ and sign up to get involved. Make a little change go a long way!
Posted in Link commentary, Technology overview | No Comments »