My Top 5 Most Prized Photography Gear Purchases

As both a full time Information Technology Engineer and a part time amateur photographer, you can imagine that I do enjoy my fair share of technology related toys. For the purpose of this article I will be focusing specifically on the photography gear that I most cherish. These are the items that I use again and again and I find to be indispensable to my growing passion and hobby. So let’s get right to it, in no particular order (although number 1 is pretty important)…

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CrashPlan and Why The Cloud Makes Sense

Are you doing enough to protect your data? That you stumbled onto this article may indicate a concern you aren’t doing enough to ensure its security. If you are at least backing up your data to another hard drive, ideally an external drive like a Western Digital Passport, you are doing a better job than most. If you are backing up to an external drive and also taking that drive offsite then you are WAY ahead of most people. But you might be wondering if there is a way you could automate this entire process – a way to backup on a regular basis, in the background, without having to initiate anything and also have the backup location exist offsite. What is the answer?…

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Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse

Last night I braved the cold and the early morning hours to witness the first lunar eclipse that coincides with the winter solstice since December 21, 1638.  If you missed it, you will have to wait until 2094 for the next time it will happen on the winter solstice.  So, basically if you missed it last night you missed it for good!  Given that I fancy myself a photographer you would think that I would have had this all planned out but I actually didn’t even intend to take photos until I was outside looking at it and made a last minute decision to grab the tripod, camera and long lens.  And the resulting photos are a product of that last minute decision.  They aren’t horrible but they could have been much better.

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Stargate Universe Didn’t Know Its Own Destiny

Today Syfy announced that Stargate Universe has been cancelled after only two seasons.  Low ratings and numerous new upcoming scripted programs in 2011 are the reasons given for the cancellation.  I can’t exactly say this is a shock as I have been paying attention to the ratings, and they haven’t been good.  Right now Stargate Universe is in the mid-season break and will return with the back half of season two (all 10 episodes) in Spring 2011.  For the record I’ve been a fan of the Stargate franchise since the movie but especially the first two series, Stargate SG-1, which ran for 10 seasons and Stargate Atlantis, which ran for 5 seasons.  It’s unfortunate that there will be no Stargate episodes beyond the final 10 of Stargate Universe for the forseeable future, quite possibly forever.  Plus, the prospects of getting any more direct-to-DVD movies for the Stargate franchise seem to be slipping away as well.  It was definitely a good run and there are always reruns and DVDs available to get us back into the world of Stargate.

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Quicknote: Dropbox as your web development drive?

I’ve recently discovered a really great use for Dropbox.  I started keeping all my website files in my Dropbox folder and I actively edit (notepad, FileZilla, etc.) these files in that location.  As I’m editing and saving files, Dropbox does it’s magic and syncs to the Dropbox service as well as all other computers I have Dropbox running on.  The beauty of this is that not only do you have realtime backup, you also have multiple recovery points if you decide you don’t like the recent change you made.  It really streamlines the file editing process because you no longer have to perform manual backups before you start making changes (although doing this from time to time is still advisable).

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Dropbox and TrueCrypt: Sync your data securely

If you haven’t heard of Dropbox, it’s a cloud based file syncing service. You get 2GB of storage for free that you can use as you want.  You simply install the Dropbox client on your computer and drop some files into the Dropbox folder, which by default is located under My Documents in Windows but you can specify a different location if you wish.  In the background those files will sync up to your online Dropbox storage.  It gets even better!  Install the Dropbox client on multiple computers and now those same files will be in sync on all computers as well as your online Dropbox storage.  Not only do you have easy and convenient access to your files from any computer (or mobile device like iPhone, Droid, etc.) but you also have multiple backup copies on each computer you installed the client on.  Plus, if you make changes to files Dropbox has file versioning.  Simple right-click a file and choose Dropbox | View Previous Versions.  You will then be taken to your account via web browser where you can then select which version of the file you want restored.  Want more space than the 2GB you get for free?  You can add 250MB for each person you refer to Dropbox (assuming they sign up) for a maximum of 8GB.  They offer pay options for more space as well.  Dropbox isn’t likely going to be a total online (cloud) backup solution unless you don’t have a ton of data, but the sync convenience makes it easy to have universal access to your most commonly used files.

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