Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

The Online Travellers Survival Guide

August 14, 2013

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People today can’t function without the internet. It has revolutionised the way in which we go about our day-to-day lives.

There is a whole host of websites and apps specifically designed to make your travels as smooth as possible; from planning your trip, to navigating your way around a city, to local phrasebooks on-the-go.

 

GapAdvice.org

This website is a great place to start when planning your travels. It offers independent advice and ideas for gap year travellers from finding a placement, to average costs and finding the cheapest deals. Great for those travellers who want to get organised before they set off.

http://www.gapadvice.org/

 

Free Wi-Fi Finder

Free internet is like gold dust when travelling, and so this app will become your new best friend. The “Free Wifi Finder” app is designed to locate the nearest free Wi-Fi spots to your current location by detecting them from a pre-downloaded list. This means you never have to incur any data charges whilst away and you can limit the amount of time you spend in pricey internet cafés.

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/free-wi-fi-finder/id307217005?mt=8

 

SeatID

A slightly controversial one. We all know that sinking feeling you get when you take your seat on the plane and realise you’re sat in front of a screaming child, or the incredibly chatty woman who tells you her life story when all you want to do is sleep. “SeatID” is a website that allows you to view the social networking profiles of fellow passengers before you book your ticket, so you can pick your preferred seatmate based on common interests.

http://www.seatid.com/

 

Around Me

Anything you need to find whilst on the move, “Around Me” will help you get there fast. From bars and supermarkets to banks and hospitals, the app can direct you to your nearest location using GPS directions. It also provides you with contact details for destinations so that you can call ahead and reserve a table at a local restaurant, for example.

http://www.aroundmeapp.com/

 

Word Lens

For a faster and more novel way to overcome language barriers while you’re away, “Word Lens” is an on-the-go, interactive phrase book. You take a photograph some text and the app will instantly translate it from one language to another, making reading road signs or menus a walk in the park.

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/word-lens/id383463868?mt=8

 

BuddyBackup.com

As you travel you will capture some of the most memorable moments of your life on camera. But these pictures are all too easy to lose whilst you’re on the go. BuddyBackup is a free website that allows you to save these files to a computer at home remotely from any location worldwide, as long as you have an internet connection.

http://www.buddybackup.com/

 

 

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“Travel is only glamourous in retrospect.”

July 3, 2013

Top tips for making the most of your gap year travels

Be it because you didn’t get the grades you were hoping for, you’re struggling to get into the job market or you just want to explore the world before settling into a career; gap years can be a fantastic way to experience the world and its many cultures. If done in the right way, they can also enhance your skill set, making you more appealing to potential employers.

Follow our five top tips below to get the most out of your gap year travels.

Preparation is key

If the idea of planning each part of your trip yourself is understandably too daunting a task, there are many travel providers out there who specialise in gap year packages. They can be tailored to your needs, taking into account your budget and your preferred locations.

These organised trips can be a fantastic way to meet like-minded people, and you may even make friends who are travelling similar routes to you, with whom you can buddy-up.

Get advice

Don’t underestimate the value of experience. Talk to friends, relatives, colleagues who have already had experience travelling and get their opinions and advice. Listen to first-hand accounts and take as much from them as you can.

Like Paul Theroux said, “travel is only glamourous in retrospect”, and so hearing what people loved about their experience and what they wish they could’ve changed could be invaluable when planning your own trip.

Pack light

It is said that when preparing for a long stint of travelling you should pack everything you think you’ll need – and then halve it. The last thing you want when wandering round the streets of Bangkok, or climbing a mountain in Cambodia, is to be carrying a backpack that weighs as much as you do.

As you travel from A to B, you will gain various items and souvenirs and so it’s always a good idea to start off as light as possible.

Protect yourself and your belongings

Shop around for the best deals on health, travel and property insurance. There are many specialist providers out there who offer discounted rates for these trips. Whilst it may seem like an unnecessary cost now, you will be thankful for it if you fall ill, or your flight gets cancelled.

A way of backing up your pictures as you travel that doesn’t break the bank is by using a peer-to-peer backup service. Sites such as BuddyBackup.com offer a completely free way to save your files to a computer back at home; all you need is an internet connection at your hostel, or in an internet café, for example. You log in to the site and transfer the files instantly. No more worrying about losing the pictures of your holiday of a lifetime!

Be open-minded

Finally, I can’t stress enough the need to be open-minded as you travel. Plans are important, but enjoying yourself and embracing the cultures you will experience are equally so. Read up on local customs and cuisines and really get stuck in.

Be flexible. Things will go wrong, plans will change. Just embrace all that comes your way and truly make the most out of your experience.

 “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover” – Mark Twain

No More Excuses…

May 20, 2013

If we’re honest, we can all probably think of a time where we’ve made an excuse for missing a deadline that wasn’t exactly true. These days, however, Buddy Backup has made the time old excuse “my computer crashed” a thing of the past. Its simplistic and reliable approach to data backup means you need never lose a document again.

