Tag Archives: online storage

Miss, a lion ate my homework

In a world where free online backup means that anyone can protect their work and access it from anywhere, you’d think that the days of kids using excuses like ‘the dog ate my homework’ would be a thing of the past.  Yet, new research from Mozy showed that 60 per cent of pupils still try to blame the family pooch for not being able to hand in their work.

Even so, 72 per cent of teachers said that pupils were getting more creative with their excuses and coming up with increasingly extravagant reasons for not finishing their assignments.
We asked 1,000 kids what excuses they’d invented and here is a list of some of the more bizarre…

  • My dog had a pee on it
  • My mum sheared it
  • It accidentally got put on the bonfire
  • My horse ate it
  • My niece was sick on it
  • I couldn’t hear you when you set it
  • The dog spilt cake on it
  • I sprayed it with deodorant and the chemicals shrivelled the paper
  • I dropped it in the bath
  • I put it in the fridge so that I would remember it when I got the milk out for my cereal in the morning… but I had toast instead
  • My chinchilla weed on it
  • I accidentally did a poo on it
  • I was by the window when I was doing it and it blew away when I went to get a glass of squash
  • A snail ate it
  • I was walking through the park when a bee stung me so I ran to save myself and dropped my homework
  • I dropped it in a river and it was carried away by the current
  • My goldfish ate it
  • I was on holiday in Martorg on Mars when the assignment was set
  • My house caught fire
  • My cat ate it – and then threw up on my spare copy
  • I left it on the kitchen worktop and it must have stuck to a ready meal before it went into the microwave because the next time I saw it, it was burned to my placemat
  • My grandma took it on holiday
  • The letters on my keyboard got stuck so all it says is eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
  • My cat broke my keyboard
  • My silly brother drew on it
  • I couldn’t get home to do my homework last night as there are really bad road works at the moment
  • My sister was sick on it
  • A pigeon pooed on it
  • It was stolen
  • I died
  • My family was really hungry and we ate it
  • A lion took it
  • Someone mugged me and took it
  • It was confiscated by airport security

Back in the real world, the research uncovered that half of all the kids polled had genuinely lost their homework due to a technical error on their computer.  So, to keep homework loss purely fictional, Mozy offers everyone 2GB of free back up – that’s enough to back up about 80,000 two-page Word documents.  Just click here to get Mozy.

Backup vs Archive – what you need to know

Read any home computing magazine nowadays and you’re bound to come across an article called ‘the future’s looking cloudy’. The explosion of services and applications hosted on the internet, or using the internet to store your data, means that there are literally hundreds of new opportunities for you to take advantage of. But, with a bewildering array of choice, how do you know which one is for you?

The first thing to realise is that all services are not created equally. That’s not to knock the tools that other companies are offering, it’s more to point out that different services solve different needs. So, before you look at any cloud service, you need to properly understand what you want from it. A little naval gazing on day one will save you a lot of pain down the line.

Ask yourself what you want your cloud service to do

Many people are looking to the cloud for online storage. We’re creating more data than ever before: recent estimates say that, by 2020, we’ll have created 35 trillion gigabytes of data collectively. MP3-based music collections, digital photography and video downloads are adding to our storage requirements and many of us now have large hard drives on our laptops or terabyte-sized external hard drives to increase storage.

Equally, the data we have on our home computers is increasingly valuable to us. We’re printing fewer and fewer of our photographs and, for many people, the copy on their laptop is the only one that exists. Our memories of our babies’ first steps, our weddings and other family occasions are just one hard drive crash from being wiped away forever. The same goes for lots of other computer files: academic studies you might be working on, recipes you’ve created, family history research – pretty much anything you might have on your PC could disappear forever.

Horses for courses

These two requirements are very different. The first is for storage – additional space in the cloud where you can move files from your computer so that you can delete them from your hard drive and free up capacity.

The second is for backup – creating a copy of your files on the cloud to protect your valuable data in the event that something happens to your computer and you can no longer access it.

The service you use needs to match your requirements.

When online storage is wrong

Using an online storage solution for your backup can be like creating a rod to beat your own back. Storage solutions, in general, are like online versions of the archive boxes you might have at work. When you want to free up space, you can move things you don’t access frequently up to the cloud, dropping them in your archive box.

Which is great for off-site storage but can be hugely time consuming if you’re trying to use them for backup. For the system to work effectively, you’d need to keep a record of every document you’d created or changed and upload them manually on a daily basis to the cloud. You’d need to find a way of naming them so they didn’t save over each other and also so you could work out which was your latest version.

Alternatively, if all you’re uploading is a set of documents you don’t want on your hard drive, then you won’t have a very effective backup solution as, if your computer went missing or broke down, you wouldn’t have copies of the documents you actually use on a regular basis.

Online backup, by comparison will create a mirror copy of all your files in the cloud. Good services will monitor changes to your documents and file structures and replicate those changes incrementally and automatically. That way, you always have the latest versions of your files that you can restore if you need them.

When online backup is wrong

Using an online backup service to free up capacity on your hard drive is just as problematic.

Because online backup solutions create a mirror copy of your computer files, if you change the files on your computer, these changes will be mirrored in the cloud. So, if you upload all your older documents to the cloud using a backup service, and then delete them on your PC to make some more space, the logic in the system will mark the corresponding cloud files for deletion too.

‘Versioning’ – the process by which all iterations of a file are kept in the cloud for 30 days to allow roll back – can give a false sense of security because, even though you’ve deleted your files on your PC, they still show in your backup directory. This is cold comfort however, as in 30 days time, your files will be gone.

When cloud is right

Both online backup and online storage offer huge benefits for their users: affordable, secure and scalable off-site hosting of your files can give you peace of mind or a faster computing experience.

But, before uploading your files to the cloud, think about the sort of service you need and make sure you understand what’s on offer. If you’re looking for online backup, check out Mozy.