Backing up Your PC or Mac – The Easy Way!

As you know, there are two types of people in the world:  those that backup and those that wish they had.

But who has time to backup?  Well, the easiest way to backup I’ve found is with mozy.com.  They will backup 2G for free.  And they will keep it backed up.  Constantly.  All you have to do is signup and install a small program on your PC or Mac. Then the really, really good news:  you can forget about it.  Mozy takes care of everything for you.

You might be wondering:

  • Is 2G is enough?
  • How much is 2G anyway?
  • Why are we talking about phone networks?

All fair questions.  2G refers to how much space in your computer that mozy is willing to back up for you. Disk drives these days measure the amount of data they can store in 100’s of G’s (typically between 500G and 1000G, or 1T if you want to be fancy). Given that bit of news, you might be thinking that 2G isn’t very much.  True.  But with mozy you can define what folders really matter to you and what kinds of files matter.  Once you’ve done that, you might find that 2G is plenty.  If it isn’t, they have very reasonable plans for more space.

There is one catch.  Mozy (and any online backup solution) does tend to slow down your computer a little bit. But in most cases, the trade-off is well worth it.  If you must have every ounce of performance from your PC, you might look into a Windows Home Server.  This is a bit more complicated to setup than mozy, but it will keep your PC running quickly while at the same time keeping it backed up.

What are you waiting for?  Get your PC backed up now!

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Putting Your Calendar and Products on the Web… The Easy Way!

There are a lot of ways you can have your wisdom teeth removed. The more popular approaches involve oral surgeons and anesthesia.  Likewise, there are a lot of ways to approach getting your speaking calendar and your products up on the web.  And like their wisdom-teeth counterparts, they each have their advantages and drawbacks.

Here are some of the ways to get your calendar and products onto the web:

  • Pay a web programmer to do it for you. Watch out for this one!  Calendar and product information changes quickly.  Paying someone to keep this up-to-date on your website can cost you.  Both in terms of money and time.
  • Use a WordPress plugin to manage this data.  A definite improvement over paying a web programmer. There are many plugins available to help with this. Keeping this data in sync with your actual speaking calendar can become challenging. But if you can find ways of staying on top of this, then this can be an effective means of presenting your calendar and products on the web.
  • Use GigFolder.com

While I am biased, I believe the easiest way overall to get your speaking calendar and products up on the web, is to use GigFolder.com.  When you use GigFolder to manage your events and your products list, getting that stuff onto the web, is a simple click away! If only wisdom-teeth extraction were that simple.

Just logon to your GigFolder account and then go to your profile. Scroll down a bit and click the check box next to “Enable public calendar web page”. Just below that is another check box labelled “Enable public products web page”.  Click the “Update” button and voila.  Your calendar and your products are now on the web.  The URL for those pages is listed next to their corresponding check-boxes.  Easy!  And it looks pretty good too.

Now to sell products, GigFolder needs one more piece of information.  It needs to know your PayPal account name — it doesn’t need your password or anything like that.  Just the account name. Go back to the profile page and scroll down to the field labelled “PayPal account name”.  Fill in your PayPal account name or the email address associated with your PayPal account, either will work just fine.  Click the “Update” button.  Now when someone visits your products web page, each product will have an “Add To Cart” button that will take them off to PayPal to buy your product.

One other bit of customization that you might want to make.  You probably want to give visitors to your site a way to get in contact with you.  When they are looking at your calendar, perhaps they would like to contact you about a potential booking. Once again, GigFolder makes this easy.  Once again, on your profile page, check the box next to “Enable Request Information button”.  This will put a button on both your calendar and your products pages labelled “Request Information”. When a visitor to your site clicks that button they will be given a simple form to fill out where they can provide their name and email and a message to you.  The message will be delivered to the email address you registered with GigFolder.

Here are Kathi Lipp‘s live pages from GigFolder:

One more resource that you might find helpful. I have prepared a screencast that demonstrates exactly how to do the steps discussed in this post.

One final step: link to these pages from your blog site.  This can be as simple as adding these links to your “Blog Roll”.  If you’d like to feel a little more like it is integrated with your site, another easy option is to use the “Quick Page/Post Redirect” plugin (by Don Fischer).  Once you active this plugin, you will have the option of specifying a “Redirect URL” for any WordPress page that you create.  Basically a “Redirect URL” means that when someone clicks on the link to go that page, they will go to the Redirect URL instead. So, simply create a “Calendar” page on your WordPress site and then specify your GigFolder public calendar as the Redirect URL.  Give it a try.  It’s really easy. This is exactly how I did it for Kathi’s blog site. Take a look.

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