But just in case you find yourself in need of some extra time on that big project, here are 10 of the more bizarre excuses that have been given to teachers and employers in the past…

“My housemates were doing a weeklong World of Warcraft tournament and used up all the bandwidth, so I couldn’t email the assignment.”

“A refrigerator fell on me.”

“I was in line at a coffee shop when a truck carrying flour backed up and dumped the flour into my convertible.”

“I caught a cold from my puppy.”

“My stepfather was showing off his new gun and shot my computer by accident.”

“My child stuck a mint up his nose and we had to go to A&E to get it removed.”

“I hurt my back chasing a beaver.”

“My brother-in-law was kidnapped by a drug cartel while in Mexico.”

“I drank anti-freeze by mistake and had to go to the hospital.”

“I have a solar powered calculator and it was cloudy.”

Data backup shouldn’t be a sacrifice for students

March 19, 2013

We all know that when you’re a student you have certain priorities. You have no qualms, for example, in living off one Pot Noodle a day in order to keep your weekly Jagerbomb fund looking healthy. Fresh fruit and vegetables are forgone for that new pair of shoes, and the train fare home is much better spent on saving for this summer’s festival tickets.

But while certain financial sacrifices have to be made in order to live the student dream, protecting your uni work doesn’t have to come at a price.

We’ve all been there – you spend weeks writing an assignment (or in some cases staying up until 6am the night before the deadline, pulling your hair out, draining the library of all caffeine…) for the system to suddenly crash and for all your hard work to be lost before your eyes.

University systems are not failsafe and USB drives are easily lost. But protecting your data effectively doesn’t have to cost you the earth. BuddyBackup is a completely free service that allows you and your family and friends to safeguard your important files by saving them to each other’s computers remotely.

And it couldn’t be easier to do. All you and your Buddy need to do is install BuddyBackup on both of your computers. Then, every time either of you edits or saves a new file, BuddyBackup picks up on this change and immediately backs it up to each other’s drive. Don’t worry though; your Buddy isn’t able to see any of your files (and vice versa) as all of the data is encrypted using military-level coding before it’s transferred.

So, now you can go out and spend your student loan without the worry of it coming at the cost of all your hard work.

New Year’s resolutions broken? Don’t worry; it’s never too late to backup.

January 28, 2013

Give up chocolate, get fit, no carbs – may be all your New Year’s resolutions have gone out of the window?  Whatever, it’s never too late to do one crucial thing – and that is backup your data.

While you might miss a fitness session and think your good intentions are done for, if you don’t backup up your files, you could be missing your favourite photos instead of a gym class.

Backing up your files online and offsite has never been so important especially as we accumulate more and more data – whether that’s photos, videos or documents.

So what’s stopping you? BuddyBackup is easy to install and easy to use, plus it’s free.  It works by using the spare disk space on your friends’ (Buddies) computers.  Simply download the software from our website and follow the instructions to choose Buddies to back up to.

And don’t worry; military-grade encryption is applied to all your data before it leaves your PC so no one else but you can ever read your files.

There’s no limit to the amount of data you can backup, as long as you share enough space with your buddies.

What’s more, backing up your data is a resolution that’s easy to keep up. Once you’ve done your initial backup, BuddyBackup automatically and continuously backs up the changes to your data without you having to think about it. If your buddies aren’t around, it will save the changes and backup when they are online again.

So while you might be struggling to stick to your New Year goals, do yourself a favour and get your files backed up online, offsite and for free. It’s a resolution you won’t regret.

Going home for Christmas? Introduce your family and friends to BuddyBackup

December 10, 2012

If you’re looking for buddies to back up to, Christmas is the perfect time to grab those around you and tell them about BuddyBackup.

Rather than paying a monthly fee to a cloud provider, BuddyBackup lets you back up your digital photos, videos and files online to your friends and family. All you have to do is get everyone on board.

Stuck on how to persuade your pals to get BuddyBackup? Read this:

Ten reasons to use BuddyBackup this Christmas

1.       It’s free

With BuddyBackup you are using the spare disk space on your Buddies’ pc or laptop, so there’s no need to pay for storage from a provider.

2.       It’s offsite

Backing up your precious files offsite is the safest way of protecting your data. If you have a flood, fire or theft at your property, your files will be safe.

3.       It’s secure

BuddyBackup uses military-grade encryption on your data before it leaves your pc so no-one can ever access your files except you.

4.       It’s continuous

Once you’ve done your initial backup, BuddyBackup works continuously registering and backing up the changes and additions to your files. If your Buddies aren’t online, it’ll wait until they are and add the backups then.

5.       It’s limitless

Unlike with some cloud backup providers, you can back up as many files as you like as long as you and your Buddies share enough space.

