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Create Your Own Cross-Platform Backup Server

Backing up your data on a regular basis is important, and turning a spare computer into a backup server is often the best way to make sure it gets done. But most methods require either a good deal of command-line learning or serve only one operating system. Not with Restore, a free, open-source backup system that can install or run from a live CD, work with any OS, and operate through a simple browser-based interface. Today I’ll demonstrate backing up a Windows laptop to an older desktop, but you’ll see how Restore can be easily molded to fit just about any home backup needs.

GETTING STARTED

First we’ll need the right live CD fromRestore’s SourceForge pages. Grab the most recent “RESTORE-EE-LIVE” .iso file you see there—it’s technically the “Enterprise Edition,” but don’t let that title scare you off. Burn the ISO to a blank CD with the program of your choice, place it in the disc drive of a computer that can boot from a CD, then fire it up. Now you can check out how Restore runs on your spare box (or old laptop) before dedicating yourself to installing it, without a single bit of data touched. Those with a bit of Linux savvy can also install Restore fromUbuntu/Debian packages or in a virtual machine; installation will be different, but the operation is the same.

Restore is based on Xubuntu, the lightweight Ubuntu Linux distribution, and boots up in nearly identical fashion. Hit “Start or Install RESTORE” from the first screen and give the CD time to boot up (go back and try “Safe Graphics Mode” if you see only black). Once you’re in, you should see a desktop similar to this (click for larger image):

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If you’re not hard-wired to your internet connection, click the icon in the upper-right to configure your wireless connection. If you can’t get access, your networking hardware might be the rare exception that Ubuntu doesn’t handle out of the box; try the Ubuntu Forums or a little Google-searching for help.

If you’re set on installing Restore, hit the “Install” icon on the desktop and follow the fairly simple prompts. Whatever drive or partition you install to, that’s where the backups will go. If you need help partitioning off space from a Windows installation. for pointers. Whether you’re installing or just testing it out, find the IP address of the computer running Restore through your router. Alternately, click the “Applications” button in the Restore desktop, then Accessories->Terminal, then enter the command ifconfig and look for the address after “inet addr:”, which usually looks like 192.168.x.x). Save yourself future IP hunts by setting a static IP address for your new backup server.

Set up your systems

Most backup servers rely on each computer regularly sending their files to them. Restore, on the other hand, reaches out to computers and copies their important files on a schedule. To make sure your system’s ready to accept remote connections, do the following:

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Vista: Head to “Set up file sharing” or “Network and Sharing Center” from the Control Panel. Make sure “Network discovery,” “File sharing,” and “Password protected sharing” are set to “On.” Right-click any folders you want to back up on your system, select “Share,” “Change sharing permissions,” and follow through the prompts.

Schedule your backups

Open a browser on the computer you intend to back up and point it to that IP address you grabbed from the server, followed by /restore, as in:

http://192.168.x.x/restore

You should see a login/password prompt. Enter “admin” as the username and “password” as the password, without the quotes. You’re now at the main Restore screen.

You can head to “Preferences” to make your login details a bit more secure, but let’s roll up our sleeves and head to “Filestore” first.” It’s pretty bare on this screen, so hit “Add Target” near the upper-right corner. Here you’ll get your choice of MySQL, SFTP (which is actually SSH File Transfer Protocol), straight FTP, or Windows File Share. I’ll be using Windows File Share, which also works for Linux users.
Type the IP address of the system you’re connecting from into the “Hostname” field in the prompt that comes up, and then the username and password you use to log on to that computer. You’ll be greeted by a collapsible list of folders that you can grab from. Ignore any “invalid argument” lines, select the data you need to copy and hit “Next” in the lower right. Give your selections a “Target Name” that relates to your selections (like “My Pictures Backup”), then hit “Save.” You’ll end up at that target’s settings page. Hit the button that looks like “Play” on the far right to manually launch a snapshot backup if you’d like, but now we’ll head to the “Schedule” tab.original1
Hit the “+” next to “Snapshot schedules” at the top of the left-hand column to choose how often Restore will reach out for a backup attempt. The “Simple” settings should be enough for most folks’ needs; give your schedule a name and hit “Create.” Now choose the “+” next to “Revision Schedule” on the right-hand column. This actually lets you set how many of your snapshots are saved and for how long, giving you a Time-Machine-like ability to choose from numerous versions of a file over time. Hit “Create,” and you’re done. When you need to get at your files, simply head to the “Restore Data” tab in each Target and choose which version you want to bring back.

