I use one main backup utility for important files. Cobian.

I have used it a few times over the last few years to recover files, but nothing too major (typically less than 500 megabytes). It is free, and made for Windows. The interface is kind of simple, but offers a lot of features similar to commercial softare. The part I like the most is that I can back up to network shares. This makes it easy to backup files multiple places in case of fire or failure.

Cobian is also great because it allows you to pull data from shares. You can one computer (or server) to back up multiple shares from different computers on your network. This has allowed me to get 3-4 computers backed up through one process on one computer.

What I do to add another layer to all this, is I have a TrueCrypt drive on a network share. Typically I allow everyone I am living with to have a protected drive. This allows them (with appropriate software) to backup their own personal files to a shared location, without everyone gaining access to the protected files. It is important to note you need to have a gigabit connection for this if you plan to archive more than a few hundred megabytes.

I have found the best routine for me, is I have my virus scan run early morning, then I have the backup process archive and shutdown the PC.

Cobian has a lot of choices when it comes to when and how you want it to back up. You can let it compress and password archives for you. I typically don’t do this as backup to an encrypted share, so the password isn’t needed. I also have plenty of space, so compressing would just waste a lot of time.

I also use incremental backups. Cobian does a full back up the first time, then only backs up any files that have been added or changed. This helps me keep 90+ days of archives without destroying my hard drive space.

Personally I would recommend Cobian to anyone needing a personal back up solution. Just make sure to set it up before it is too late!

When switching themes a few days ago I originally wanted to stay with Montezuma. It looks modern, and very nice. I Binged/Googled for some help. I found people saying to check the support forums for the theme. I was hoping someone would be more direct than telling me to browse, but I gave it a shot. I found a few “fixes”, but nothing that made the theme work right.

Most people suggested disabling features of the theme through CSS to get it look correct universally. This kind of works, but part of the themes charm is the effects it uses. If I was going to only post 100% text articles, it appeared it had no issues.

Anyways, to get back on subject about getting help through the forums. I came across one post where two site administrators each had a fix for a different browser. The first said how he fixed it in Chrome, but clearly states the quality of the theme suffered from it. His fix removes the auto expanding effect when a preview image is rolled over. The problem of course is that the images take up more room as they are not minimized when you view the front page.

The second guy to respond talks about removing the grey filter to get the images to work properly in Firefox. It is good Firefox has the auto expanding working, but again, you are losing effects/features of the theme by applying these types of fixes.

What really brings the issues to light is, if you go to the second guy’s site in Chrome, he never applied any Chrome fixes. He still has the auto expanding issue the guy above him posted about it!

In summary, it appears only the author has enough knowledge of the theme to properly fix it, but he doesn’t care. The people on the forums will state how they fixed the theme for the browser they use, at least enough to their liking, but fail to consider that their audience is using other browsers. There isn’t a simple thread that explains all the necessary fixes for all browsers, and of course this means anyone using it probably has a broken site. Maybe WordPress needs a way for people to flag broken themes without trying to rely on the rating system.

I decided I wanted a different theme. The custom gallery plugin I was using wasn’t going to work with a new theme (unless I paid them to customize it). So I modified that post and changed themes.

Simple right? Absolutely! Did it work? Hell no. I changed to another popular theme called Montezuma. The theme looks nice in all the example pictures, of course. Text only posts worked great. My first order of business was to update my old post about the gallery plugin. As soon as I did that, everything hit the fan. This theme doesn’t support preview images in Google Chrome. The image it tries to show above your post preview text on the main page ends up overlapping and covering most if not all of the text.

It is pretty shocking that the author of the theme didn’t think to test his theme in Chrome. Multiple people were reporting the issue, and it still haven’t been resolved since September, when the theme went live. It is very annoying to me that it appears the theme went up, and the author didn’t feel like supporting it, and instead of stating there were issues or taking it down, he just left it there for anyone to install thinking it would work. You can go to the author’s site now, and find that he is updating other themes, as recently as last week, yet he is neglecting the Montezuma theme. I tried another theme of his, which is currently active on the site called Atahualpa.

Atahualpa is nice, but clearly some features were made for new users. He made save/submit buttons huge for the internal theme pages. He also color coded buttons green (save/submit) and red (reset/cancel). While I can see it helping new users, I know what I want to do, and don’t need a button this big to save my changes:

Theme Buttons