6.       It’s simple

To quote Which? Computing magazine, BuddyBackup is “easy to install and easy to use”.

7.       It’s a weight off your mind

Get rid of that niggling worry and back up all those favourite photos now!

8.       It’s clever

BuddyBackup recognises the files that are already backed up so it saves time and uses the minimum of your internet bandwidth.

9.       It’s versatile

You can use BuddyBackup to back up to another hard drive using your USB port.

10.   It’s approved

BuddyBackup has been recommended by numerous computing magazines including a 5 Star rating from PC Utilities and endorsements from Web User, TechRadar.com, Verge magazine, SmallCloudBuilder, ReviewCenter and more.

Backing up an external hard drive – a BuddyBackup user’s experience

October 16, 2012

One user explains how she used BuddyBackup to backup the files on her hard drive after her laptop ran out of storage:

With hardly any disk space left on my laptop, I decided to transfer my ever-expanding stock of family photos and videos onto an external hard drive instead.

I’ve always backed up these precious files (along with my other documents on my laptop) offsite with BuddyBackup just in case I get robbed or have a disaster at home. But now these files are off my pc, I still want them backed up offsite, so I need to backup the hard drive as well.

This is different than adding a USB hard drive as a Buddy, which is another option altogether.

I actually want to back up the hard drive, which I’ll use as an extension to my pc – plugging it in when I want to share my pictures with family and friends.

So this is how I did it:

  1. Firstly, I connected the USB hard drive to my laptop. BuddyBackup will automatically detect the USB drive and ask if you want to add it as a Buddy. This is when you say NO.
  2. I then made a copy of My Pictures and My Videos onto the external hard drive.
  3. When I checked that the files had ALL copied over correctly, I deleted them from my laptop.
  4. At this stage I was a bit nervous about having no offsite backup but BuddyBackup won’t delete the original backups until one month after they have been removed from my laptop – so plenty of time to do a restore of all the files should anything go wrong!
  5. Then I simply opened the BuddyBackup control panel and clicked on ‘Choose Backups’ tab.
  6. As the hard drive was plugged into my pc, it showed on the file directory in ‘Choose Backups’.
  7. Then it was just a matter of ticking the My Pictures and My Videos folders in the hard drive directory and BuddyBackup added them to my list of backups.

As my original backups were done with the latest version of BuddyBackup, it was able to recognise that the files on my hard drive were exactly the same as the ones I had on my pc, so the backup didn’t take long.

As long as my hard drive is connected to my pc, BuddyBackup will keep backing it up. If I unplug for a while, then BuddyBackup will automatically backup the changes to my selected folders as soon as I connect again.

So now I’ve got tonnes more space on my laptop and my hard drive backed up offsite too.

FloraG

BuddyBackup says:

For more information about backups and restores, take a look at our help section.

Top ten tips for taking a Fantastic Photo!

July 25, 2012

It’s summer time and a chance to get some super snaps on holiday or at home. So we’ve asked professional photographers Clare Roberts and Tracy Moreno-King for their top tips on taking a great photo:

  1. Don’t worry about getting children to pose and smile for a photo, experience shows that getting natural shots of them busy at play are more often the keepers!
  2. When photographing landscapes, try to really SEE the whole scene in the viewfinder. It’s amazing how finding a different angle or including a particular feature can suddenly make it more interesting. Try crouching right down to the ground or find something to stand on to get an alternate view.
  3. Make use of natural light where ever possible.
  4. Here at LilyRose Photography we’re big fans of ‘jaunty angles’! Turning your camera 45 degrees left or right can give a portrait or landscape shot a real sense of punch. Try it, it works!
  5. Don’t be afraid of the rain.  If it is or has been raining then pick up your kit and go exploring, try taking action shots of puddle jumping or cars splashing through the rain.
  6. Although the Manual setting on your camera can achieve great pictures, don’t forget that cameras today are incredibly sophisticated and there is no shame putting it in Auto. Great shots can come from it, especially in very changeable light conditions.
  7. Reflections make fantastic images.  So when you’re out and about keep your eyes open for an interesting reflection.
  8. Pick up your camera every day.  Practice really does make perfect and the more you take your camera out and about the better and more confident you’ll become.
  9. Be inspired, joining groups like Flickr can give you great ideas and you can gauge the reaction to your own photos so that you know what works and what doesn’t.
  10. Don’t forget to back up your images! It’s so easy to say but if you lose your precious pictures they are gone forever. It is very quick and easy to do and Buddy Backup is the perfect tool to protect your photos for the future!

www.lilyrosephotography.co.uk

BuddyBackup says:

Although it may take time to do an initial backup of all your photos on your pc, BuddyBackup will automatically save any new pictures that you add to your backed up folders so you never have to worry about backing up again.

Don’t forget that when you do your initial backup you can simultaneously backup to a local USB external hard drive allowing for speedy local restores too.