Digital Chocolate, Which Nurtured Some Of Gaming’s Best Talent, Sells Its Barcelona Studio To Ubisoft

TechCrunch

Digital Chocolate, the long-troubled gaming company from original EA founder Trip Hawkins, has sold its 46-person Barcelona studio to France’s Ubisoft. The sale comes just months after the company closed down its Helsinki office. Ubisoft confirmed the acquisition to us and Digital Chocolate has yet to respond to immediate requests for comment. Ubisoft is picking up all of Digital Chocolate Spain’s technologies and brands, but they’re not acquiring any of the company’s other studios.

The company has been downsizing for more than a year, with layoffs and Hawkins stepping down in 2012 to form a new educational gaming company. It’s another tough chapter for the 10-year-old company, which has raised at least $55 million to date in four separate venture rounds.

Somewhat Ironically, even though Digital Chocolate had trouble finding its footing on emerging gaming platforms like Facebook and iOS, the company has nurtured some of the industry’s…

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Line Adds Vine-Style Clip Maker & Video Calling To Its Mobile Messaging Platform

TechCrunch

The largest mobile messaging apps are increasingly social platforms in their own right. There is more evidence of that today as Line Corporation‘s Line — which had around 250 million registered users at last count — has added yet another feature to its platform play in a v3.9.0 update to its iPhone app (Android users will get the update “in future”).

Snap Movie allows for Vine-style short video sharing, which gives Line users yet another way to communicate with each other without having to leave its social, entertainment playground.

Or, as Line puts it:

Now LINE users can participate in the global trend of sharing their own original video clip and BGM arrangements.

As with Twitter-owned Vine, Snap Movie lets iPhone users of Line create a short video for sharing that’s composed of one or more scenes by recording footage by holding their fingers down on the screen…

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How to Sell Your Phone for the Most Money

Tech

If you’re looking to sell off your old smartphone for a bit of spending money or to fund the purchase of a new phone, cashing in on old electronics is easier than ever. Take your smartphone to a retail store for an immediate trade-in, or sell it online if you don’t need the cash immediately.

So how do you know just what your old phone is worth? We checked all of the major options and priced out what we’d get by selling a 16GB iPhone 5 on AT&T in good working condition. But before we dive into where to sell, here are some general rules of thumb on what these buyers will — and won’t — pay for:

  • Phones on different networks may be worth different amounts. Phones on AT&T or factory unlocked phones tend to be worth the most.
  • Your phone’s current condition has a big impact on its…

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Spotify Launches In Taiwan, Argentina, Greece and Turkey

TechCrunch

Spotify has launched in Argentina, Greece, Turkey and Taiwan, bringing its streaming music platform to a total of 32 countries.

The heart of the Mandopop (Mandarin pop) industry, Taiwan marks the latest step in Spotify’s Asia expansion, which began in April when the service premiered in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Desktop streaming is free in Taiwan and premium service, which allows users access the platform on their mobile devices or smart TVs, is NT$149 (about $5), or half of the $9.99 that users in the U.S. pay.

Despite its lower pricing in Asia, Spotify faces strong competition from several local players, including KKBOX, which has 10 million users and already boosts strong ties to Mandopop labels. KKBOX has diversified its product offerings beyond streaming music by hosting live events on its platform that allow users to listen along as celebrities select tracks and chat via…

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China May Lift Social Media Ban From Shanghai’s Free-Trade Zone

Tech

A tiny crack could be forming in the Great Firewall that blocks China’s internet users from politically sensitive websites. According to the South China Morning Post, Chinese authorities are to lift a longtime ban on Facebook and Twitter. However, access to the social media sites will only be granted within the confines of Shanghai’s free-trade zone — a mere 28 sq-km out of mainland China’s vast 9.3 million sq-km area.

