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How To Replace Symantec’s Backup Exec

By on Mar 16, 2015 in Blog Posts | 0 comments

Back in 2012 I wrote a long post about my terrible experience with Symantec Backup Exec and their lackluster technical support that still remains one of my most popular posts. It seems I’m not the only person who was fed up with Symantec; far from it. At that time I decided I would never again purchase another copy of Backup Exec (BE), and I never did, but it hasn’t been easy. It’s tempting to simply upgrade whatever you have in place, but after years of less than stellar releases from Symantec the time finally came to find a replacement. I found two. Arcserve Backup The first, a more traditional product, is Arcserve Backup. It installs on your server or workstation in a similar manner to BE and can backup to tape or external drives, among other options. Setting up and managing jobs will be familiar to anyone who has been using Symantec’s product, though there...

Soma Water Filter Review

By on Feb 9, 2015 in Blog Posts | 2 comments

The folks at Soma put a lot of thought in to their product but I wonder if they actually spent much time using it. The things fails at almost every aspect of being a water delivery system and sometimes even the simple, beautiful design hurts the functionality of the Soma. From filling to pouring, there are problems. First, the Soma is a little tricky to put together. You’ll feel like you’re going to break the thin, flimsy lid. Apparently Soma knows this is a weakness, so they’ve produced a video showing you how to put the lid on. Seriously. It’s part of a longer video welcoming new customers by giving them incorrect information about their own product. In the video we’re told to simply soak the filter for 15 minutes and it’s ready to use, but in the instructions that come with the Soma you are told to give the first three fills to your plants. Seems...

Good Riddance, Serial

By on Dec 18, 2014 in Blog Posts, Internet | 0 comments

The first five episodes of Serial were wonderful. Well researched, produced and told by its creator, Sarah Koenig, the story followed an arc that lead the listener deeper and deeper into a mystery that seemed to be heading towards a conclusion. Instead, the story meandered for seven more episodes as the clearly obsessed Koenig tried desperately to justify her infatuation with the subject, Adnan Syed. Koenig employs every possible tactic to convince herself and her audience that she isn’t wasting our time. She hires a detective to be sure that she isn’t missing something; he says the case work was above average, that the detectives did their jobs well. She interviews a lawyer whose job it is to free innocent prisoners and who, to no ones surprise, finds some way to get involved in the now massively popular case. She wants to test the DNA on items possibly still in storage...

How’s Life Treating You?

By on Sep 25, 2014 in Blog Posts | 0 comments

Tonight my neighbor casually asked a question I’ve heard many times before and never stopped to think about: how’s life treating you? It’s an informal greeting, by definition, though I can’t find its etymology. One thing is clear; when people say it they are asking how you are doing, not how the world is affecting you. The world doesn’t act upon us; we are part of it. We’re like leaves floating down river, but because we are capable of swimming against the current for a time, we have the illusion of control. In the end the current always wins out and we must relax and “go with the flow”. It’s the times when we are least concerned with our environment, the people and things around us, that we are most at peace. My sister has a degree in historic preservation and works for a historic preservation society in Boston. She spends all of...

Are Pets Slaves?

By on Sep 17, 2014 in Blog Posts | 25 comments

For as long as I can remember my family had at least one pet and we’ve owned just about everything you can imagine: birds, ducks, geese, turkeys, fish, cats, dogs, goats, chickens (oh, the chickens) and the list goes on. I know what you’re thinking – what was it like on Old MacDonald’s Farm? – but we have never lived on a farm. All of those animals have been part of our family on less than a dozen acres of land and they were all pets. None of them were ever eaten…by humans. I told you that so you would understand that having pets has always been a part of my life. There have been very few days when I’ve opened a door and an animal wasn’t waiting to be pet, or fed, or fed and then pet. We’re the kind of people who spend more money on healthcare for our pets than ourselves. My mom spends serious money saving the lives of baby chicks....

Selfies are ruining history

By on Sep 1, 2014 in Blog Posts | 0 comments

The first known picture of a human was taken in Paris in 1838 by Louis Daguerre. It wasn’t intentional; the man receiving a shoe shine (in the bottom left corner of the photo to the right) was the only person in the frame long enough to be captured. Many early photographs were of static objects like buildings and landscapes. These were easier to capture given the long exposure times required and would have been a more interesting subject matter for the public, many of whom would only see different corners of the world through images. Fast forward almost two hundred years. Nearly two billion people now have a camera in their pocket, many of whom take pictures of inane objects, including themselves, every day. Not because it’s important to document a critical moment in their personal or cultural history, but because they want to show friends what their outfit or hair or new...

In The Wee Small Hours

By on Aug 23, 2014 in Blog Posts | 0 comments

My grandmother on my mom’s side has chronic fatigue syndrome. She sleeps most of the day and stays up well into the night. Grandma Carter was a night owl as well, and so am I. At certain times in my life, when a job or a girlfriend’s schedule dictated it, I’ve modified my sleep schedule. After a few days of adjustment I can be a fairly productive human being, but I always revert back to my natural state. It’s rare that my body is ready for sleep until one or two o’clock in the morning and it prefers to remain that way until nine or ten. I have the luxury of being able to accommodate it and have recently taken the additional step of completely muting my phone at all times so as not to be disturbed. I miss the occasional phone call, but people rarely complain. My clients sometimes make jokes about my odd hours. Being a creature of the night sounds sexy, but...

Dog People

By on Aug 17, 2014 in Blog Posts | 0 comments

I just saw a grown man kiss two dogs. They were not his dogs, and he had to bend over and hold position to do it. As he knelt the dogs eagerly pushed forward with their snouts and licked him wildly about the mouth. His mouth was open. All three of them really seemed to enjoy themselves. Then he stood up, patted their heads and came in to the coffee shop apparently unaware that in some cultures he would now be considered legally married to two dogs. We’ll skip over the obvious initial concern regarding dogs’ known fascination with their own anus’. They’ve also been known to eat anything that comes out of their bodies or anything else’s body. Furthermore, they don’t practice any kind of dental hygiene. This didn’t seem to pose an issue for those concerned. The worst part? They all kept their eyes open while they were doing it. The whole time. I...