TreeSize Free

How much space do your Windows folders occupy? My earliest days of earning a crust in the world of computers were spent designing database systems (using a clever but tricky program called “Everyman” – I bet not many people remember that one). One of the first tasks in any design was to calculate the probable …
Continue reading TreeSize Free

Protect Data when Disposing of a Computer – 1 of 2

How do I get rid of a computer but keep my private data private? This is a simple question that I’m often asked by my computer support clients. Pity the answer isn’t as simple. In fact, it can be complicated – technically and/or financially. If the drive is in situ in a complete computer and …
Continue reading Protect Data when Disposing of a Computer – 1 of 2

Long Term Data Retention

Can you assume that your computer data will be safe and accessible for as long as you need it to be? How should we store our important computerised data so as to be reasonably sure that it will be available to us for us long as we need it? Is there any electronic format that …
Continue reading Long Term Data Retention

External Backup Drives

“Should I buy an external backup drive” is one of the most common questions I am asked by my computer support clients My answer is usually “yes”, because the question implies that the client is not backing up anything at the moment. The next question is, of course, “what should I buy?” The main considerations …
Continue reading External Backup Drives

Checking File Sizes and Space Available

How do you check how much space is available on your drive(s), and how do you check the size of the files themselves? The usual way of checking on file sizes and space is by using “Windows Explorer”. This is nothing to do with “Internet Explorer” (the Microsoft browser program used to view web pages). …
Continue reading Checking File Sizes and Space Available

When is a Gb not a Gb and why doesn’t it matter?

Let’s suppose that you’ve finally decided to buy an external drive to back up at least some of your important files. Maybe you’re doing this just because you know it’s a good idea or maybe you are a computer support client of mine and you’re tired of me dropping very heavy hints about backups. I’m …
Continue reading When is a Gb not a Gb and why doesn’t it matter?

Portents of Hard Drive Failure

Is your hard drive working properly? Is it likely to fail? What would you do if it did? Hard drive manufacturers used to rate the reliability of their drives in terms of a number of hours “MTBF” (mean time between failures). This was supposed to tell you how long you could reasonably expect a drive …
Continue reading Portents of Hard Drive Failure

Protecting Data when Disposing of a Computer

Disposing of your old computer may not be as easy as might imagine. You can not simply put it in a wheelie bin, destined for landfill. Computers contain several metals that will poison the ground. There are EU laws banning disposal in this way. Either take it to a local authority waste disposal site or …
Continue reading Protecting Data when Disposing of a Computer