Blog Archives

Use Mozy to Capture Whiteboard Ideas

I’m captive to the whiteboard. So many of my work conversations require on-the-spot diagrams and quickly jotted notes that it’s sometimes impossible to talk without one. Despite all of humanity’s technological wonders, whiteboards show that our ancestors had something right when they planned hunts using sticks to draw lines in the dirt.

Naturally, I often need to capture what’s on a whiteboard before someone erases it. If you do the same, here’s a tip for how you can use Mozy to capture the whiteboard artifacts of your conversation and open them up on your computer.

Ingredients for this Tip:

So here’s what you do…

  1. Get out your mobile phone and snap a picture of the whiteboard you want to capture.
  2. Use the Mozy app to send the new photo to your Stash
    • iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) –  Launch the Mozy app and go to the Upload tab. Tap the Choose from Library button, select the photo of the whiteboard and upload it. (Note also that you can take a photo directly from the Mozy app for iOS.)
    • Android – Launch the gallery app, tap the photo of the whiteboard, and then tap the Share button. In the Share Via list, select Mozy to upload the file to your Stash. (See “Android: Using Stash with the Mozy App” for step-by-step instructions.)
  3. Once the photo has uploaded, the Stash software will download it to any computer you have linked to your Stash. Now you have a copy of the photo right on your computer.
Now you have a quick way to preserve your whiteboard thinking.

Bonus Tip:
The Fast Way to Find a File Uploaded to Your Stash

Here’s a handy trick: from the Stash menu, under Recent Activity, if you click the latest downloaded item, your computer will open its file explorer to show you the file. That gives you fast access to the whiteboard photo you just uploaded.

If you have other tips on ways that you put Mozy to work for you, leave us a comment. Perhaps we can feature your tip here on the blog.

As always, be safe and happy Stashing!

–Ted

Mozy Takes You Directly to Your Data

More and more, MozyHome customers have been telling us that they now come to the Mozy website to access their files. That makes sense to us. People increasingly use Mozy for access to files in addition to protecting files against loss. You can use the Mozy app to get at your files from your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. And with Stash, you can use Mozy to keep your most active and important files up to date on each of your computers. Browser access completes the access-from-anywhere story. For example, if you forget to put a file in your Stash and you need it on another computer, accessing your backed up files from the browser is very convenient.

The increased interest in using the Mozy site for quick access to files has lead us to change what happens when you log onto the mozy website. From now on, instead of going to the Account Details page and having to click Restore Files (or in the case of Stash, Access Files), we’ll take you straight to your files.

You can still access the Account Home page when you need it. Just click on your name in the upper right corner and  then select Manage Account.

For those who may not be familiar with accessing your Mozy-protected files through the browser, let’s take a quick orientation tour. You can match the letters of the list items to the screenshot below.

A. Account Access - Your name in the top right corner provides the menu shown above. From it, use Manage Account to access the account page that allows you to change your password, expire mobile access, or change your MozyHome plan.

B. Top tabs – Use these tabs to view your account Dashboard, access files stored in your Stash, or to access backed up files on each of your Devices.

    1. Dashboard – The Dashboard tab provides you with summary information about your account, such as how much data you have backed up or stashed. It also lets you change the default top tab.
    2. Stash - The Stash tab shows only if you join the Stash beta, and provides access to the files that you have put in your Stash.
    3. Devices – The Devices tab lets you access your files backed up from any device on which you run Mozy online backup. You can instantly download a single file or a whole folder, or you can initiate a complete restore of all your files from a backed-up computer.

C. Files panel – The files panel shows on both the Devices tab or Stash tab. It lets you browse the content of folders, download items you need, recover deleted files, access a file’s version history, and so on.

D. Actions panel – The Actions panel changes according to what you have selected in the Files panel. For example, on the screenshot below, you can see that with Stash you can upload files right from the web.

E. Status summary – The status bar at bottom summarizes your current select. For example, in the screenshot I have a folder selected, so the bar shows how many items the folder contains and its total size.

