Your Own Dropbox

I’m assuming you have heard of Dropbox?  If not, it is a service that allows you to keep files synced between multiple computers. It is easy to share files in your Dropbox with other Dropbox users (or even with non users).

It is simple to use and has multiple integrations, making it easy to store files between a Mac and PCs (and even mobile devices).  It is free, well up to 2 GB which sounds like a lot until you start filling it up. If you refer friends you can earn extra storage space.

I’ve recently started using a Dropbox alternative (although I still have/use my dropbox account).  It is called and the free account starts at 15 GB! Again, allows sharing with users (with a “fairer” policy), etc. If you refer friends, you get an extra 5 GB!

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 9.20.58 PMBut what if you need (or want) more storage than either of these services offer? Of course you can upgrade to a paid account, but here is another interesting solution.  It is called the Transporter Sync Private Cloud. It is a product you buy, plug in an external hard drive (not included), install some software and you now have your own private Dropbox like service.

Here is a basic run down of the features:

  • Just like Dropbox with more capacity at a fraction of the cost and 100% private (Dropbox files are not 100% private, check out this article for a story of how Dropbox is 100% private)
  • Automatically sync all the files you choose between your computers. Transporter will even sync the popular Desktop, Documents, Movies, Music, and Pictures folders that you use everyday
  • Privately share and collaborate on entire collections of files with anyone you want. There is no limit on file size, file quantity, or number of people sharing
  • Sync files to other Transporters located anywhere in the world for offsite backup or to share files with friends and colleagues
  • Access all of your files via your mobile devices anytime from anywhere in the world
  • Extremely simple to use. Plug it in, add storage, and go

Amazon is currently selling them for $ 99! Of course you will need an external hard drive to plug into the Transporter.

Disclaimer: I’ve not purchased a Transporter Sync Private Cloud or tried one out yet. There is more information on their website, but for $99 I’ll be trying one out in the next few months. If you’ve used one or have one, let me know what you think.

More Changes in my Life!

It has been an interesting 11 months, full of changes:

1) My dad, who has Parkinson’s Disease decided to have a Deep Brain Simulator implanted to help in managing his disease. This decision has meant a lot of trips to Baton Rouge for me and a chance to hear some funny stories of his youth. It has also taught me a lot of patience.

2) In August, the week dad had this surgery, I lost my Grandmother Stroud who was almost 96, otherwise known to me as my Memie).

3) In October, we announced that we were expecting our #2 child.

4) That same month my mother retired and moved to Florida (actually it was November when she moved). She is no longer just 8-12 hours away, but has enjoyed telling me how warm it is, especially when we were freezing in January!

5) In February, I turned 40 (yea, I don’t act it, so that really wasn’t much of a change)

6) On March 1, 2011, Caleb Gene Breeding was born.

7) And the latest change in my life happened on March 15, 2011, when I turned in my resignation as the Director for Information System at Louisiana Tech University’s Alumni Center. I’ve been an employee of Louisiana Tech for almost 15 years and I have grown to love the University that I graduated from even more than I did when I was a student.

I will be starting a job with Donnie Bell Design on April 11, 2011 as a web programmer for them. Be sure to visit their site, blog, Twitter feed, and Facebook page!



CES Cool Products

If you know me very well, and I’m assuming you do if you are reading this post, you know I’m a bit of a geek.  I love technology, and love seeing “new” technology.  The Consumer Electronics Show was held earlier this month and I’ve been watching coverage of it ever since then.

I’ve heard more than enough about all of the 3D televisions, and I could care less about any tablets other than Apple’s iPad.  What I find interesting is the products that aren’t saturated by the media.  Here are four that I’ve found interesting (so far):

1) Light and Music: A winner at from CES 2010 was back this year, with LED lights, that have speakers built into them.  Really they are light sockets, that install into existing fixtures. The speakers use a wireless transmitter to receive sound.

2) MakerBot ( had their latest 3D Printer, Thing-O-Matic, printing items out one right after another.  The printer comes in a kit that has to be assembled.  It is only $1225.00 and can print objects 96 x 108 mm and up to 115 mm high.

3) Gaming R.A.T. or mouse ( I’m not a  gamer, but gamer’s hardware is designed to take a beating and be comfortable. I found this mouse very interesting in the ways it can be adjusted and programmed. Madcatz is the parent company for Cyborg (that makes the R.A.T.) and they also make surround sound headphones as well as flight simulator components.

4) Really Small Computers were at CES from a company called Xi3 ( Most of their computers have the processing power of a full-size desktop PC but uses up to 95% less power to operate.  They have no moving parts, and can easily be adapted or modified for any application or industry. No moving parts and less than 30 Watts of heat means they should last longer and be less likely to fail. While a little pricey, if they outlast the traditional 2 to 4 years, then it may be worth the investment.

One Booth I thought was dumb: I also saw that the US Postal Service had a booth with a Fast and Furious video game contest.  I don’t understand why the USPS can (and why?) they pay for a booth at CES, yet the cost of stamps continue to go up?

I hope one day to go to CES.  Jennifer is a bit of a geek also and says she thinks it would be fun to go.  Go figure? I married the right girl! ha!  (Not that there was ever any questions, ha!)

