cat User’s Group

Last night’s cat User’s group (, put on by the Cat Advancement Team, was great.  Jennifer Adams gave an informative presentation, and I think everyone learned a trick or two.  Discussion then turned to other topics such as more, less, and most!


  • What is cat?
  • Redirects + Appends + Pipes – OH MY!
  • Options to cat – SAY WHAAAAAA???
  • GNU vs BSD
  • Is cat considered harmful?? 

Presentation: The wonderful world of cat

Goodbye Mozy, Hello Crashplan

Mozy’s price increase is still reverberating around the internet, and people are looking for a new home for their online backups.  I’ve been using Mozy for about a year now, have been generally happy, and have recommended it to several family members and friends.  However, after getting my 300% price hike notification, which is actually pretty low compared to many, I started investigating the competition.

There’s lots of competition in this space, including Amazon, Carbonite, CrashPlan, Backblaze, Google, just to name a few, so its hard to see the logic in Mozy’s pricing move.

In the end, I migrated my data (about 250GB) over to CrashPlan.  Here’s why:

  • Pricing.  The unlimited family plan (2-10 computers), along with 15% migration discount, is $5.10-$10.20/mo
  • Backup external drives.  Some, like Carbonite, do not allow this.
  • Data opt-in, not opt-out.  Some services, like Backblaze, start with the assumption that you want to back up everything and its up to you to pair things down.
  • Backup seeding.  For a fee, they will send you a disk that you can fill with your initial backup to avoid the lengthy initial backup!
  • Backup to other computers.  You don’t just have to back up to the cloud..  You can backup to other computers you own, as well as to your friends computers, if you have linked accounts.  Keep an extra external drive at a friend’s house, and you’ve got easy to access to a backup just across town that you can go pick up in an emergency!!

Access your accounts and backup status online.  You don’t have to go to each and every machine to check status, as you have all that control online as well.

In the end, mozy’s price increase was a positive for me, as it made me go check out the competition.  I was pleasantly surprised to find better options, and not just by price.

What Apple/iOS still needs to fix

Apple has come along way from the original iPhone with their hardware and iOS advances:   3G, GPS, iPad, Retina, Copy/Paste, Multitasking are just a few.  However, I feel there are several hardware and software issues they either haven’t gotten to, or are purposefully ignoring:

  • iPad Brightness – The current LED backlight, even at minimum brightness, is too bright for a completely dark room.  iBooks and some other apps try to work around this, but the flaw is still there.
  • Auto-brightness – Speaking of brightness, I still don’t know what auto-brightness is trying to do.  If i’m standing in the sun it should auto set to max, and if i’m in the dark is should auto set to min.  Simple, no?  Apparently not.
  • Bluetooth Support is still woefully lacking.  Being able to tether your low-power GPS, XM Weather Radio, or even your other mobile device is important to many markets.
  • Notifications – Basically non-existant with only one modal popup at a time an no history.   Granted, OSX is lacking in this area as well, but atleast there you have Growl to fill the need.
  • iPad Resolution – Okay, second generation will probably fix this, but right now it looks poor compared to the iPhone.

What else do you think is missing / wrong?