If you have questions, ideas or suggestions related to this new direct-to-your-data feature or using the Mozy website to access your files, please leave a comment for us.

As always, be safe,

Ted

New Features in the Mozy App for iOS

Wrapping up a series of posts on the Mozy app v1.4, we finish with the new features for iOS, which includes iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. If you missed the previous two posts, check out:

In version 1.4 of the Mozy app, here are some of the new features for iOS.

Pull Down to Refresh

First up, some of our more avid Mozy app users pointed out to us that they want a better way to refresh a folder that has new items in it. Previously, you needed to navigate from a folder you were viewing and then back to it again to get it to show a new file you just uploaded from a different device (for example, a file that you added to your Stash).

Now you can just pull down on the folder view, and release to update the view. The screenshot at left shows a normal folder view. At right, you can see the pull-down “Release to refresh” screen.

    

Delete from Stash

Although Stash is still only available in beta, we continue to increase what you can do with it from a mobile device. This latest release of the Mozy app allows you to delete any file from your Stash. You can initiate a delete by looking at a file’s detail page…

…or by opening the file, and tapping the actions button  (shown in left screenshot at bottom-left) to open the actions menu (shown in right screenshot).

    

Stash Uploader Improvements

The Stash uploader also got its first interface overhaul since its debut.

In addition to its new look, you’ll notice the convenient View Mobile Uploads button, which takes you directly to the Mobile Uploads folder in your Stash. Also, the uploader can resume after an interruption. For example, an incoming phone call can send the Mozy app to the background. When you next bring the app to the foreground, the upload continues from where it left off.

Overall, you might notice a strong trend toward increasing security and making it easier to use Stash in the Mozy app. Let us know what you think by posting a comment on this post.

On most of our blog posts, we sign off with “Be safe.” On this one, we leave you with something you can actually do to make the world safer: please tell a friend about Stop the texts. Stop the wrecks.

–Ted

New Features in the Mozy App for Android

In my previous post about v1.4 of the Mozy app, I covered “Security Updates in the New Mozy App.” In this post, let’s take a look at some of the new features for Android.

Easier Access to All Files

After we added the My Mozy home tab in a previous version, there were several people who didn’t know that you could still get to the classic file browser view by hitting the Menu button. So, we added a tab-like navigation right on the main screen to make it easy to find.

SD Card Storage Features

When you use the Mozy app to download a file to your device, it gets stored on your device’s SD card. The new app adds two great features.

First, whenever you open a file that you previously downloaded, the app will check whether you have the latest version. If the local version is out of date, the app will ask you whether you want to update to the latest.

You can also remove a downloaded file from memory, too. Just tap and hold on the filename.

Stash and Android

If you use Mozy Stash, you have probably used the Mozy app to upload files to your Stash. If so, then you’ll appreciate these improvements.

You can now overwrite a file in your Stash with a newer version.

 

We also made some improvements to the auto-uploader to avoid duplicate uploads and images from other apps. If you haven’t used it before, you can enable it from Settings.

The app also adds an event to the device’s Notifications panel when an upload is in progress or completes, including auto-uploaded photos and videos.

And, you can also delete items from your Stash. Either open the file and select the delete icon, or just tap and hold on the filename. (Okay, this isn’t really new on Android, but I hadn’t mentioned it in previous blog posts, and we just added it the iOS app, so…please act like it’s new. Shh.)

Coming up in my next post, we’ll look at new features in the Mozy app for iOS.

Until then, be safe (never use the Mozy app while driving!),

–Ted

Ted Haeger
Mozy Product Management

Security Updates in the New Mozy App

Mozy Mobile App 1.4Mozy just keeps making it better and better to access and use your data from mobile devices. This week we launch version 1.4 of Mozy’s app for both Android and iOS devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch).

Each time we update the Mozy app, I update the Mozy blog to tell you what’s new. The list is too long for a single post, so today we’re going to look at how we have further tightened security in the Mozy app.

