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NC #642 B2 Storage from Backblaze, Capturing a Total Eclipse, iPhone Forerunners, Parallels Toolbox

In what can only be considered prescient, Allister Jenks has a review of Backblaze’s B2 log-term storage solutions right as CrashPlan bails on home customers. I’ll walk you through how Steve managed to capture video and create an awesome photo of the total solar eclipse, while still enjoying the experience with minimal camera fiddling. Ryan Winkler joins us for the first time about two products I’ve recommended, Webcam Settings and the ATR2100 microphone. Allister comes back in with a talk on the Forerunners of the iPhone. Then I do an extensive review of all of the tools in the fantastic Parallels Toolbox.

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Hi this is Allison Sheridan of the NosillaCast Mac Podcast, hosted at Podfeet.com, a technology geek podcast with an EVER so slight Apple bias. Today is Sunday August 27, 2017 and this is show number 642. I’m afraid I didn’t get around to doing a Chit Chat Across the Pond this week, Jean MacDonald and Steve and I just had too much fun chasing the eclipse to get around to it. But we’ve got tons of great content for this show.

I originally thought I wouldn’t be able to do the show this week, and enlisted the awesome Allister Jenks of zkarj.me to do the show for me. Being the amazing professional he is, he started way early and made three recordings for the show, complete with shownotes. Life got in the way for him, and he wasn’t able to do the show, and I found more time than I thought during my travels. So this week and next you’ll be hearing a lot from Allister but also from me and other contributors. Everybody wins!

This week, the online backup service, CrashPlan, announced that they’re discontinuing their backup product for home users. In what can only be declared as prescient, Allister Jenks wrote a blog post and made a recording for us well before the announcement, about why he chooses Backblaze over CrashPlan. I’ll come back in after you hear Allister’s discussion of the topic.

Blog Posts

B2 – Affordable Longterm Storage from Backblaze

I knew nothing about B2 storage before hearing about this from Allister. I had assumed it was a business thing and not something in which I’d have interest. This might be a cool way to store my old podcast data off site. Right now I have it on a local NAS and backed up to a second NAS, but that’s not off site.

I’m oddly relieved that CrashPlan backed out of the home backup solution business. As you may remember, I had quite an adventure with CrashPlan where for weeks I couldn’t get the backup to keep running. It took literally hours on the phone with technical support for them to kick it loose. I was amazed at the service, but on the other hand it was quite an extreme effort to tailor my backups so they would run where I had to pick and choose specific system Library files I wanted backed up.

While CrashPlan was trying to figure this out, I did a trial run of Backblaze. While it had taken over 3 weeks for CrashPlan to back up my ~600GB of data to their servers, Backblaze achieved the same upload in just 18 hours.

I was sold on Backblaze for me, but since I still had CrashPlan running on Steve’s computers, I hadn’t decided what to do for him when it ran out CrashPlan had a great plan for families, but Backblaze charges you for each computer. $60/year per computer for the safety of all your data isn’t bad though. CrashPlan abandoning the home market makes the decision easy for me.

The only bad part of the story is that we have a loss in competition now.

Oddly I haven’t been sent a note from CrashPlan about the discontinuation of their home plan, but Backblaze did send me a note giving me an affiliate link for people to use if they want to get on the Backblaze bandwagon. If you use the affiliate link, you get a free month of Backblaze, and so do I. Everybody wins! Allison’s Backblaze Affiliate Link at backblaze.com
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How Do You Capture a Total Eclipse … and Still Experience It?

Ryan Winkler on & ATR2100

Listener Ryan Winkler sent in an audio recording about two products I’ve been recommending recently.

=== Insert Audio from Ryan ===

Very cool, Ryan. I think I heard about Webcam Settings from Alex Lindsay too. By the way, to anyone else listening to this, you don’t have to have a separate webcam to get the advantages of Webcam Settings. Steve uses it on his iMac with the built-in iSight camera. It helps him set the color balance and lighting that isn’t available otherwise. The developer of Webcam Settings, Liang-Hsin, will always have a special spot in the NosillaCast hall of fame, because he responded with a spare license in 9 minutes when access to all of my iCloud services was broken a few weeks ago. There’s a link in the shownotes to Webcam Settings in the Mac App Store for only $8.

Let’s hear another piece from Allister.

Forerunners of the iPhone by Allister Jenks

Patreon and Amazon

I’m guessing if you’re like most of the planet, you do a lot of shopping on Amazon. One of the ways I fund the podcasts (paying for hosting fees and apps I review and equipment to produce the shows) is through Amazon Affiliate Links. If you hear about a product on the podcast, and go look for it in the shownotes, like the $69 ATR2100 microphone Ryan talked about, you can be pretty sure that the link is to it on Amazon. If you click those links, anything you buy in that session (even toilet paper and bird seed) sends a small percentage back to help the show. Some people have even gone to podfeet.com/amazon and made it a bookmark called Amazon so they always make sure their purchases on Amazon help out the show. Thank you to all of you who do it each week!

So Many Great Tools in Parallels Toolbox

Confession time. I wrote the blog post about Parallels Toolbox ages ago but kept saving it till I needed content. Here’s a couple of quick things I’ve used it for since I wrote up the review.

When I lost access to ScreenFlow to do screen recordings during the great Apple service débâcle of 2017, I used Parallels Toolbox to record my screen. It’s not an editor but for short clips where I only needed to cut the front and back, I could use QuickTime to meet my needs.

At Macstock, Jeff Gamet was about to go on stage and he had a desktop covered with glop. I showed him Parallels Toolbox (which he’d heard about and even had on his Mac but wasn’t using). I showed him how he could click the presentation link and get rid of everything on his desktop and turn off all notifications on his Mac during his presentation. He loved it!

Also, in the time since I posted about Parallels Toolbox, they’ve added new tools to the Toolbox. I just noticed that they added Clean Drive, Find Duplicates, and Make GIF. Time to go off and play with these new tools! In the explanation of why they did this as a $10/year subscription, they said it was so they could keep adding capability. They’ve already proven to me that this is definitely a great use of a subscription.

That’s going to wind this up for this week. Don’t forget to send in your Dumb Questions, comments and suggestions by emailing me at allison@podfeet.com, follow me on twitter @podfeet. Remember, everything good starts with podfeet.com/. podfeet.com/patreon, podfeet.com/facebook, podfeet.com/googleplus, podfeet.com/amazon! And if you want to join in the fun of the live show, head on over to podfeet.com/live on Sunday nights at 5pm Pacific Time and join the friendly and enthusiastic NosillaCastaways. Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.

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