Google

Set up Google Search for English only results

Google has a habit of defaulting to the local country search engine of the country you are in, going to google.jp when you're in Japan, and google.fr in France, for instance.

If you're not a native speaker of that country's language this is a pain. You can change your language and search result preferences, say back to English for example but a lot of times the preferences you apply just don't stick. 

For myself and a lot of others, every time you close and re-open a new browser window, which could be several times a day and search google, you'd be taken to results from Google.fr, french page results in French, no matter if you had just changed the preferences (again) back to English. This is a major irritation for a lot of people and a flaw from Google. After looking into altering Cookies and other suggestions and perhaps switching Search Engines to Bing or Yahoo, I found a solution for Firefox.

You can set Google up in your Top Right browser search box that will actually fix Google's language back to English by just using an add-on.

Instructions

If you are using Firefox, easily fix it this way by following the steps, no coding whatsever!

 

Steps:

1. Install Add To Search Bar.

Add To Search Bar - an add-on for firefox, by installing this, you can delete the original google search engine (which'll default to your country locations google search) and replace it with a new one. 

You can download Add To Search Bar from here:

https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/3682

 

Restart Firefox so the add-on can be used.

 

2. Go to this english Google page: http://www.google.com/intl/en/

This is Google in English.  You can bookmark this search engine if you like.

 

3. Click on the search bar, right-click on it and click "Add To Search Bar".

A new Google icon will be seen in the drop down list of search
engines, the new Google icon should be seen from the lowermost area. 
If you search on it, results will now have English as its main language.

 

4. Delete the older Google icon and you can move the new icon up through the "Manage Search Engines" from the drop-down list.

And your finished!

 

 

PC Backups

PC Backups don't have to be a burden and with the advent of Cloud Computing the impact of a disaster - a stolen laptop, a crashed hard drive, a destroyed machine - is less and less.

 


Harddrive space is getting cheaper and cheaper so buying an External Hard drive is cheap insurance and will usually come with Backup Software which you can set up to do automatic backups making the whole task even easier. Using an external hard drive rather than installing a separate drive in your PC has another advantage - portability. Another option is to back up to Flashdrives but the cost/Gb doesn't compare to harddrives yet.

Sure you can use CDs or DVDs to back up your data but I've got media that is corrupted and unreadable that I wrote data to only  a year ago and I wouldn't trust my invaluable data to that.

There are other options now available, backing up your data to the Cloud but so far I don't think its ready for primetime. Though internet download speeds are fast, upload speeds are slow so expect Cloud backups to take a while, particularly the first time. The other consideration is backup size, uploading a few Gb will take a long time but what about the potentially 100s of Gb of software and data you have on your PC you want to protect. Lastly security from the cloud provider is a concern and will have to be addressed on a case by case basis - you don't want confidential files accessible by anyone not authorized by you.

 


External Hard Drives manufacturers are plenty, including those from the manufacturers of the hard drives in your PC.

  • I use a Maxtor OneTouch, though mine is a few years old now. They provide different software now, but mine came with Retrospect Backup Software for Simple backups of my entire hard drive.
  • Another Home option is the Seagate Go which is a compact size and from another name brand company.

Flash Drives are ubiqutous these days and they are almost giving away 8Gb Versions. The largest size at the moment is 128Gb but simply cost too much buck for the bang at this time.

For online Backups, Mozy is a leading player in this new field. They offer 2Gb backup space for Free so you might like to try out their services. Their unlimited back up service costs $4.95 per computer per month.

If you have more than one PC in the home or small office, you might like to look at a Windows Home Server which we recommend for a small office setup. It can be configured to back up all the computers on your network every night. If you have an unused PC lying around you can install the software on this, or else buy a Home Office server specifically for the task. A Home Server network offers more advantages than just back ups, but this is a priority feature.

 


Back in the day, I used to travel a lot for business. Emailing important files to my old hotmail address meant I would always cover my bases if I lost my laptop whilst traveling so wouldn't be completely stranded, be that in Los Angeles or London.

With Cloud Computing this backup method has gotten a little more sophisticated. I utilize Google Apps so I have all my mail and attachments with me whereever I log into a Computer. I also have documents (Word, Excel) saved in GoogleDocs and my Calendar is Google Calendar which can Sync to Outlook, Smartphones and other devices. Also I have built address books in Google Contacts allowing me to carry important phone numbers and email addresses with me, no matter what happens.

Though I haven't done it myself you can configure your extra space in gmail (currently each account as > 7Gb) to be an online depository for your documents - a Gdrive if you will.

Its easy to back up small amounts of data via these quick and dirty methods and highly convenience.


  • Get an external drive for the biggest bang for the buck and set up automated scheduling.
  • Go to the cloud for convenience.

 

 

 

 

 

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