Newsletter

Hello and welcome to this month’s newsletter.

I hope you are all fine, enjoying the summer and are avoiding the covid. I know that many of you are not in Spain at the moment, and nobody is gonna come here on holiday at moment because of the rising number of covid cases, compulsory face masks and the quarantine nonsense, so I thought I would tell you how things are here at the moment. Firstly it is terribly hot and humid. Let’s hope it cools down a bit for August please. Being that I am a high risk person from ‘the convids’ (assuming we can actually believe what we are being told) I have been keeping a pretty low profile and avoiding everything high risk (ie people). Mind you, I have been back and forth to the hospital quite a bit for tests and stuff (two years since the C) so I have been holding my breath a lot and smothering myself frequently with alcoholic hand gel whilst there. However, a week last Friday afternoon / evening we ventured out and about. We went into Alicante and it was very quiet. We could have parked almost anywhere we liked, which is totally not normal for peak holiday season. The streets, shops and cafes were very quiet. We then went up to the shopping centre in Finestrat. It’s the first time I have been since they removed all the toll booths from the motorway and you can use the motorway for free, how wonderful. However, not many people were there, there weren't even queues in Dealz. Then we drove into Benidorm to see what that was like. The streets for parking were almost empty of cars. I have never seen anything like it. We walked past our favourite Indian restaurant - closed for the holidays. We walked down to the beach past a lot of closed hotels. Down on the beach they have strung some sort of netting up, to stop people accessing the beach from the promenade. You have to book your ‘spot’ online or queue at a hut to get a ticket. They have divided the beach up into little squares using blue rope, to keep people apart - not that there were that many people on the beach quite frankly. Loads of police, beach assistants and god knows what patrolling the beach and promenade, probably handing out fines to anyone not wearing a muzzle. We walked along the front past all the bars and cafes and it was so quiet. Hardly anyone was having a drink and many of the waiters and waitresses were sat down at tables praying for customers to come. Lots of places were closed down too. We wandered around the main shopping area and it was really very empty. As a sign of how bad things are, the clothes shop Springfield has closed down, they even ripped the sign down above the door, and 100 Montaditos had closed. To sum it up, Benidorm is a ghost town. I have never, ever seen Benidorm like this, not even in the middle of winter when it’s cold and pouring with rain. Absolutely shocking.

This month I thought it would be prudent to talk about backing up your computer and your files. I know, I know, I have mentioned this before, but now with a lot of people working from home your computer may suddenly be more essential than it used to be. In the past I have talked about using the built-in Windows 10 system image utility to create a backup of your computer, but you can’t restore individual files and folders if you need them. I have also discussed syncronising your files and photos to online cloud storage services such as Google Drive, iCloud, dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive. Now I am going to tell you about a free backup and imaging program called Macrium Reflect. This program will not only backup your entire computer so that you can recover everything in the case of an absolute disaster, it also lets you recover individual files and folders if you have accidentally deleted something by mistake. It also allows you to run scheduled backups so that you can set up a daily / weekly / monthly backups and they will run automatically. All you need to provide is an external hard disk drive to save your backups to and a small USB flash drive to create a recovery drive for rare situations when your computer won’t boot up.

The links below will help you get everything you need and the video tutorial will show you how to download, install, setup and run the program.

Seagate 1TB USB3 Disc drive - Amazon Spain - 45 €

PNY 16GB USB3 Flash Drive - Amazon Spain - 3,99 €

Macrium Reflect Free Edition Download

YouTube Video Tutorial

There are a few things which are not covered in the video so I will tell you those now. Firstly let me just remind you about the USB ports on your computer. When you look at them you will notice that some of them have a black bit of plastic in the middle (USB 2.0) and some have a blue bit of plastic in the middle (USB 3). You should plug your external disk drive into one of the blue ones because USB 3 runs up to 10 times faster than USB 2. So, if your backup takes 1 hour on USB 2, it should take less than 10 minutes on USB 3, which is quite a difference. Secondly, you should take the time to create ‘rescue media’ to a USB pen drive for those rare occasions when your computer will not boot up and you need to recover it. To do this, run the Macrium program, insert your USB pen drive, then select ‘other tasks’ from the menu and choose ‘create rescue media’. You will then be able to create your USB pen drive recovery media, just in case you ever need it.

I will just remind you that if you do have a hard disk failure or some other catastrophic computer disaster and need to reload Windows from scratch, you will loose all the programs you installed and most likely all of your files and folders. However, if you have created system images with Macrium Reflect, you can recover everything easily and quickly, and your computer (all programs, apps updates and files) will be exactly as it was when you ran the backup.

Keep well, and have a great month.


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Saturday 1st August 2020

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