The convenience of having all your Mozy-protected files at your fingertips is enormous. But mobile devices frequently get misplaced, lost or stolen. Mozy app v1.4 introduces the following new security measures to ensure your privacy in such situations:

  • Token-based Authorization - The Mozy app has switched to using an access token instead of your password. Although previous versions always used strong encryption to store the password, this new token-based system keeps the Mozy app from storing your password at all. That sets the stage for the next (and frequently requested) security feature…
  • Remote De-authorization - If your mobile device goes missing, gets stolen, or you’re just not sure where you put it, you can just go to your account page and select expire mobile access. When you do, it stops all access from the mobile app until you log in again, but your computers running Mozy online backup or Stash continue to work without disruption. (In other words, it expires just the app’s current token–it doesn’t change your password.)
  • Automatic De-authorization - As in previous versions of the app, if you choose to protect the app with a passcode (PIN), the app will automatically log out after 5 incorrect PIN attempts. The difference now is that instead of forgetting your password, the app now forgets its access token. (This also happens if you choose to log out manually from the app.)
  • Automatic Data Wipe - When you remotely de-authorize the app from your account, the app now removes any locally-stored data when launched. This includes: files you have marked as favorite on iOS, files downloaded to SD storage on Android, and even any usernames that the login screen had previously remembered.
  • Local File Encryption - If you use a personal key to encrypt your Mozy data, the Mozy app will now keep any downloaded files encrypted on local storage. It decrypts them when you share by email or send a file to another app.

In my next post, we’ll look at features that make the Mozy app even better for accessing and using your data while on the go.

If you have questions or comments about the items described above, please post a reply.

Until next time, be safe,

–Ted

Ted Haeger
Mozy Product Management

Mozy Streamlines Disaster Recovery with Update to Web Access

Yesterday, we shared the news about a big overhaul to the Mozy web interface for accessing your files. In that blog entry, we mainly talked about how Mozy Web Access adds more features to Mozy Stash. Today we want to share what new features this update brings for anyone who uses Mozy to protect their personal and professional files–even if you don’t have Stash.

Mozy has two continuing goals for Web Access. One is to provide you with a simple, straightforward way to access the files you need from any device that has a standards-compliant web browser. The other is to ensure that you can recover from a data loss catastrophe swiftly and confidently. Today we examine several ways that this update addresses the latter of those two goals.

Emergency Restore
Something you’ll notice right away about the new interface is that Mozy has adapted it to emphasize what our customers tell us is their most frequent reason for logging onto the Mozy web site: accessing a file they need while on the go. But in shifting focus toward access, we did not want to impede your ability to react to a crisis (whether loss, theft, disk failure or an errant can of Red Bull). Let’s face it: when in such a situation, we’re typically not in our calmest states of mind. We need a fast path to recovery.

When you find yourself scrambling to get your data back, log onto the Mozy website and look for Emergency Restore at the top right of the web access screen. Use it to launch the new Restore Wizard, and you’re on your way.

Mozy Emergency Restore

 

 

Restore Wizard
When you need to restore all your data files after a computer loss, the new Restore Wizard will guide you through seven steps to recovery. After launching the wizard from the Emergency Restore icon, you define a few quick details about what you want to restore, and then select whether you want to use the Restore Manager to stream the files as a download or have Mozy expedite them to you by postal service.

Restore Manager
The Mozy Restore Manager simplifies the task of downloading files from Mozy. It runs on your computer, and ensures that interruptions—such as a network outage or computer restart—don’t force you to start downloading your restore all over again.

As mentioned above, you can use it from the Restore Wizard to facilitate a complete system restore. But you can also use Restore Manager even for ad hoc file retrieval. For example, say you want to download a whole folder of photos from Web Access. Instead of direct downloading the whole thing as an archive (.zip), you can use the Restore Manager by clicking More Download Options in the Actions panel after selecting the folder. As with a system restore, this gives you a way to recover from an interruption, such as a network outage

More Mozy Download Options

Lastly, Restore Manager is particularly handy if you use a personal key to custom-encrypt your backups, because Restore Manager will decrypt your files as it downloads them. That’s something that a direct download from Web Access cannot do.

