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The Importance of a UPS Battery Backup Device

by Oscar Vallenilla on 05/03/12

UPS stands for uninterruptible power supply or uninterruptible power source. This is an electrical device meant to provide power supply to a load in the case of a power outage or when the power input fails.  It differs from an auxiliary or emergency power system or standby generator in that a UPS device provides instantaneous (or very nearly instantaneous) protection from power outages.

At any moment and for any reason, power supply could be suddenly cut off.  Power outage can result from electrical poles being damaged by storms or traffic accidents.  Faults in the grid or power plant can also cause blackouts.  Or there simply may not be enough power supply in a particular area at that time, so power outages are scheduled.  We have learned to cope with these inconveniences but our computers, unfortunately, just are not hardwired to cope with them in the same way.

Sudden power loss during data transfers can damage partitions making the hard drive inaccessible.

    Computers are fragile pieces of machinery which can be damaged by a sudden power outage or fluctuation.  Items in a computer like hard drives can be affected and data can even get lost when power goes off and you have not properly shut down your computer.

    It is especially damaging to the computer hard drive when there is  power interruption.  When power is suddenly cut off, your hard drive spins down without being shut down properly.  When power comes back, and you restart, at times you may find that much of your work has been lost. Sudden power loss during data transfers can damage partitions making the hard drive inaccesible. Also power comebacks usually are accompanied by flickers or fluctuations which may turn your computer off again.  Hard drives can only take too much of this type of abuse.  There are some cases where computers even blow up.

    To protect your computer hard drive from these unfortunate scenarios, you need to plug your computer into an electrical device called a UPS system.  Right at the moment of a power blackout, these nifty devices will act as a battery backup power supply which will automatically provide power to your computer for long  enough to allow you to save your data and properly shut down your computer.

    A UPS device not only protects your computer from lack of power, it also protects from too much of it.  A UPS is also a surge protector in that it shields your computer from those little brownouts or flickers which we do not notice but which can wreak havoc on your computer.

    Grab a UPS device now to protect your computer and your data.

    In all but the most severe cases of data loss or corruption from power surges or outages, a professional of microexpress company will be able to rescue most, if not all, of your data. Speak to the experts at Microexpress for more advice.

    Making Backups

    by Oscar Vallenilla on 05/03/12

    Making a backup of your computer should be something that you are already doing. Many people don't realize the importance of hard drive backups. Hard disk drives can and do fail (including brand-new drives).  Some viruses and spy-ware are so difficult (or impossible) to remove that restoring from a backup is the easiest (or only) way to get rid of it.

    Backups should be done regularly.  You should ask yourself how important your files are to you.  Do you care if you loose the pictures you took on your last vacation?  Do you want to make sure you never loose the photos of your wedding?  Is that cost and analysis report that took you 30 hours to write important to keep?  What about the genealogy research you have been doing for the last 5 years?  Tax and business records?  Important emails and address book?  Almost everybody has something on their computer that they can't afford to loose.  Those things need to be backed up.  If you rarely create important documents or pictures, you can afford to run backups only after you add something important to your computer.  If you are running a business on your computer, you should be making your backups much more frequently and using reputable software to do it.

    There are many different kinds of backups and backup services.  In many cases, there is backup software built into your operating system.  Typically this software makes a "File Backup" which backs up your important documents, pictures and email but does not back up your programs and operating system.  This type of backup is typically quick and can be done more often.  The drawback to this kind of backup is that it takes more time and is more labor intensive to restore the computer.

    Another backup method is the "Image Backup".  This kind of backup makes a single backup file that represents every single byte on your hard drive.  This type of backup backs up everything - your operating system, all of your programs and settings as well as all of your data.  This type of backup will also back up any viruses or spy-ware on your system as well, so it's important to do this kind of backup before your computer gets infected.

    An excellent strategy to backing up your computer is to use a combination of both backup methods.  After you have your computer configured how you want it, do an image backup.  Then on a regular basis, also do a file backup.

    Once you've decided you need to make a backup, the next item you need is a place to store the backup. This can be on USB Memory-sticks (most reliable but not as much space as a hard drive), external hard drives, online backup services, DVD disks, and even CD's (CD's are not recommended due to their limited storage space).

    If you need to bring your computer somewhere for servicing, you should have already made backups of your important files.  All repair shops have contracts that state they are not responsible for ANY of your data that gets lost while your computer is being worked on.  If you need to send your computer back to the manufacturer for repair, you should just assume that all of your important files and programs on your computer will be gone when you get your computer back.

    Keep your data safe and make backups!