More Computer Viruses

I have had more people in the last two weeks ask me about their virus infected computers than I have in the last 6 months.  It seems there are some ugly ones going around the Internet right now.  I wrote a post a while back called So you think you have a Virus? and while it still has a lot of good information, I wanted to add a few other suggestions and a new post seemed like a better way to share this information.

One of the common viruses I’m hearing about pops up a window (while you are browsing on the Internet) and warns the user his/her computer has been infected and he/she needs to download this FREE antivirus program to fix the computer. Usually the program is called Antivirus 2010 or something similar.  If any doubt if a program is valid, Google the name (Google is our friend).

If  a similar screen to what I’ve described appears, just close the browser and start over. The keyboard short cut for a PC to close a program is ALT-F4. This short cut may be the safest way to close the program so an accidental click doesn’t download the spy-ware.

Here are a few tips of what to do if a system is potential infected. Use these at your own risk:

  1. If you think you may have a virus or if your system is running really slow and you want to check it for viruses, then I would recommend downloading Microsoft’s Security Essentials. It is Microsoft’s FREE Antivirus solution (why did it take them this long to offer something they should have done years ago?)

    I’ve had a number of really good reports of this program removing them. It is very slow on scanning, but that is good. It means it is doing a thorough scanning job.  If it finds anything, let it try to clean it, if that doesn’t work, just let it delete it.

  2. If you can’t download it or install it, try booting the computer in safe mode /w networking and try #1 again.
  3. If that doesn’t work, here would be my next suggestion. This will require disassembling the computer.  Remove the hard drive from the computer. (Google your computer’s model to find out how).
  4. Remove the hard drive and hook it up to a Universal Drive Adapter (UDA), like this one USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter Serial ATA, ATAPI/IDE 3.5) and plug it up to another computer that has an up to date anti-virus program on it.  The drive hooked up to the UDA will show up as a drive under “My Computer” — just like a USB stick would.

    Run the antivirus program and scan the new drive, allowing it to clean anything off of it.

    Reinstall the drive into its computer and boot it up and run another scan from the computer (once the antivirus software has been updated)

    I’ve had really good luck with this method.

  5. My last suggestion is to buy a Mac! ha! ha! Ok, not really, although I’m a Mac fan boy and Jennifer and I both use Macs at our house.  Find a local computer repair shop and be prepared to pay for them to get it off the system.  I stay too busy with life to work on computers on the side, so don’t even ask me, 🙂  Other than suggestions, such as this blog entry, I don’t work on them.  Sorry 🙂

Facebook Quizzes Aren’t Just for Fun

Quizzes, quizzes, and more quizzes.  They are everywhere on Facebook.  You can’t scan your news feed and not find out if someone knows their 80’s hair band lyrics, if  they were raised in church, or if they know when they are going to die?

While most people find these quizzes fun, entertaining, and amusing, it turns out there they could be sharing a lot more of your Facebook profile information with the creators of the quiz than you might realize.

How much more? Almost everything in your profile: your religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, pictures, and groups.

Facebook quizzes also have access to most of the info on your friends‘ profiles. So if your friend takes a quiz, they could be giving away your personal information too.

Think I am being over cautious?  Take this quiz and find out.  The ACLU of Northern CA has created a quiz to show Facebook users how much of their information is being shared.  They state they have a privacy policy and strictly adhere to the policy.

Has this freaked you out enough that you don’t want to take this quiz or any other now?  Here is the questions, the answers, and additional information from this quiz. It is the only quiz I’ve ever taken on Facebook:

acluQUESTION 1: When you take a quiz on Facebook, what can the quiz see about you?

Answer: Almost everything on your profile, even if you use privacy settings to limit access.

QUESTION 2: What info about you can a quiz see when your friends take a quiz?

Answer: Almost everything on your profile, even if you use privacy settings to limit who can see that information.

QUESTION 3: There must be safeguards somewhere, right? My information is safe because:

Answer: None of the above – and that’s a problem.

QUESTION 4: OK, that sounds like a real problem. So what should I do?

Answer: Demand the right to control my information without sacrificing the right to use new technology.

Additional information (include from the quiz):
The only protection Facebook offers by default is its Terms of Service, which state that developers must collect only the information that they need and use it only in connection with Facebook.

But all it takes to be a developer is an email address, and so few of even the top developers have a privacy policy at all, it’s hard to believe that Terms of Service will hold them back if they want to collect information, and (as this quiz has shown) they can access a lot of it.

And once details about your personal life are collected by a quiz developer, who knows where they could end up or how they could be used. Shared? Sold? Turned over to the government?

What’s going on with these quizzes just isn’t right. It’s time for Facebook to upgrade its privacy controls so that you decide who gets to see your personal information.

That’s where you come in. As we’ve seen before, Facebook does respond when users protest. So we need to make some noise!

Don’t let Facebook’s default settings force you to silently pay with your privacy when you (or your friends!) use Facebook. Demand that Facebook upgrade its privacy controls to give you control of your personal info. Demand Your dotRights!

Feel free to share this with anyone and everyone you know.  If you are reading this on Facebook, it is also linked on my blog at: