Author Archives: Richard

About Richard

Free lance web designer, IT support consultant at Blackdog Media. ← Older posts Newer posts →

Backup Strategies

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They say (whoever ‘they’ are) there are two types of people when it comes to backing up.  There are those that have lost data and backup ferociously, and there are those that don’t back up who will lose their data, or at very best will come close.  Hard drives are incredibly fragile bits of hardware, and once the platter is scratched it’s basically impossible to recover the data unless you have a cool £10-£20K you want to spend on the recovery process.

Personally having had a BAD experience once in my life with data loss which resulted in a veeeerrry unhappy wife, I’m now a paranoid uber backer upper (PUBU).  Here’s the solution I came up with, which might be useful for you.  I would thoroughly recommend it!

At home I’ve a QNAP TS-210 NAS.  Which is a hard drive attached to my network. As soon as I turn on any of the laptops at home, they start backing up via time machine. You can also use this box to backup your PC laptop (it supports SMB or AFP).

Why not use time capsule?  I hear a lot of complaints about unreliability so avoided that solution.  Also, the QNAP box came with lots of other stuff, for example I can set it to download movies in my absence and my TV can play movies directly from it (no need for an apple TV).  It also has a built in web server, iTunes media streaming, surveillance system, full RAID (multiple instances of same drive just in case one fails).

So what if the house explodes, burns down, gets washed away by the flood or struck by lightening?  Hopefully this will not happen, but if it does I’ve also got a cloud based backup happening as well.  I went with backblaze, although there are lots of different cloud backups available.  Backblaze costs $5 a month, so it’s not exactly a bank breaker.  It backs up everything except your operating system and applications.

Once all that’s set up, you can simply forget about it (but test it every once in a while).

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Why I love wordpress

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I was a little late to the party when it comes to wordpress.  I had experimented with just about every other system under the sun, with some success, but was never really very happy.  Wordpress have just released v3.3 which is a great update.  In my world time is money, so to be able to login and update every client site in about 5 seconds with one button push is a huge bonus.  Most other CMS require manual process which usually goes like this:

Download files > Unpack > Upload files to site > site down > site breaks > heart fails > site apology > site restored

Good start to the day!

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Posted on by Richard

Latest bit of work for Robin Mark –

I had previously hand coded a content management system, but having realised the awesome power of wordpress, decided it needed that treatment. Used a great event manager plugin, really customisable.  Timed myself making the move from the old site, managed to transfer in under 2 hours which is pretty good going.

It will be interesting to see how the statistics are affected by the improved SEO in wordpress.

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RIP Steve Jobs

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Like many millions of geeks the world over, I was saddened to hear the news of the passing of former Apple founder CEO Steve Jobs.  It came as quite a shock to most.  Jobs kept his personal life private.  Rightly so.

His list of achievements under apple (and also outside such as NeXt and Pixar) are astonishing.  The inventions created and pioneered under apple have led the PC market by the nose.  Love them or loathe their cocky self assuredness, apple have indeed changed the world as we know it.  From the use of typography and design, to firewire, to the iPod which paved the way for apple to create the iPhone & iPad.  Not to mention the Mac itself, software built around the hardware it runs on – this is one of the mains things that sets apple products apart from their competitors, and the reason that ‘it just works’.

Apple aside, Steve Jobs was an inspiring man and a great example of character.  I love this clip from ’97.  In this video Steve is insulted by a member of the audience, his response was one of grace even though he could probably have biten back.

In the famous Stanford Commencement speech, Steve outlines some of the steps that brought him to this place, including some of the personal aspects of his life such as being told by doctors to ‘get his affairs in order’ after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

“I want to make a ding in the universe”
~Steve Jobs

I would say, and I’m sure most will agree, mission accomplished.

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Molten Magazine

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Molten Magazine


Molten Magazine are Ireland’s newest Hard Rock and Metal magazine monthly, getting ready to launch their first edition this August. Have to say, I really enjoyed putting this site together as there were a few challenges, being able to update multiple pages, create feature articles and have a featured image slideshow on the front page. WordPress enabled us to create advertising areas controllable by the client, full comment system, contact forms, advertising areas and share daddy goodness.

Rock on \m/

Tools used: HTML5, jQuery slideshow, CSS3 gradients and font-face title fonts. CMS was wordpress.

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Mac OSX handy keyboard shortcuts

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Making the move from Windows to OSX isn’t as scary as you might think. If you’re like me and you prefer keyboard shortcuts to hunting through menu options, then this list should be helpful.

Command key icon (Command key) – On some Apple keyboards, this key also has an Apple logo (apple
Control key icon (Control key)
Option or Alt key icon (Option key) – “Alt” may also appear on this key
Shift icon (Shift key)
Caps lock icon (Caps Lock) – Toggles Caps Lock on or off
fn (Function key)

Essential General Shortcuts

Text Editing

These are all similar to windows shortcuts, but use CMD instead of Ctrl.

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