Cloud storage

cloud icon

No such thing as a free lunch?

There is when it comes to your data security.

Until quite recently, if you wished to back up your valuable data without cashing in the family jewels, extra storage drives were the logical choice of medium.

The quandary

The question when backing up to extra internal or external hard drives is where to draw the line. If your main computer hard drive crashes a backup is invaluable, but if you only have one backup drive it can be stolen in a burglary or destroyed in a fire along with your computer. So for total peace of mind you really need two and one should be kept at a remote location. That means regular exchanging of drives, loss of data created since the last backup, and an administrative hassle we could live without.

Do you use more than one computer?

Data management is further complicated if you need to synchronize your files on two or more computers. There is excellent software for this. Microsoft’s free SyncToy and the excellent SyncBack SE are two very good sync utilities.

But running these programs is yet another job that we can do without. If you flip back and forth between your laptop and desktop, or between home and work, it’s a never ending task.

Enter the cloud

An extra hard drive is invaluable at home or in the office. I wouldn’t be without one for backing up my whole system with imaging software, but recently the game has changed for data files. There are services popping up like spring daffodils all over the place clamouring to back up your data files on somebody else’s hard drive in the “Cloudi.e. on a remote Internet site.
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Lisa’s multi-grain wholemeal no-knead bread

Easy to make and with no kneading

No knead whole grain bread

Lisa is one of my lovely daughters. She’s also a great cook. This recipe is hers, tweaked just a little by One Wild Kiwi. It was inspired by Busy People’s Bread from Annabel Langbein‘s outstanding TV series and book, The Free Range Cook.

Annabel’s recipe’s great, but it uses too much yeast and for my money Lisa’s is even better.

For the many Kiwis–especially deprived expats–who love Vogel’s bread but not the price, this is the answer. I think this bread’s better than Vogels and other commercial whole grain loaves: it’s even healthier, it’s about 10% of the price and it’s easy to make.

Ingredients for 2 1400g loaves

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The skinny on Skinny

I thought 2Degrees was the best deal available for mobile phones if you use your phone to access data. But 2Degrees just cut back on my data cap and they pissed me off by wanting to charge $40 if I changed my plan, so I went looking.

Long story short


The best deal for a contract account on 2Degrees would have cost me $29. Telecom and Vodafone even more. The nice guys at Skinny give me a pre-pay account with 500MB of data for $16 a month.

It took $4 for a SIM card and all of 20 minutes for the staff at Warehouse Staionary to set it up and my old number was transferred to the new Skinny SIM card in a couple of hours.

But wait…

There’s more:

If you transfer your old number to your Skinny account you get your first month free.

Good deal Skinny.

Sorry Larry Ellison, I need to gloat


Schadenfreude is not a good Christian sentiment to be encouraged but right now I’m overwhelmed by it. Anyway I’m not a good Christian so what the hell.

The America’s Cup has been plagued by people with too much money buying line honours and too often succeeding.

This year the holder has plumbed the usual depths. The trophy was once awarded for a tussle between two nations sailing their own yachts, built in their own countries and sailed by their own nationals.

Emirates Team New Zealand have done that. Emirates as the main sponsor is obviously not a Kiwi concern, but most of the money is from New Zealand, almost all the crew are Kiwis, and the boat was designed and built by Kiwis in New Zealand.

American Mr Ellison had one, repeat one, American out of 11 crew members on his boat for this morning’s race. With his limitless pockets he managed to lure a truckload of non-American hired guns into his nominally American team, he’s shamelessly manipulated the rules to maximise his chances and now his mercenaries are being given a well-deserved thrashing.

Money may be able to buy a bit of happiness, but not today Larry. Suck it up.

Loving it.