What Online Backup Service Do You Recommend?

About a month ago, I asked on Twitter for suggestions for online backup services as I’m tired of manually backing up and I never do it often enough. I was suggested Mozy, but I was also suggested a lot of alternatives. However I was leaving on a business trip basically the next day, so I never got around to reading the Tweets and they eventually slipped off my @mentions list.

So now I’m asking how I should have done it in the first place — on my blog. What online service do you use to backup your data? And before anyone suggests it, Dropbox is out of the running as it’s too expensive for actual backup (it’s great for sync though!).


Why Can’t Apple Make A Decent Windows Program?

Comon Apple, I get that Windows is a competing platform and you’d rather spend your time working on your own stuff, but if you’re going to force me to use iTunes with my iPhone, at least make iTunes not suck. I’ve ranted about iTunes before and while iTunes 10 seems more stable and less laggy so far, it’s still far from perfect.

I mean they can’t even manage to get the little things right. For example, their new logo has horrible transparency:

A simple thing to fix (look at all of the other icons there doing it just fine), but no, Apple had to not bother.

Looking For Firefox Addon: Make Bookmarks Buttons

I only have a few items in my bookmarks toolbar and I’m looking for an addon that will allow me to place those bookmarks (in icon-only form) in my normal toolbar. I already have an addon that makes the bookmarks button toggle the bookmarks toolbar (better than nothing) and I know I can customize my menu to get the bookmarks in my normal toolbar, but then they show up with labels, a big “Bookmarks” button, and the last bookmark hidden by an expand arrow. Does anyone know of such an addon?

YOURLS + Twitter for iPhone (UPDATE: TweetDeck Too!)

UPDATE: These instructions now apply to TweetDeck as well! You can find the field at Settings -> Services and pick “Other” for the shortening service.

Do you run YOURLS? Do you use Twitter for iPhone (aka Tweetie)? If so, this post will be of interest to you.

Twitter for iPhone supports using a custom shortening service. Thankfully the YOURLS API will output a format that Twitter for iPhone will accept.

So how do you go about setting it up you ask? Start by going to your YOURLS admin area and clicking the “Tools” link at the top. About half way down the page will be your signature (it’s like a password). It will be a 10 character string. Hang onto this, you’ll need it soon.

Now open up Twitter for iPhone and go to the “Accounts & Settings” screen. You can get there by pressing the three dots in the bottom right and then scrolling to the very bottom of the screen that comes up and pressing the “Accounts & Settings” button. There will then be a “Settings” button in the bottom left. There in the Settings, select “Services” and then “URL Shortening”. Lastly pick the “Custom…” option.

Now to enter the URL to your YOURLS API script. I found it easiest to craft this URL on my computer and then e-mail myself the URL which I could then copy/paste on my iPod Touch. It was a lot easier than typing it all out on the little keyboard.

This is the URL you will need to use:


Replace “YOURSIGNATURE” with your signature that you located earlier in this post and leave the rest alone (the “%@” is the placeholder that Twitter for iPhone will look for). If you e-mail yourself the URL, make sure that you still have “%@” at the end of the URL and not “%25@” or something.

Now when writing a tweet, press the character count button and the keyboard will disappear. There in the bottom right will be a button to shorten all URLs in your tweet. They’ll be shortened using your custom domain!

Cool, huh? 🙂

Posionous People

If you’re involved in the WordPress community (or any open-source community for that matter) and have never sat down and watched (or at least listened to) this presentation by two of the founders of the Subversion project, I strongly recommend you do. It is an hour very, very well spent.

Thanks to Ryan McCue for sharing the video with me.

I Need GPL-Compatible Flash Video Player Suggestions

I am in the early stages on recoding my Viper’s Video Quicktags plugin from scratch and in the process I will be replacing JW Player with a free and open-source alternative. JW Player is really great, but sadly it’s released under a non-commercial license which just won’t do.

So please, if you know of any good Flash players that will do FLV, MP4, etc. please leave a comment with a link!

Here’s my list so far of players to compare and pick between: (I’ll update this list with suggestions)

  • Flowplayer (currently leaning towards this one, it seems really badass)
  • OS FLV

Hiding Microsoft SyncToyCmd.exe For Task Scheduler Purposes

Now that I own a laptop, I needed a way to keep some folders in sync between my two computers (my web development folder for example). While there are plenty of options that use online methods (Dropbox for example), I needed one that was strictly offline. The free accounts only offer a few gigabytes (I’ll eventually be syncing a few hundred gigabytes and am currently syncing around 30,000 files) and I’m much too cheap to purchase space upgrades (they’re crazy expensive anyway).

So in comes SyncToy 2.0 from Microsoft. I installed it on my desktop (you only need it on one computer), shared the folders with my Homegroup on my laptop that I wanted to sync, and set up some folder pairs. It works awesome and only takes about a minute to check both my desktop and laptop (via wireless) for file modifications and then sync the changes.

However it has no UI for setting up automated syncing. You either have to do it manually or set up a scheduled task using the command line program that comes with SyncToy called SyncToyCmd.exe. The problem with there’s no way to hide it’s window. Every time the task runs, a command line window pops up while it’s syncing. Highly annoying and distracting, even if I’m only syncing once an hour.

Well thanks to a bit of Googling, I found a solution. It’s a little NET application someone wrote that acts as a wrapper for SyncToyCmd.exe and makes it run silently in the background.

Success! 🙂