Summary
Overall, the latest updates to Web Access give you multiple ways to restore your data. You can direct-download any file by selecting and choosing download. You can also direct-download an archive file of multiple files or folders. Use the Restore Manager to download it, which is handy for large sets of files or files from a custom-encrypted backup. And finally, you can use Emergency Restore for a complete system restore.

Until next time, be safe,

–Ted
Mozy Product Management

Mozy Enhances Stash with Major Update to Web Access

Mozy Stash just got a whole lot better. Since the debut of Stash, one of the most frequently requested features from beta users has been for a way to upload files from the web. Now with Mozy Web Access, you can.

Let’s take a fast tour of some new features in Mozy Web Access.

Mozy Web Access

  1. A tab for your Stash, and a Devices tab for your backups. Now you can easily access all of the files you protect with Mozy through a single web interface.
  2. A breadcrumb widget shows you where you are in the folder heirarchy, allowing you to jump back up to any parent folder.
  3. Switch from the default list view to a gallery view, and you can see thumbnails for each photo.
  4. The Actions panel changes dynamically depending on what you have selected. (More on this below.)
  5. You can select multiple files or folders
  6. Summary information about your selection shows in the footer.

As mentioned in the above list, different actions show in the actions panel, and that’s where you will find some great new features only available in your Stash:

  • Upload allows you to upload to the current folder
  • Create new folder lets you add a folder
  • Delete allows you to remove a file from your Stash

To be sure, this is just the first batch of Stash features we have added to Mozy Web Access. We look forward to adding more capabilities, such as renaming files or folders, or allowing you to move them as you need.

In addition to the new features for Stash, many of the new features in Web Access are available for files protected with classic online backup, too. Image thumbnails (as shown above), multi-file download, the actions panel, and many other new features work similarly when browsing files on your backed up device. I’ll cover more about general new features tomorrow in a follow up post.

Be safe, and happy stashing,

–Ted
Mozy Product Management

Geeking Google Earth with the Mozy App

Geeking Google Earth with the Mozy AppI’m a total geek for Google Earth. I use it to find places for my wife and I to explore in the Utah outback.

I scout out campsites with it. It helps me to locate minor roads and two tracks. Photos from Panoramio reveal lesser-known points of interest for us to explore. To me, Google Earth is one of the most wondrous innovations of the information age.

Google Earth has a native file format, known as “KML,” that you can use to share placemarks, routes, photos, and complex shapes for defining whole areas. For example, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) provides KML files for the surface geology of each US state. Also, many geolocation-enabled apps provide an “export to KML” option (Runkeeper is a great example).

Unfortunately, there has always been a big shortcoming with KML files. Although you could create them with Google Earth on your computer, you could not read them in the Google Earth app on your mobile device. At least, you couldn’t until this week. Google just updated the Android and iOS versions of Google Earth to v6.2.1 so that the app can accept when you send a KML file to it. And this is awesome for me as a Mozy user!

I have numerous KML files in my Stash–many that I have created, others that I have downloaded. So now, I can use the Mozy app to send these files to the Google Earth app. I’m so stoked about this that I created a quick demo video for any other Mozy users who are as geeky about Google Earth as I am.

If you want to try it out, but you need a KML file, you can grab the one I used for the demo video from IntrepidXJ’s Adventure Blog (and also see some fantastic trip reports showing Utah scenery).

 

Until next time, be safe,

Ted

“The Secret Origins of Stash”

Last week, I presented about the results-so-far of the Stash public beta at our bi-weekly Mozy-internal all-hands presentation. As part of it, my buddies in Marketing armed me with the new Stash t-shirt. It looks a little like this:

Mozy Stash

Within a couple hours, a friend and former Mozy colleague contacted me via Twitter asking:

@reverendted Hey, I really want a stash shirt. What do I need to do to get one?

