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What’s More Secure Than The Cloud? A Shoebox Under Your Bed

November 28, 2016

Dear Users,

This is a reminder to download any files that remain on Pogoplug. Thanks to the cooperation of our partners and investors we have been able to restart our hosted cloud service to give you more time to retrieve your data. Please understand that this is a temporary situation. We hope to have the service live until December 4th but implore you to retrieve your data with urgency given that this is an interim solution. We remain saddened that we must discontinue this service and we thank you for being one of our loyal users.


The Pogoplug Team

I used Pogoplug for backup. Last summer I wrote about losing 175GB of pictures because “Forever Isn’t That Long.” I’m no longer a Pogoplug user. (Burn me once shame on you. . .I’m going to Dropbox.) But, I’m still on their mailing list. They tried to get me back as a customer in July when I reported my problems.

Well Pogoplug’s new business model (subscription) didn’t work any better than their old one (buy a piece of hardware.) They sent out the above message urging their clients to Stop using our service ASAP!! If you ignore their warnings, after December 4th, your data will be gone for good. (Although, that should probably say, “Gone for bad.”)

Last weekend I gathered with my family to bury my uncle and celebrate his life. My mother found a bunch of old pictures. I’m not sure if they were actually in a shoebox, but they might as well have been. This is a picture of my great-grandparents, Paul and Inez.

It was taken on the day of their wedding in 1904. The date and names are written on the back of the picture. I took the picture to WalMart and made several copies of this picture and some other very old family pictures for family members who were attending the funeral. It cost about $0.50 to make a 5×7 picture.

At the family gathering after the funeral, the pictures were a big hit. So much so that the copies I made were quickly claimed.

You should scan this in and post them online so the rest of the family can see them.

This is, of course a good idea and a very, very bad idea. My cousins, especially those who couldn’t attend, would love to see these pictures and be able put faces with the names on our pedigree chart. And while $0.50 per picture isn’t hugely expensive, scanning and posting online costs almost nothing. And we could store them in the cloud. . just not on Pogoplug.

Dr. Vinton ‘Vint” Cerf is the Chief Internet Evangelist at Google. He is the co-inventer or the TCP/IP protocols. That’s the “language” that your computer uses to talk to other computers and the internet. He knows a thing or two about technology and the history and future of comptuers. He has advice for people like you and me who store our data in the cloud.

Print out your pictures or risk losing them.

Technologies change. Do you have copies of the papers you wrote in college? Maybe in some folder on your computer labeled, “Old Stuff”? If you wrote those papers more than 15 years ago, chances are you can’t open them today. Microsoft Word is the dominate word processor, but even it’s file format has changed over the years. Prior to Word, everyone used WordPerfect, which had it’s own proprietary format. And before WordPerfect, the cool kids used Word*Star to create documents. You might be able to recover a really important WordPerfect document. And Microsoft Word might be able to get some thing out of those old files, but Word*Star is a distant memory.

Just as document formats change, so do picture formats. And the storage locations where we’ve carefully collected and catagorized our thousands of pictures, don’t last forever. I have grandkids. That means that my mother is also a great-grandmother. When my grandkids grow up will they stumble across a 112 year old wedding picture of my mother?

If they do, the odds are they will be pulling a picture out of a shoebox rather than downloading a file from the cloud.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2016 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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