Tech Throwback Thursday - Logitech 680z 5.1 Speakers

Nathan Odgers - Thursday, June 29, 2017

Launched in 2003 as Logitech’s flagship speakers replacing the 4.1 channel 560z. These were not your garden variety computer speakers where you bragged about having a ‘bass boost’ button. With a total 500 watts RMS including a ported 188 watt 8 inch Sub and covered in enough THX certified logo’s to make George Lucas weep the bass was well and truly boosted.  What set these speakers apart was their versatility. People were hooking these up to gaming PC’s in their bedroom and games consoles and home theatre in their living room and they were never out of place. The Dolby Pro Logic II decoder provided excellent 5.1 surround sound while watching your favourite movies and providing house shaking bass from a hand grenade in Call of Duty while having the power to truly get the party started and annoy the neighbours (mine included)

All this power and sound quality combined with a myriad of connectivity options at the time for a price that was hundreds cheaper than the competition. This earned the 680’s (as they were affectionately known) multiple editors choice awards and a special place in the hearts of anyone fortunate enough to own them. 

You Only Lose Data Once

Nathan Odgers - Thursday, June 22, 2017

The first time I heard this was from a fellow IT professional after I had told him how I had spent the previous few days trying to recover a customer’s hard drive with a years’ worth of accounting data that was not backed up. The alternative being the customer would have to manually re-enter a years’ worth of books. Not an ideal solution.

Being an IT Consultant this line pops into my head multiple times per week when dealing with clients. Normally just after they tell me they don’t back up as often as they should (if at all). Besides sounding like the title of the latest James Bond film this phrase resonates with me because of the gravity of the situation when you lose your data. It should be changed to you ‘WILL’ only lose data once because after you lose the photos of your first born child, your entire music collection, or 5 years of business records you will quickly learn how hard and possibly expensive it is to recover or replace these precious files (if at all). Just the thought of losing these files should scare you straight into having the most rigorous back up schedule across multiple locations. However people become complacent over time and perhaps never get around to setting it up when they buy a new computer etc. Therefore the purpose of today’s blog post is to show how easy and relatively inexpensive (compared to losing your data) organising a proper back up procedure is.

First I will start with a backup principal called the ‘Rule of Three’. This is industry best practice that your data is backed up to a minimum of three different locations so you will have your working files and 2 backup copies. This is because statistically your first back up is most likely to fail when you are trying to recover your original files. The bare minimum would be to have your main computer with two portable USB drives that you alternate between regularly. This does not consider if your home or business burns down or is destroyed in a cyclone etc. so you really want to be taking one of these hard drives to another location. E.g. have one at work and one at home or invest in a cloud storage solution.

Computer hard drives have never been so cheap and with 1TB portable hard drives around the $100 mark. Network attached storage devices (NAS) also have dropped in price so you can get an excellent Synology or QNAP unit with 2 x 2TB drives for around $600 that will replicate your data on two hard drives so if one hard drive fails you have an exact copy ready to go. These units also some with software that can automate the whole process for you.

Within the cloud storage space has been the greatest advancement due to internet quotas rising and hard drive costs dropping. If you seriously need to protect your data then investing is cloud storage is a great idea because it will cover your offsite requirements and they all have some type of data redundancy built it with archiving multiple copies of files or previous backups for the certain period. Carbonite, Dropbox, Google Drive and many others all cost under $10 per month (depending on how much storage you need) and include pretty good software to automate your back up processes for you. The only downside is that if you need to recover a large amount of data quickly, slow internet speeds in Australia mean it might be best to have a combination of onsite back up for quick file recovery and cloud storage to cover your offsite requirements to ensure nothing is ever lost.

Well I am going to go and check my back ups because writing this blog post has have made me relive some horror stories about losing data. I suggest you all do the same.

The time to back up is now!

About Nathan

After years of dealing with frustrated clients trying to integrate technology into their lives. Nathan started his own IT business in 2012. During the last 5 years he has successfully helped hundreds of clients and is still focused on providing quality IT support to Cairns and Far North Queensland.