File or Path Name Too Long? Find out before you do your backup

Those of us who back up our devices sometimes get a message that some file couldn’t be backed up because its name — more likely its file path name — is too long. Lim Electronics‘ website offers a free, small, easy-to-use program called, appropriately enough, FindLongNames, that lets you check your Windows machine for files whose name or pathname is longer than some number of characters you specify, so you can do some adjustment beforehand and hopefully not have to deal with the long-name problem after your backing up procedure has run. Their page of free software includes other programs you may want to check out.

Learn and see some Internet history

The million dollar homepage is still online, a snapshot of the internet circa 2005, but many of its links are dead, or point to different websites, their owners reaping the rewards of prior investments. Archive.org captured some iterations of the website, and the linked sites from there, and Web Archive.org.uk has been capturing UK sites since 2004, but not all sites are so lucky, either predating Internet Archive’s start in 1996 (the first webpage exists only as a copy, reposted a year after the first one went up in 1991), or missed by web crawlers (Wikipedia). These are some of the reasons why there’s so little left of the early internet (BBC). “

Read the article and comments at metafilter.com.

April 10, 2019 Meeting

Topic: Picking the Best Backup Approach

Speaker: Gene Barlow, User Group Relations (via Skype)

Backing up your hard drive on a regular basis is the most important process that all end-users must do on a regular basis to protect their computer from a crash or virus attack. Anti-virus utilities are not always completely reliable for this protection. Only a good backup can protect you 100% from a total loss of your computer system. Unfortunately, there are many different backup approaches that are promoted as being all you need to do. Most of these approaches provide only a partial protection of your system. However, there is one backup approach that is the best and the one you should be using.

This presentation will describe the four most popular backup approaches used today and tell you the strengths and weakness of each approach. After attending this presentation, you will be able to determine what is the best backup approach you should be using. We will then describe this approach in detail, so that you understand the best way to use this best backup approach. We represent Acronis and their True Image backup utility to the user group community. This product will provide you all of the popular backup approaches, but their incremental backup image approach is the best way to go. Again, how to setup and use this best approach will be covered in this presentation.

To help you get started doing excellent backups, we offer those that attend this webinar this Acronis True Image product at half the normal retail price. We also provide our customers with our exclusive True Image Starter Guide, which makes installing and setting up this product easy to do the best backups possible. In addition, we will help you with question or problems as you use this product for months to come. You do not want to miss this excellent presentation on Picking the Best Backup Approach.

Gene Barlow is the best known presenter to user group audiences. In the early 80’s, when the IBM PC was first announced, Gene managed the User Group Support organization for IBM and helped hundreds of user groups get started. For this he is often called the Father of PC User Groups. He has presented to thousands of user group audiences over the past 35 years. His presentation style is informative, yet easy to follow for even the most novice users. You will find him one of the best presenters you have heard. We are pleased to bring you this excellent presenter and presentation on a topic that he is well known for. Make sure you attend this presentation.

As usual, the meeting will be held at the Palo Alto Elks Lodge, 4249 El Camino Real, Palo Alto and begins at 7PM. We will be meeting in the Library/Card Room across the hall from the Lodge Room.

For those who enjoy the schmooze, we will have our usual no-host pre-meeting dinner at 5:30PM in the Bistro Café on the first floor of the lodge.

NOTE: This meeting will NOT be available on ZOOM.

It’s Your iPhone. Why Can’t You Fix It Yourself?

Excerpted from www.nytimes.com. Go there to read the whole article, and comments.

“A giant John Deere tractor and a pocket-size Apple iPhone have something important in common: The cost of repairing either one is too high.

The two companies, and many of their peers, use a variety of aggressive tactics, including electronic locks and restrictive warranties, to push customers with broken equipment to seek help from their authorized repair facilities — or to give up and buy a replacement.

This is unfair to consumers who might be able to obtain, or perform, lower-priced repairs. It’s unfair to independent businesses that might do the work. And it’s bad for the environment, because the high cost of repairs leads people to toss devices that might have been fixed.

Late [in March 2019], Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, proposed a national right-to-repair law for farm equipment. The idea is based on a 2012 Massachusetts law that requires carmakers to provide the information necessary to perform repairs and to sell any special tools needed to do the work. The law also phased in a requirement that new cars be compatible with generic diagnostic tools.

Ms. Warren has the right idea, but she did not go far enough. The owners of consumer electronic products deserve the same protection as farmers.”