    This article will help give you tools for powerful immunization against computer viruses and prevent you from being another victim!

    by Oscar Vallenilla on 05/03/12

    No matter what your circumstances were, whether you were annoyed or infected, panicked or fascinated, the Love Bug virus took over the world's computers by storm. Email systems were clogged, files disappeared, and users were left stumped about the fact that they, somehow, had been fooled again. Why didn't we learn from the Melissa virus? (Then again, who can resist love?) The clever disguise of the virus took many people by surprise. The ingenuity as well as the rate the virus spread left computers infected and anti-virus websites overloaded.


    What went wrong? With all the talk and hype about virus protection, how could we have been fooled again? Some people simply downloaded the email because it was from a known source. Others blamed Microsoft because the virus was able to spread quickly through the "Preview" feature of Outlook's email. Although many companies and individuals subsequently disabled this feature, several days later, the "New Love" came around, and computers again were assaulted with a more potent, angrier virus.


    Modern Communication Woes

    Like the telephone, email is one of the quickest and most convenient forms of communication today. We send them through the office, to our children, and to our clients. We use it because it is quick and easy. We have electronic address books instead of little black books.


    Email frauds commit their crimes in a way similar to con artists who commit their crimes over the telephone. How many times have you gotten a phone call from a strange source, asking you for money or personal information? When you asked them to verify their company and you would call them back, did they back off? Con artists over the phone seek to gain your trust. Creators of email viruses prey on you by claiming to be from somebody that they're not. The good news is, you really don't have to be a victim, if you're armed with the right information.


    Arm Your Computer

    Anti-Virus software is a necessity nowadays. If you don't have it, now is the best time to shop for it! In lieu of the recent virus attacks, many of anti-virus companies are giving away free 30-day-trials. (Just remember the deal is much sweeter when you're downloading it before your computer catches a virus!) You can shop around on the Internet for the best deals; the three major players are Dr. Solomon's, McAfee's Virus Shield and Norton Antivirus. Be sure that the operating system you're using, such as Windows '95, is compatible with the program you choose. Once you get your software, make sure you update it at least once a week, and that you have it set to scan for viruses when your computer boots up. Most of these programs have an "autoupdate" feature that you can schedule to automatically update your software any time the computer is on, even if you're not home. If a particularly notorious virus has been released recently, update it daily for about a week. It may be a pain, but it's worth it; Symantec, the creator of Norton Antivirus, estimates that over 5 new viruses are created a day. Two days after the Love Virus was released, over 29 variations of were in circulation.


    Update your other software regularly as well. Microsoft released a "patch" in response to the Love Virus transmission. Software companies such as Microsoft are constantly discovering new security holes and fixes for bugs in their software. If you're a registered software user, then you can get these fixes for free by visiting the website or calling their technical support phone number. In addition to giving you added virus protection, these security patches help your programs run more smoothly in the long run.

    For added protection, and to save a lot of frustration in the long run, it's a good idea to have a backup of your computer files, just to be on the safe side. A Zip drive is a great tool for this, but if you don't want to spend the cash, there are lots of "servers" on the Internet that help you to backup and store files. You can try one for thirty days free at www.ebackup.com. In addition to backing up your files, you should also check your hard drive to make sure that your computer program files (such as .exe and .com) are "read-only." (Your operating system manual has instructions if you're not sure how to check the Properties.) If a computer virus tries to access them, you'll get a message to tip you off that the computer is trying to change the file.


    Email Precautions

    Of course, the easiest way to prevent a virus is to not engage in the activity that causes it to spread. If you're not willing or able to give up your email entirely, there are a few guidelines to make your email use a lot safer.


    Don't download files from strangers. That being said, if you're at work, it's probably safe to say that you shouldn't (and aren't allowed) to download files from personal emails at all. If you simply must read the attachment, however, download it to a floppy disk to be on the safe side, then scan it with your anti-virus software. This is the safest way to handle downloads because the file is not accessible from a network drive or your hard disk.


    Debunk Email Hoaxes

    Be leery of forwarded messages, despite the good intentions. If you get a virus warning sent to you, make sure to check your software provider's website to make sure it's accurate. Many people ignored the "Love Bug" warnings simply because of the amount of virus hoaxes circulating the Internet. Every day, a well-meaning friend of mine sends me an obnoxious, forwarded email claiming that by forwarding it, either I'll get money, she'll get money, or some suffering child will get money. It goes out probably to 500 people a day in our email circle alone. "Well, I don't know if this is true or not, but it doesn't hurt to try!" is usually how the email begins. This kind of "crying wolf" does hurt because it takes up a lot of our time and keeps us from more important, accurate information.


    As the Internet becomes our main gateway for communication, more viruses will infect more computers until we, as consumers, learn to arm ourselves with knowledge and prevention. Although there is no way for you to protect your computer 100% from infection, you can at least rest a little easier knowing that you're protected, and you can have a back-up plan in case your computer is destroyed by "Love." When three versions of the "It's-Not-You-It's-Me" virus show up in your email, you'll know that you're armed and dangerous against the virus that brought it.