The OpenSure Free Press 27th June 2011

Phew what a scorcher! Have you avoided meltdown? Here’s how:

Hardware Meltdown
Apart from keeping an ice-cold Ubuntu cola to hand, avoiding a hardware meltdown is about maintenance and being sensible, with a Plan B to hand. If your kit is several years old and has never had a good clean and some attention from someone who knows how to spot signs of potentially fatal wear, you’re running a high risk of things going bang. If your machine is overloaded with added-on bits of kit or you’ve souped up some of its inner workings, be aware it could be struggling. If you can hear the fan going hell-for-leather, your machine’s heating up and things are starting to go slow, it’s time to ask someone in the know to take a look at it. It’s worth bearing in mind that many doddering old machines have been given a new lease of life with a nice light open source operating system.

If the worst were to happen, your life will be much simpler if you have records of all the keys you need to access your data, assuming it’s stored remotely and out of danger. If you store data on your computer then ensure it’s backed up frequently (how old can your records be and still be any use to you? A day? A week? A month? Would you lose irreplaceable photos, and music you’ve paid for?) and that the back-ups restore the information you need – ie, test it out once in a while. This no doubt sounds very boring and worthy, but imagine your computer went up in smoke – how would you manage? Could you be up and running again in no time, or would you be left floundering and your business put at risk? It can happen and it does, so Be Prepared. Dib dib.

RIP Email
This article is an interesting and thought-provoking piece about giving up on email and communicating instead via social media, Skype and so on. If you’re drowning in email and wondering if you could live without it or just drastically reduce it, this is worth a read. If you did give up on email, what would you miss most or find most awkward to replace or work around in your business?

What makes a good web host?
This ITDonut article lists eight points to consider when looking for a web host. They all focus on the services and standards offered by prospective hosts and are all sound questions to ask. You should also consider which hosting is right for you. Websites with different purposes and functions have different hosting requirements, so make sure, when looking at prospective hosts, that they understand your individual requirements and can look after them. It goes without saying that we romp home.

The Green & Ethical Bit

  • Do you use, with its Libya TLD? You might instead prefer to use – .nr is the domain for Nauru, a South Pacific island.
  • Joulebug is a smartphone app that turns saving energy into a game.
  • A Pennsylvania school district saves $15k a year and tons of carbon by cutting its grass like this.
  • Like us, you no doubt fly to Tokyo on business all the time. Read here how one day it could take just a couple of hours with barely an emission.

Other bits and pieces that have caught our eye recently include:

  • Our current object of desire – a transparent Aston Martin Android phone
  • Making a wind turbine out of Lego
  • Postcards from the Future – it’s the world, Jim, but not as we know it
  • And last, but not least on this the hottest day of the year so far, the solar-powered bikini

Please recommend us to your friends if you think we deserve it and leave a comment below if you have something to say about the newsletter, open source or green & ethical business.

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