To which I replied:

@tommetge Ask.

To which Tom replied:

@reverendted I am definitely asking. Maybe pleading. Does that work?

How could I say no? Tom was instrumental to making Stash happen. In fact, Tom’s latest blog post provides insight into The secret history of Mozy Stash. Tom sports his Stash shirt for the occasion.

Maybe you’re wondering the same thing that Tom originally came to me about. If so, then here’s a hint: we send an occasional shirt out to some of the Stash beta participants who are most active in the Stash forum.

Be Safe, and happy Stashing,

–Ted

Using the Mozy App Send Files to Your Stash

To wrap up our series of posts about what’s in the latest release of the Mozy app, we provide you a cool how-to for uploading files, using a favorite new feature: Mozy Stash.

Previous posts in this series include:

Overview

Stash is one of the hottest features ever added to the Mozy service. Although only in beta, thousands and thousands of MozyHome customers have added Stash to their account. Check out the Stash page to find out more about it.

From the Stash beta, one of the most frequently requested features has to do with the Mozy app. Many have asked for the capability to upload files from their mobile device to their Stash. It’s been possible to upload photos and videos to your Stash for a while, but not other types of files. The latest version of the Mozy app now makes it possible to upload any type of file, so that the file is then available on any of your linked computers.

Let take a look at how to do so, using my iPhone as an example. That means that the examples will be specific to iOS (which also covers iPad and iPod touch), but the workflow is similar on Android. We’ll start by showing how to send a file from the Mozy app to another app on your device. Then, we’ll show how to send a modified version back to your Stash. Along the way, I’ll mention some of the things we plan to make even better within the next couple releases.

Sending Files from Mozy to Other Mobile Apps

Even in previous versions, the Mozy app has allowed you to send files to other apps. The workflow is fairly similar, depending on whether you’re using the iOS version or the Android version of the Mozy app.

For this example, we’ll download a PowerPoint presentation and send it to Documents to Go. Start by downloading the file that you want to send to another app. Once downloaded, tap the Actions button. Then tap the Open in… button.

 

Mozy Mobile App With Stash

After that, you can select whatever applications are available.

Using the Mozy App Send Files to Your Stash

Note 1 The available applications on this screen depends on which have registered themselves as handlers for the type of file in question. If an application is not available, then it probably is unable to accept the type of file you’re trying to send to it.

Note 2 (Android) The model used by Android presents you with a “Share” button in place of “Open In…” The Share button may look a little like this:

Note 3 (iOS) While crafting this post I noticed that the Mozy app pre-pends filenames with a series of numbers. (It’s actually a milliseconds timestamp for the file.) We’ll clean that up in the next update.

Sending Files from Another App to Your Stash

Now for new feature: if you have Stash, you can upload files from other mobile apps right to your Stash!

If you have an application that supports sending files to other apps (using “Open In” on iOS, or “Share” on Android), then you can send the file directly to your Stash. Let’s take a look at how to do it, again using my iPhone as an example.

This time, we start from Documents to Go’s “Local” tab. From there, tap the Details icon to the right of the document’s name. Then, tap the Open In button on the upper right of the Details page. Finally, select Mozy as the target application.

 

Using the Mozy App Send Files to Your Stash

Your device will now take you into the Mozy app, where you can confirm the upload. (The confirmation prevents rogue apps from uploading without permission.)

 

Using the Mozy App Send Files to Your Stash

When the upload completes, you can find the file in the “Mobile Uploads” folder in your Stash.”Mobile Uploads” is a default folder currently used by the Mozy app. In a future update, we plan to provide a folder selection dialog, allowing you to select the target folder for uploading.

Tell Us What You Think

Because Stash is in beta, we’re especially eager to hear your thoughts and suggestions about any feature related to Stash. Join us in the Stash forum, where there is a thread specifically releated this blog post on mobile uploads.

Until next time, be safe,

–Ted