CrashPlan+ Slow Uploads

I use CrashPlan to back up my computer.  They’ve been my backup solution of choice for about the past 2 years.  I love them!  They’re great, relatively inexpensive, and super easy to use.

There’s just one recent problem: my uploads to their service are deathly slow, like 150Kbps slow! I used to easily get 2Mbps, over 14 times faster.  Now, I’m lucky if I can even get 200Kbps.

So what about the 24 GB I have to upload?  CrashPlan says it will take 15 days. Aye Ya!

I did an internet speedtest, and was able to consistently get 20Mbps down, and 4Mbps up.  I ran the tests again while uploading to CrashPlan, and the results were the same.

Speed test results

Not happy with the performance, I logged a ticket with their support. Here’s what I got back:

Hello Brian,

Thanks for contacting CrashPlan Support.

We are aware of recent issues that some of our CrashPlan+ users are seeing with lowered upload performance. We are looking into the scope of this issue, and pursuing all available avenues to improve performance for affected users. Unfortunately, I do not have more details to provide at this time. Support is receiving updates, and will inform you as soon as we know more and can provide further information.


Well, at least I know it’s not just me. I’ll update if I hear anything further.

Goodbye Mozy

As any good IT professional will tell you, it’s extremely important to perform backups on a regular basis.  Until this point, I’ve used a combination of network backup to Charlene’s computer and online backup with Mozy.  Until this point.

On Monday, Mozy announced the discontinuation of their $4.95/month unlimited backup plan. It’s being replaced with a new set of backup plans that will make it significantly more expensive for me to do business with them.  I’m talking a price increase of nearly 900%.  This is simply unacceptable to me.

Needless to say, I’m on the hunt for a new backup provider. At this point, I’m seriously considering either Backblaze or CrashPlan.

I don’t know either company personally, but I do know the persona Backblaze portrays on their blog, and I like what I see.  They seem like a very genuine and sincere company. I like the fact that they’re very open about a lot of things, including their infrastructure and a bit about their encryption strategy for keeping data safe. They were even community-oriented enough to ask their users/readers for input on their new offices. I like it!

CrashPlan is a bit more of an enigma to me.  They do have a blog, but it’s nothing special.  They do seem to be getting rave reviews on Twitter, so that’s a good sign.

PC Magazine points out that neither company is very old, though CrashPlan is more established than BackBlaze.

I guess we’ll see what happens. I’ve gotta do some more digging before I make a decision.  I really hope this is the last time I have to re-backup my files.  Backing up 400+GB over the internet isn’t very fun.

Kik Notifications

Charlene and I don’t have free text messaging, so instead we’ve tried a few of the various free texting apps out there.  The key for us is that they have to be cross-platform because I have an Android phone, and she has an iPhone.  To date, we’ve tried both PingChat! and Kik Messenger.  Of the two, Kik Messenger has been far better and more reliable with one caveat: Charlene was never notified when I had kik’d her.  She had to actually open Kik in order to get my message.

What’s up with that?

But tonight I resolved the issue. And if you’re having the same problem, here’s how you can too.

(Keep in mind that Charlene has the original iPhone 3G with iOS 4.1.  If you’re on a different setup, your mileage may vary.)

  1. Open Settings
  2. Select Notifications
  3. Select Kik
  4. Turn on Sounds, Alerts, Badges.

That’s it!

Now, whenever I kik Charlene, she gets a nice audible notification as well as a popup message on her phone, and a little badge on the Kik icon.  Ta Da!

Disable “Reply to All” and “Forward” buttons in Outlook

We use Outlook for our e-mail and calendaring at work. If you use it, you might be happy to know that there’s a way to prevent recipients of your e-mail from hitting the “Reply to All” and “Forward” buttons if they’re Outlook users. The best thing is that you’re not running code on their machine so there’s no need to worry about being called a malicious hacker. It just works.

We’re all one step closer to having the kind of control we’d like to have over our e-mails. Of course, the caveat is that this does not work for other mail clients including Gmail. Bummer.

Fire the Product Manager

Someone at Microsoft needs to be fired.  Microsoft Outlook 2007 cannot import Excel 2007 files. Now who’s the idiot who decided (or neglected to consider) that when a product is as mature as Outlook, it should be able to import other files from the same release of Office?

Now is this a catastrophic end of the world? No, of course not! Granted saving an Excel 2007 file as a 2003 or earlier file isn’t the end of the world. But it seems like a pretty big oversight to me. And it seems like a lack of foresight on the part of the product manager that this doesn’t work seamlessly.

I’m just grateful that someone decided to let us know that this doesn’t work, and then they provided a work around.