Ask Leo! #537 – Free Video Series, Skype Calls Getting Recorded, Save vs. Run, VC++ Runtime and more

Leo's Blog

What Those Words Mean

If you haven't yet signed up for my free video series, "What Those Words Mean", I wanted to remind you that you still can, right here.

What Those Words Mean

It's a series of around half-a-dozen videos (with transcripts) in which I define the terminology surrounding backups, which was identified as one of the biggest obstacles keeping you from backing up. And you know I don't want anything to get in the way of you backing up!

Now that I'm getting more comfortable with video, I've decided to cover a couple of other topics that go beyond terminology, including things like several different ways of backing up.

Naturally, I'll keep you up to date on the status of my next book on backing up. I might even have a deal for you when it releases. :-)

I promise you won't be disappointed.

Sign up for the video series now, right here, before you forget. (And maybe even share that link with a few friends … you know, all those friends who you know aren't backing up like they should? :-) ).

Continue Reading: What Those Words Mean


Are my Skype calls recorded?

Is Skype really not recording my private video calls on their servers anywhere on the internet or on a hard copy?

I think it's extremely unlikely that your Skype calls are recorded … at least by Skype. I'll dive into a number of reasons I believe that to be the case.

However, there's another, potentially more dangerous, scenario that a lot of people overlook. Unfortunately, many are paying a very steep price for that.

Continue Reading: Are my Skype calls recorded?

What's the difference between "Save" and "Run" when downloading?

When downloading software or whatever, what is the difference between SAVE and RUN?

This is one of those things that I think a lot of people take for granted, but to many it's just so much magic.

So, a quick look at what it means when you choose between "Run" and "Save" when downloading a file.

Continue Reading: What's the difference between "Save" and "Run" when downloading?

Do I Need so Many Copies of the Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime?

My initial machine included Microsoft visual C++ 2005 runtime (x64 and x86 on a window 7 64 bit os ?). Then on 4/29/13 Microsoft added visual C++2008 (x64 and x86) and then on 7/1/13 they added the visual C++2010 (x86 only on 64 bit os system??). We do not use this machine to program or for gaming. It is used for email and as a digital newspaper. None of the Microsoft visual C++ 2005/2008/2010(x86/x64) redistributable programs are listed in the programs list. So the question is do I really need the Microsoft visual C++ 2005/2008/2010 redistributable downloads??????

Yes, I'm sorry to say, you probably do.

When I started looking into this a little more deeply on one of my own Windows machines, I was pretty shocked to find no fewer than 59 different files all related to the Microsoft Visual C and C++ runtime. Fifty-nine!

This is a symptom of a problem faced by software vendors that, at it's core, is unsolvable in any pragmatic sense. The problem even has a name: DLL Hell.

Continue Reading: Do I Need so Many Copies of the Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime?


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Glossary Term


A backup is nothing more than an additional copy of data, ideally kept in a different location than the original.

If there's only one copy of something – say a photograph on a mobile phone – then it's not backed up. If that device were to fail or be lost, then the photograph would be lost forever as well.

Computers are excellent at making copies of digital data, and backups are one important use of that functionality.

It's generally recommended that important data be backed up in at least one, ideally more, separate devices or media, such as an external hard disk. In addition it's recommended that critical data also be backed up in another physical location, such as a different building or by backing it up online.

More than anything the important concept is that there never be only a single copy of important data. That's not backed up.

See also: back up

Glossary Terms are featured selections from The Ask Leo! Glossary.
Have a term you'd like defined? Submit it here.

Featured Comments

A Different Approach to a Book About Backing Up

Sandy Coulter writes:

Wow, I was away so coming in late on this. These responses are overwhelming. A good backup routine should be a full image followed by incrementals where backed up files can be accessed in Windows file explorer. I use Acronis True Image to accomplish this and I have set it up for many of my clients. I also advise them to use drop box or similar in addition to Acronis if they want an extra off-site backup of their critical files. Acronis allows the user to fetch earlier versions of files or retrieve files that have been inadvertently overwritten. It also allows the user to restore their computer to the last know good full backup in the event of system corruption caused by malware or user error. I realize that this may be a daunting task for some individuals which is why they hire me to set it up and train them how to use it. Acronis is not the only backup software that works well, it just happens to be my choice. Perhaps more users should consider hiring a professional to get them into a good backup routine?

NAS Drive Failure: How I Dodged a Bullet

Tony Wilson writes:

I try to backup pretty regularly but there is always a slight possibility of computer / drive problems. One thing occurs to me. SSHDs are now getting affordable even in large (1tb) sizes. They appear to be much more reliable with min normal 10 year to failure times quoted by some manufacturers. I wonder however what are the chances even if they do fail to write of not being able to read them. If the ability to still read the data remains when they no longer write then the confidence in the backup is raised several levels. What do the experts think?

Leo writes:

My understanding is that

1) magnetic hard disks still last longer

2) when flash memory fails it often fails completely (i.e. both read and write)

3) flash memory offers almost no recovery options that compare to some of the advanced techniques used by data recovery services.

Bottom line: my assumption is that when flash memory dies - regardless of its type - its contents are gone. Period.

Michael writes:

I have used Karens replicator for a long time and highly recommend it. For one thing, the backup files are in plain vanilla format, you do not need Replicator to see them or restore them. The logging is also fairly extensive. There is an option when it comes to dealing with deleted files in the source/input folder. You can either delete them in the target/backup folder or not. And, look into the tags feature, I use it keep an entire replicated backup for each week of the month. That is, over time, it cycles through 5 different backup copies. The one downside is that Replicator does not do versioning, you can't tell it to keep the last x copies of files.

Karen Kenworthy, the author, has passed away so don't expect updates. But the program is tried and true.

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Leo's Books

Backing Up 101 Saved! - Backing Up with Macrium Reflect Saved! - Backing Up with Windows 7 Backup Saved! - Backing Up with Windows 8 Backup
The Ask Leo! Guide to Internet Safety The Ask Leo! Guide to Routine Maintenance Maintaining Windows XP - A Practical Guide


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Posted: March 3, 2015 in: 2015
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