Over the years, I’ve tried just about every disc burning solution for Windows there is, both paid and free. Most of the best (most reliable and core-feature rich) have traditionally been retail titles like Nero. And Nero is still a perfectly fine choice. But over the last few years – mostly to justify perennial paid upgrades – these titles have been loaded up with feature-list-lengthening bloat I imagine few people ever need or use.
My burning needs are simple: file storage, the occasional music CD, and ISO burns. iTunes is just fine for burning music, so all I really need is software to burn files to a disc. And for this purpose, the best solution I’ve found is ImgBurn.
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Google Drive. Dropbox. SkyDrive. While all interesting and worthwhile in their own ways, stripped to their cores these three competing services all work more or less the same way: create a folder, drop stuff into it, and keep the folder and its contents synced between computers and the Cloud, and accessible from the web or mobile devices.
But what if you need something more flexible?
What if – like me – you already have folders on your desktop(s) and laptop(s) you need to keep synced across computers – and even platforms – without having to consolidate them into “drop-boxes”? What if you want Folder A – as is – on your PC synced with Folder B on your Mac, and Folder C – as is – on your Mac synced Folder D with your PC, and to have changes made to folders on either system synced with the other?
Sadly, none of the aforementioned services can do this without changing your existing file structure.
For keeping project files, development workspaces, and existing file structures in place and in sync, there’s only one service I’ve found that gets the job done: SugarSync.
In this article, I’ll show you how to use SugarSync to keep existing files and folders synced across different computers, be they Windows PCs or Macs, and backed-up in the Cloud. And, if those folders don’t exceed 5.5GB or so in total space, you won’t even have to pay for the privilege.
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Mozy (a Pocket PC Central advertiser) has announced that it will no longer offer an unlimited backup plan to its new customers. New capped plans have been put in place, starting at $5.99 for 50GB of storage. Current customers on the unlimited plan will continue to enjoy the feature until it’s time to renew – then, it’s goodnight Irene to all you can eat backup – at least on Mozy.
But don’t expect Mozy to be alone in this move. As hard drives grow ever larger (there are now 3TB internal hard disks), users have less reason to conserve space by deleting files. And as video rips become higher in quality, and digital cameras capture more and more (often useless) megapixels, users’ media libraries are exploding in size. Expansive storage trends at lower prices are great for consumers, but a nightmare for online backup providers.
Is it only a matter of time before Mozy’s largest competitor, Carbonite (also an advertiser), follows suit? That company already caps file size and bandwidth, but continues to offer unlimited backup.
The good news is that you can continue under new caps with reduced pain. Simply prioritize what you backup, delete or burn-to-disc files you probably won’t ever need or want, and keep your system as free of bloat as possible. While this can be a chore, it will not only help with you exist in a new world of online backup caps, it’ll also make your system more responsive.
June 2012: I wrote this article a year and a half ago, and I continue to receive email from users about backing up and restoring Thunderbird. I’ve updated the article with some of the excellent questions raised. I hope it continues to be of help. Thanks for writing!
December 29, 2010: Mozilla’s Thunderbird is arguably the best free email client available. I use it daily for my non-webmail POP and IMAP needs and it has served me well for years. But one important feature the application lacks is a way to easily backup and restore its data files, or to move them to a new location altogether (a second hard drive, new folder, etc.)
Because this functionality is missing from Thunderbird, backing up, restoring or moving its data files must be done manually, and for many users this seems a daunting task. But it’s not so tough – all that’s required is a basic understanding of how Thunderbird manages files, where they’re stored, and how the application accesses them.
In this post, I’ll cover how to backup and restore Thunderbird’s data files, and how to move them to a new storage location on your PC.
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