Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

Tablet Takeover 2: Choosing a Tablet

All in the Family Infographic

Tablets are a mainstay in homes around the world now. So how much data does a typical family store? Learn more in our “All in the Family – Who Stores What?” infographic.

Apple recently announced next-generation iPads and again sent tech writers into fits of exultant exclamation marks. Thinner! Lighter! Faster! But new and improved tablets aren’t coming only from Apple. Microsoft just launched a new Surface model, and Nokia premiered the new Lumia 2520. Add to these well-regarded tablets from Samsung, Sony, Google, Amazon and others, and you’ve got a crowded market.

If you’re in the market for a tablet, how do you wade through the wide range of features, sizes, and price points? Here are some things to consider.

Operating system: Google, Microsoft, and Apple aren’t just battling to get their devices in your hands; they’re also competing for operating system domination. The OS matters for design and performance, but, for many end users, the difference is what’s available for these operating systems: apps, media and accessories. Currently, iOS offers the deepest library of apps and media. The downside is that iOS is available only on Apple products; Microsoft Windows Mobile and Google Android, in contrast, are available on devices from several different manufacturers.

Android offerings have improved dramatically in the past year and seem poised to continue on this trajectory. According to Strategy Analytics, Android was the OS on two-thirds of the 51 million tablets shipped in second quarter of 2013. iOS controlled 28% of the market, and Microsoft Windows Mobile had less than a 5% share. With such considerable market share, developers are racing to design products for the Android platform.

If you plan to use the tablet primarily to access email and the Web, all three of the major operating systems will suit your needs. But if you’re on the prowl for the buzz-worthy new apps and games, your best bet is with Android or iOS.

Hardware: Tablets generally in the 7-inch range or the 10-inch range. The smaller models sacrifice a degree of performance, but cost less and can fit in small bags.

Battery life: As you’d expect, battery life is less important if you’re using the tablet primarily from your couch than it is if you’re regularly trapped in coach on intercontinental flights. Most tablets from major manufacturers have batteries that last between 8 and 10 hours.

Storage space: If you plan to keep feature-length movies or your music library on your tablet, look for a model with 32 GB of storage or more.

Screen: For the most part, you can readily tell the quality of the screen by looking at it from different angles and judging its brightness. But if you’re a real graphics junkie, check out the Nexus 10 or the iPad Air. Both of these tablets have resolutions so sharp that the human eye cannot discern individual pixels.

Connectivity: All tablets are Wi-Fi-ready, but some can also connect to cellular networks. These cost extra for the technology, plus a monthly fee for the connection.

Price: Whatever your budget, you can find a tablet. A search of BestBuy.com found tablets ranging from $69.98 for the Azpen A701 to $1,929 for the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T. While price will generally align with the number and quality of features a tablet has, CNET warns that buyers should look beyond price. For example, Amazon takes a loss on each Kindle Fire sale, keeping its cost lower than its features would indicate. On the other hand, iPads may lack some desirable features but justify their cost with overall quality.

Beyond these core considerations, look at the extras and determine which are most important to you. For example, many tablets–though, notably, not iPads–have memory card slots and USB ports. Several tablet devices have front and rear cameras, and, if you are planning on using your tablet at the beach, some devices (the Sony Xperia Tablet 7, for example) are waterproof.

In any case, when choosing from among a bunch of different tablet devices, nothing beats trying them for yourself. Check how comfortable you are with operating system and how easy it is to do the kinds of things you plan to do with the device. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with your options, do a little research on your selected models. There are several useful tablet reviews available online (such as those from CNET and Engadget).

And be certain to check back regularly: The next new tablets are just around the corner.

 

MozyPro Online Backup For Business

 

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 + Stash – A Winning Combination at Tax Time

With tax season here, many of us are rounding up receipts, checking our W2 forms, and meeting with accountants to get ready to submit our taxes. Now that so much of this information is stored online, data storage, backup, and sharing become even more important. MozyHome online backup and Mozy Stash can help make this record compiling and storage much easier.

Here is one Mozy user’s story from earlier this year:

“I met with my accountant recently to prepare my taxes and accidentally forgot to bring my W-2 form. Since the form is essential for tax preparation, my accountant was ready to postpone our meeting until I had all the proper documentation. But I had a Plan B: My W-2 form was in my work computer’s local Stash folder. So I pulled out my iPhone, opened the Mozy mobile app, found my W-2, and emailed it to my dumbfounded accountant sitting across from me.

My accountant is a MozyPro customer, so he understands the need for backup. But the fact my work computer synced with my phone and other computers to enable me to access my files anywhere was astounding to him! When I explained that Mozy Stash is available to MozyHome customers now and that it’d soon be available for him to use on his MozyPro account, he was chomping at the bit to use it for himself. He just may never need to carry a briefcase full of paper documents again!”

Get the most out of Mozy

Mozy’s backup and file synchronization features can make tax time a breeze. Do you use an Intuit product to help with your personal or business finances and taxes? Make sure to check out this post on backing up Intuit data.

Also, be sure to check out the Mozy mobile apps and utilize the many features Mozy Stash has to offer.

Pausing Backups – Why? When? What Happens?

It’s happened to all of us—kids are streaming the new episode of Phineas and Ferb from Netflix on the Xbox 360 and all of the sudden the images start pixelating, the video stops to buffer, and weeping and wailing abound. Or you’re in the middle of editing an HD movie on your computer and all of the sudden your CPU fan starts whirring, your processes slow down, and your editing screeches to a halt.

When your computer or network’s resources are stretched, how can you make sure Mozy isn’t adding any additional load to the system?

  1. 1. Enable network throttling. Both the Windows and Mac Mozy clients allow you to limit the amount of bandwidth used by the Mozy client. You can even configure the client to limit bandwidth usage only during your periods of intense use (such as from 8 am to 8 pm).
  2. 2. Enable CPU throttling. If desired, you can configure your Mozy client to not back up unless your computer is idle or the CPU is busy.
  3. 3. Modify the backup schedule. If you usually use your computer or network heavily at a certain time of day, you can modify your Windows or Mac backup schedule to back up during times when you generally don’t use your computer heavily.
  4. 4. Pause backups. If you’re using your computer or network heavily, you can pause an in-process Mozy backup. In the Windows Mozy client, you can click the pause button to stop the current backup and then restart the backup again by clicking the same button or waiting for the next scheduled or automatic backup. In the Mac Mozy client, moving the slider to “Off” will stop scheduled and automatic backups until you slide it back to “On” or click “Back Up Now”.

We at Mozy want to make sure that your every email, document, and photo is safe. By following these guidelines, you can also ensure that your data is backed up in a way that fits exactly how you want to use your computer, because backups should never get in your way.

Jamie Morningstar, Mozy Product Manager