(MORE: Beijing’s Next Anti-Graft Target? Mooncakes)

Party apparatchiks may also allow access to the New York Times. An anonymous official told the Post that the idea is to reassure foreign investors that Shanghai’s free-trade zone was operating under a more visitor-friendly set of rules.

“If they can’t get onto Facebook or read The New York Times, they may naturally wonder how special the free-trade zone is compared with the rest of China,” the official said. Soothed by…

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Porting BlackBerry Java NFC Applications to BlackBerry 10 Part 2: Tag Writing

BlackBerry Developer Blog

NFC tags

Guest post by John Murray

This is the second part of a six-part series by Martin Woolley and me on porting BlackBerry Java applications that use NFC to BlackBerry 10. In our last post, we looked at Tag Reading. This time, we’ll review the way in which you’d port code that writes to NFC tags.

Here’s where we are in the series as a whole:

  1. Reading NFC Tags
  2. Writing NFC Tags
  3. Peer to Peer Mode
  4. Reading NFC Contactless Cards
  5. NFC Virtual Tag and Card Emulation
  6. NFC Card Emulation

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the aspects you need to deal with:

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Microsoft Launches Internet Explorer 11 Release Preview For Windows 7

TechCrunch

Just about two months after it announced the developer preview of Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7, Microsoft today launched an updated beta version of its browser. The so-called “release preview” will likely be the last beta version of IE11 for Windows 7 before the full release later this fall. In total, the company hopes, the launch will bring IE11 to “more than 50% of desktops worldwide.”

Microsoft won’t say when exactly it plans to release the Windows 7 version of IE11, but with the Windows 8.1 release on October 18, chances are IE11 for Windows 7 won’t launch too long after that.

Windows 8 users, the company reiterated in a blog post today, will have to wait for the free 8.1 update to upgrade. Microsoft won’t release a version of IE11 for those who plan to stay on Windows 8.

Today’s release is essentially just a polished version…

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NVIDIA Outs New Tegra Note Design For Low-Cost Tablets

TechCrunch

Thanks to a slew of leaks and early appearances NVIDIA’s newest Tegra 4-powered tablet design has never really been a secret, but the company has finally confirmed what it’s been working on for the past several months. What once was known as the Tegra Tab is now called the Tegra Note, a tablet hardware platform that NVIDIA hopes will add some much-needed oomph to the low-cost tablet space.

Here’s the long and short of it — NVIDIA’s Tegra Note design features a 7-inch display running at 1280×800, a quad-core 1.8GHz Tegra 4 chipset (with 72-core GeForce GPU), 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and microSD card slot. Easily the most interesting addition to the mix is the company’s DirectStylus tech, which also for pressure-sensitive stylus input without the need for pricey smart styli and integrated digitizers. Throw in some sweet, sweet unfettered Android (by way of NVIDIA sanctioned…

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Feedly, Now Powering 50 RSS-Based Applications, Opens API To All Developers

TechCrunch

Feedly, a service making claims to the RSS reader throne Google abandoned by shutting down Google Reader, announced today that it’s now opening up its API to all interested developers building RSS-based applications. This is a notable step toward Feedly’s goal of not just being another feed-reading application itself, but rather a platform which will allow an app ecosystem to thrive.

Though to Google, a service like Google Reader with maybe tens of millions of users had only “niche” appeal compared with the size and scale of its other online properties like Gmail, Search, YouTube, and Google+, the Google Reader app had powered a large community of feed reading applications by way of its API – an industry that could have gone under thanks to the Google Reader shutdown without alternative APIs, like Feedly’s, being made available.

Feedly was one of the first companies to have offered an API…

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