All posts by magiteck

What’s your disaster recovery plan?

We rely on computers, including tablets and mobile devices, for ever increasing tasks in our lives.  These include personal tasks like storing photos and music, and professional tasks like storing personal and business financial records. My computer for example is full of things like family pictures, tax returns, mortgage documents, and too much else to list in a blog post.

From the years I spent working in wireless telecom, I’ve seen countless individuals devastated when they’ve lost a couple years or more worth of pictures when their Smartphone was lost, or their memory card went bad. These individuals lacked what’s known as a disaster recovery plan.

There are a number of different “disasters” that can strike when it comes to technology, and it’s important to be prepared for each.

Do you know what you would do in each of the following situations?

  • Theft of your computer, mobile device, or both.
  • Hardware failure (Computer hard-drive, Tablet/Smartphone or its memory card, etc.)
  • Burglary of all computing devices in your home.
  • A natural disaster, such as a fire or flood, destroying all of your computing devices.
  • Your data was compromised. (E.g. identity theft)
  • Service is disrupted for an extended period. (Cell phone or Home Internet)

Many users might be prepared for one of these disasters, and think that’s enough. For example, some individuals will back up their pictures and documents to an external hard-drive. That offers protection in the event of a hardware failure, but what about a burglary or natural disaster?

In creating a disaster recovery plan for your home or business, consider the following:

  • If you lose access to all of your equipment, do you have the means to continue working until you can replace it?
  • If you rely on your phone or laptop for business, how long can you afford to be without it?
  • What data do you have that you can’t afford to lose?
    • Think both financial and sentimental loss.
  • How would you recover this data in the event of one or more of the above mentioned disasters?
  • Is your equipment insured against loss, or do you have the financial means to replace it on your own?
  • In the event of an extended service disruption, how long can you afford to be without access?
    • Do you have back-up phone or Internet service?

A comprehensive disaster recovery plan, including automatic remote backups and detailed recovery plans are one of the many services a dedicated Information Technology professional can provide. Do you have a disaster recovery plan of your own? Are there other specific threats you’ve planned for? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Why open source software?

What is open source software?

Open Source Software, or OSS, is any software that is released with its source code, and the right to modify and continue to develop the software independent of the original publisher. The GNU General Public License, or GPL, is a popular license used to set the specific terms for release of OSS.


The GNU GPL is a set of rules that software developers can choose to subscribe to by releasing their software under the GPL. The GPL runs on the foundation of software ‘freedom’. Basically, if a program is distributed under GPL, the license guarantees the end user the right to have the source code for the program, and to modify it as the end user sees fit. A fee can still be charged for the software, but the source code must be included.

What about money? And don’t you get what you pay for?

Open Source Software can generate profit for software developers in a number of ways. Many companies will sell support contracts, offering a level of service and support for the software. These can be a valuable revenue stream. Additionally, software publishers may offer commercial, or enterprise versions of their software for a cost.

In some cases, there can be significant differences in quality between open source and commercial software programs. There are many reasons, however, why open source applications can rival or exceed the functionality of commercial versions. For one, open source software can be developed, enhanced and improved by anyone with the knowledge to do so. Commercial applications, on the other hand, are maintained only by the programmers at the software developer who have access to the source code and have been assigned to work on the particular project.

What are some open source software examples?

Examples of powerful, feature packed open source application suites are plentiful on the internet. For example, GIMP provides many of the same features as Adobe Photoshop, but for a savings of $400 or more. Open Office provides the same features as Microsoft Office for savings of hundreds, as well. When a company compares these costs, per license, for a large scale deployment, the savings can add up exponentially. It may be true that in some cases a commercial software platform can provide a niche feature that isn’t matched in an open source package, but in most cases open source applications can accomplish the same tasks effectively.


Open source software drives the innovation of computers and the internet. It is safe to say that technology would not be where it is today, without the dedicated individuals who have devoted their time and resources to developing open source software. There is a passion that drives the development, and neither that passion, nor the need for free or lower cost solutions will disappear any time soon. Therefore, it is safe to say that the future of open source software is bright.


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