Home Gadget Geeks

When is Old Hardware Too Old? Backups and Tech Regrets – HGG387

   Pulling from Facebook and the mail bag this week, Jim and Mike spend some time wondering, how old is too old when it comes to computer hardware?  We also have a lengthy discussion on backup solutions, cloud storage with OneDrive and Google Drive and Mike admits he is getting out of the family home storage ; All this and more! Join Jim Collison / @jcollison  and Mike Wieger / @WiegerTech for show #386 of Home Gadget Geeks brought to you by the Average Guy Network.
Continue Reading »
Computer / Network Security

The APC 1000VA Power Saving Green Back-UPS XS – with LCD Display

A UPS is a device that you don’t know you need, until you need #160; A UPS or uninterruptible power supply is an in house battery back up that provides emergency power to your computer (or anything else you plug into it) when your utilities #160; Here in Bellevue where I live, we get sudden drops in power all the time, so for years I have used small UPS units to protect my #160; It been a great system and has worked very well. Last Thursday we had storm roll through that caused a short power outage followed by a power #160; All the units in the house reacted correctly by closing the circuit and throwing their #160; This protected the PCs from utter #160; For once, I was on the good side of a protective #160; I did realize however, that I had two many computers plugged into one small UPS and that an upgrade was going to be #160; So I purchased the APC 1000VA Power Saving Green Back-UPS XS – with LCD Display with the plan of plugging 3 PCs into it for #160;  I will use it to power the Window Home Server, an HP Pavilion a6244n Core 2 Duo and a Core i3 PC that I use on a daily basis. So on Saturday morning, I made my way down to OfficeMax in search of a new #160; I found this one on the shelf (for $129), used my Google shopping app on the Epic to find the best deal and discovered that was running a good sale ($40 off).  I asked if they would match and they #160; Thanks Shadow Lake Office Max manager!  (Note: I checked the price a day later online and it was no longer available.) The APC 1000VA Power Saving Green Back-UPS XS – with LCD Display is an 8 Outlet 600 Watt Power Saving UPS with Automatic Voltage Regulation and 120 minutes of max run #160; It has a front LCD display for viewing the battery status, charge level and load #160; It has ports for phone, network and cable, USB connectivity with auto-shutdown software and a $150,000 connected equipment insurance #160;   The unit is sizeable and heavy, but looks great next to a tower #160; I had it home, out of the box and installed by #160; Here is what I #160; The batteries are shipped in the unit #160; Before using, you need to remove the back cover, pull the batteries out and remove the stickers, flip the batteries and reinstall both the batteries and the #160; Plug in to the wall, plug in the provide USB cable to the unit and your PC and off you go. A Windows 7 PC will find the device   Navigate to for the Power Chute software     Download software   Install Once downloaded, choose next, next, agree, install During the install, it will disabled Windows Power Management I choose to Auto Update and  to send Power Quality Info to APC Finish and registration of the #160; Since I bought it, I might as well. It adds an icon to the Notification Area   A look at the rear (while the software is loading)   APC PowerChute Personal Edition With no load, here is a look at the Home Page There are some basic alerts at the bottom of the Home Page.   Let’s look at a few of the sections Monitor System Performance Drop down option to view performance information covers the last week, 4,12 and 24 weeks. Current Status Run Self-Test Energy Usage Options: The default cost of energy for the application is $ (kWh).  Changing it for your utility would make the calculation more accurate. Your energy usage can also be displayed over the last day, week, month or year. This could be scary since I am planning on plugging in 3 units to this device.   Configuration Options From this screen, you can control the sound notifications, show the icon in the task bar, enable software update notifications and send power quality information to APC Runtime Notification Sensitivity Voltage Energy Management Enable Energy Management   Adding a Load Adding the Windows Home Server Dell Dimension 2400 Intel Celeron GB RAM 160 GB ATA System Drive (Contains the OS) Partitioned into 20/130 GB space 2 x 2 TB GB Drives connected External USB via IcyDock MB662US-2S Enclosure Current Status       Adding an HP Pavilion a6244n Desktop PC Core 2 Duo E4500 (C) DC GHz 3GB RAM 500 GB SATA 3G ( Gb/sec) Hard Drive       Now adding the Main PC GIGABYTE GA-H55M-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI USB Micro ATX Intel Motherboard Intel Core i3-530 Clarkdale LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80616I3530 Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL x2 1TB System Drive running Windows 7 SP 1.     I am looking forward now to some increased protection and feel fairly confidant that the three systems could experience a significant power outage (5 to 10 minutes) before I would need to start shutting things #160; A big improvement over the smaller UPS that I was using. I do like that now have better monitoring capabilities and that I know just how much I am taxing the #160; I am a little worried however, now that I know what my back of PCs is doing to the #160; Here is what I see from the Energy Usage dashboard after just one day of use! I am running the equivalent of 11 light bulbs running all #160; While it only cost me 50 cents, it is generating 7lbs of carbon dioxide and would be the same as driving 7 #160; I guess I can start on reducing my carbon footprint.     Jim Collison is a blogger and podcaster for and and a Microsoft Windows Home Server MVP Please feel free to leave comments at our Facebook Group Page
Continue Reading »
Home Gadget Geeks

Google “Likes”+1, World Backup Day, Data Recovery, Android, and Facebook users get E-Mail and Movie Streaming? – HT019

Jim, Christian and Andrew get together for this edition of the Home Tech Podcast. After some listener feedback, and an update on the Stuxnet Virus from Mark Russinovich’s blog, the guys talk about Google’s upcoming “+1” service – when signed into your Google account, you will be able to “Use +1 to give something your public stamp of approval, so friends, contacts, and others can find the best stuff when they search.”  Results will show in your personal Google Profile. Join us for the show live each Thursday at 8pmC/9E at Listen Mobile: With the 31st of March being World Backup Day, the guys quickly run through Business Insiders’ 10 Best Backup Solutions In line with World Backup Day, the guys discuss Andrew’s recent successful data recovery, using Photorec to recover photos from a corrupted hard disk. From Christian’s Corner, this weeks Deal of the Week is the HP S2231 22” Widescreen HD LCD Monitor from and Christian’s Speed Tip of the Week has us turning off the write-cache buffer flushing on our hard disks to eek that little extra performance from our systems. Talking about Facebook from two angles, the guys discuss the email addresses that everyone can now have attached to their Facebook account, and the new deal that Facebook and Warner Bros have, to allow US Facebook users to watch movies in HD via their Facebook account, paying with Facebook Credits. Jim talks about OtherInbox, a free online service to help to Organize, Prioritize and Summarize your web-based e-mail from GMail, Yahoo!Mail and AOL. To close, Andrew shares his experiences in trying to move away from Windows 7 to Ubuntu Netbook Edition on an aging laptop and the guys talk about Google’s taking back control of the Android Operating System. Facebook Page: Facebook Group: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on  to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: Jim’s Twitter: Andrew’s Twitter: Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network.
Continue Reading »
Home Server Show

Home Server Show #120 Backups Dissected

News is going to be slow until the next beta release of Vail but we do have a couple of items for #160; On an exciting note the HSS Forums has opened up to Developers who want to control testing of their #160; John is back and the ustream chat was #160; AJ joins to talk about his backup article and we go over a lot of different options for Windows Home Server backups, retention, restoring, cloud backups, etc.   The Full Show and Show Notes at
Continue Reading »