Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The saga of a personal cloud. A steep learning curve.

It all started with a cloud.   No, I am not sitting  'up there' on a cloud. What I mean is the new type of cloud where you can store all your files somewhere in cyberspace. Actually,  all I wanted was some extra storage for my expanding files. USB memory sticks are fine but they soon fill up, even with the larger ones.
An external drive was what I needed. One Sunday some months ago we sallied forth to look what was on offer. In one major store I was directed to a display with a lot of Cd's hanging from a hook. It turned out that all they had to offer was a 'cloud'. And a cloud tied to the organisation no less. NOT what I was after.
After some thought and Internet searches, we sallied forth again one fine day to another store in town. Yes, they had an external drive and this one had its own personal cloud. I was really taken with this idea. I could access my files from anywhere. Handy for the Net book if I was out and about. With a Back Up folder, a Personal Folder - both only accessible by yours truly - and a Public Folder for sharing this seemed to fit the bill.. Into the bag it went.
Installation was easy and another programme backed up my files automatically. Then I found when on holiday that my Net book needed the ports to be opened as I couldn't get into the files.
Back home, I followed all the instructions and gave myself a pat on the back. Recently, I have had a new Net book which, joy of joys, sorted out the ports itself. 
We did find it annoying that the desktop computer always had some activity. We found that the backing up software operated constantly unless the schedule was altered. Then a few weeks ago some of the drive icons went off radar so drag and drop this was was out of the question. An error code also appeared.
At this point I should mention that I am still running on XP which was the reason for the need for an external hard drive. Support is being withdrawn after next April. I need to back up the C Drive so that I can wipe and upgrade. I should also mention that I have a fine selection of memory sticks for different categories of files. I needed to back up the software programmes which I had downloaded over time and other files.
Well, I had some support from the manufacturer's support services who gave advice and guidance and some links for updates.  I updated the drivers as advised. Oops! Some were quite old. After repeatedly uninstalling and re-installing and only the Public Folder icon showing in Explorer, I eventually started to back up manually with drag and drop but I found this unsatisfactory for a major back-up as not all files appeared. 
After another uninstall and re-install I found that the back up was going into the Public folder!!
I found how to map the network drive to restore the lost drive icons. Now this is getting very technical. Time is better spent on writing.
Out it all came. I wiped the drives of all data and currently am deciding whether to have another go or to cut my losses and by something much simpler. A basic external drive. 
Do I need to be up on a cloud anyway? I think not. Just a fad, the latest toy!

After a huge computer maintenance today and cleaning the registry etc., I might try one more time. Just to back up the C Drive. The thing is, I could go to the computer shop to get OS upgraded and they would back up the hard drive but there is so much on that I don't want to leave the study.

Well, it is all part of the dolly mixture of life's learning process. Hey ho!

Rosalie x

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The end of summer and a pre-historic cape of gold

The Mold Cape.

Where we live in North Wales is not far from where an important discovery was made some years ago.
Lying with the remains of a pre-historic person was a cape of gold. It is dated 1900-1600BC which makes it about 4,000 years old.
It had to be re-built of course which was a very intricate job, using special tools to mark out the pattern for the missing bits.
Here in Wrexham we have been fortunate to have it on display in our very own museum. http://www.wrexham.gov.uk/english/heritage/events.cfm#temporary The website tells us that:

"The four thousand year old gold cape is probably the most famous prehistoric artefactual from Wales. Don't miss this golden opportunity to see this unique example of Bronze Age brilliance! In association with The British Museum and Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales."

Wrexham Museum is housed in the original Court House. As we sat in the airy cafe, we read how it was built in the mid 1800's to house the Denbighshire Militia. There was a moat surrounding it to keep the locals at bay!
The cape goes back to the British Museum in a few days time.

Wasps, spiders, and dandelion clocks.

At least the recent rain has washed away much of the debris left by spiders on the window ledges. It is a losing battle trying to keep them clean although the spider's webs do look pretty when the sunlight catches them. With the amount of dandelion clocks blowing around, clinging to every surface and mingling with the spider's debris, we certainly know that the summer is at an end. And have you been plagued by wasps?
A friend rang to tell us where they had got their nifty wasp swatter from. It is like a small badminton racquet but has batteries in the handle. When you swot the wasp, it kills it with heat! The wasps were so bad a couple of weeks ago that our local The Golden Lion in Rossett had all manner of wasp cater containers on the window ledges. I wouldn't try our wasp swatter though - too much glass.

An evolving hair style.

Bit by bit I am re-shaping my hair. I have been unable to get to my usual 'creative director' for styling so out has come my special scissors. Surrounded by mirrors, I snip here and there with a geometric eye. Roll on when I can get into town.

A Grand Opening - the End of a Journey

A new state-of-the-art facility for business opened in Wrexham a couple of weeks ago. The Regent Offices and Business Centre on Regent Street opposite the railway station. The transformation from dilapidated Victorian property to a warm and welcoming centre for businesses with, as Joanna Kinch says 'a space to thrive'
The Mayor of Wrexham and Mayoress of Wrexham Cllr and Mrs Bithell, cut the ribbon and formally opened the venture watched by family, friends and those whose skill made it all possible - mainly local. With all mod cons and business integrated into existing features, this is truly a positive addition to the town and surrounding area. Take a look at the website and follow the journey on the Blog tab.

New jackets for Just Us Two

Kindle  at Amazon and ePub at Smashwords are sporting new jackets for both books in the Just Us Two series. Take a look at my Smashwords shelf where there are links for each title to retailers and video trailers to watch. Here are Just Us Two and Chasing Rainbows on Amazon.


I have spent some time today updating my Goodreads page to include all formats The great thing is that there is a huge list or worldwide stores where you can get your copy. You can add titles to your own shelf and leave ratings and reviews It would be great if you could do this - if you are on Goodreads

A blast from the past.

We had a phone call last night from a family member talking about someone whom OH had worked with as an apprentice Said friend rang tonight and they discovered that they were the only two left from the team who worked there when they did. Food for thought. Anyway long-lost friend will now be visiting so these two old-timers can put the world to rights.

Talking the Talk and The Long Leg of Italy.

Time marches on and Talking the Talk is now in first draft form. We are hoping to get it out at least as an e-book by the end of the year Italy will be Spring 2014 There is still some work to be done there.

Quite an eventful few weeks as we move into Autumn. It is head down for me until the end of October!

Rosalie x