Backing up using Carbonite

At home I have a fairly good backup scheme for ensuring my main PC and the wife’s laptop have their critical data stored on at least a couple of other disks. In addition to using cross-copying each other’s content, I have a second hard disk in the main PC just for backups and an external USB disk for backing this up to. I also have a few hundred megabytes of useful everyday stuff synced across machines and into ‘the cloud’ using the excellent Dropbox utility. So I’m pretty well covered against hard disk failure, and my critical files on Dropbox are insurance against houshold disaster.

Yet I’ve always had this nagging feeling at the back of my mind about the 80+Gb (and growing) of other data such as photos, videos, and general stuff that falls under the category of don’t-look-at-much-but-don’t-want-to-lose. While the hard disk duplication may cover me against hardware failure, and in fact did so a couple of years ago, I retain a nervousness over fire, theft, flood, or enormous wine spillage in my IT area.

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A simple Perforce backup script for the home

I use the free license of Perforce on my home network just to ensure version control and management of home coding projects, university thesis stuff, and general files that I just want to ensure I have previous versions of. It’s a really nice part of the Perforce licensing model that I can get two users and five clients for free. My network has my main PC (with Perforce depot), my personal laptop, my wife’s laptop, and my work laptop all connected. It’ll get worse when my four-year old starts wanting to source control things from his PC!

Having been responsible for some pretty heavyweight Perforce installations in my working life, I did not want to forget the golden rule of checkpointing and backing up. While it would not be a disaster if my Perforce data got lost or messed up, it would be an inconvenience. The scripts published on Perforce user forums, however, tend to be focussed on industrial installations and can be quite complex. For the home it is nice to have something more simple.
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Streamlining your PC to play games

Overview

Before I run a resource intensive game, I execute a little batch file that kills a bunch of background processes that are simply not needed when playing the game. I’ll explain the details below.

I have also noticed that before I used to do this, I experienced awful crashing problems with my PC just locking when playing. Since killing these extraneous processes, however, I have not had a single in-game crash that I used to get regularly with both BF2 and BFV. I think this shows that something in my system is having a bad interaction with the game – probably the graphics driver. I used to think it was an interaction with Panda antivirus, but recently I modified the script to not kill Panda and things still run OK. This makes me a little happier that I can keep my AV program running at all times.
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