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Backup Solutions

Software:  Storage and Restore


In recent years, Rachel Gehrke Technologies Company (RGTC) has experienced countless misfortunes with data loss and corruption, due to Microsofts’ Windows product.
It was mentioned by the founder of RGTC, Rachel Gehrke, that a dire need for a data storage management solution is desperately becoming apparent.

“Why are the files not being backed-up every week?!”

-  Rachel Gehrke


Much research has been carried out to obtain the following solution. The software was carefully selected to meet RGTC management requests. The need for two major requirements were made: 1) Full back up 2) Incremental 3) Optional -- Differential backup.  
It was also requested that a summary of each products main features, along with strengths and weaknesses, financials, failed alternative products, and ultimately a professional recommendation in product selection.
Eleven Microsoft Windows compatible backup software products were examined.
Two of the eleven chosen programs were deemed most beneficial in meeting RGTC needs.
SOFTWARE CHOICE 1: Simple Data Backup


The first top rated product, chosen from the ten, was a backup software developed by Chris Long.  In his work, Simple Data Backup, Long (2003) wanted a program that would carry all the functionality of high-end backup software’s but with the utmost simplicity kept in mind. This train of thought was implemented into his product to aid in a market of fickle computer users, who wanted a product that was stable and boasted many features but without any interface confusion. In other words, the user would not need special training to operating the software or to achieve its full potential (Long, Finn, & Fofanov, 2020). The developer holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems. Long also worked in “IT related technologies such as programming, user interface, design, home automation, hardware building, and technical support.” He also operates a product called SSE Setup, which allowed developers to manage program installation (Long, 2003).


This backup software offers an abundance of features, which aided its selection.  
Simple Data Backup allows for a full backup, which includes the creation of an Image file. Included in the image file are the registry and applications files. The folders and files can also be backed up individually, without having to go through an entire ‘full’ backup. The backup software can also preform incremental and differential backups, after the initial full backup is carried out. The incremental and differential backups can also be scheduled by the day, date, and time.
Other features include the ability to have multiple backup schedules for different backup types. The software will accommodate most storage medium types. The approved types include flash, solid state, optical, hard disk, shared, and cloud--server. The ability to copy folders, files, and images from one drive to another is also an option. The software has been in use for 15 years and has most of its bugs resolved, however, if any backup errors occur, the administrator may be notified through a text message, E-Mail, or in-software service. Lastly, Simple Data Backup comes with detailed help instruction list, a simplistic graphical user interface, state-of-the-art encryption and compression.
 The above mentioned features are deemed suitable in meeting the requirements of upper management to RGTC.


When focusing closer on the software features shown to us, researchers examined the specific traits which lined up well to meet the specific needs under RGTC management. Some of the mentioned features were not required but may increase user productivity, with inflicting no dismay. There were five positive and productive strengths chosen. The first being financial burden. Simple Data Backup software is very low in price. As of November, 2020, the price for a professional server edition of Simple Data Backup is a onetime fee of 250.00 USD.  The second strength being that Simple Data Backup provides full and incremental backups for data. This feature can be customized down to the day, date, and time. The third point for merit is in Simple Data Backup’s flexibility for platforms. The software is Windows Server ready; all the functionality which come as a requirement to carry out functional work through a server to workstation, can be performed. Fourthly, this backup software allows for the support of a diverse range in medium compatibility. From flash storage to optical disk burning, the software cares not what it transfers data from or to. This leads to the fifth point of praise, the restoration process is very straight forward and can be done so without an operating system installed on a given machine. Bootable disks can be made and used restore the entire disk image onto an empty system.
When looking the downfalls to Simple Data Backup, there were three that stood out the most. Differential backups were not supported. While this is not a full-fledged requirement by management, it is a feature that would be beneficial to have, should the opportunity for its use arise. The next weakness was brand recognition; no ‘large’ corporation notorieties have been directed to Simple Data Backup. Lastly, research has discovered a lack in customer support via live helpline. If there is a need for immediate communication between the developer and RGTC IT administrators, there may be an indefinite waiting time.



The second top rated product, chosen through my research, is a company called AOMEI International Network Limited. Based out of North Point in Hong Kong, the company was founded in 2010, where it thrives under the corporate philosophy of protecting their customer’s data from being lost through patented technologies their company pioneered (AOMEI, 2020).  The company offers an abundant number of backup services, from armature home PC users to professionals working under large servers within fortune-500 companies (AOMEI & Stanojevic, 2020). The company is trialed and purchased by many users, as it boasts millions of downloads spread across 180 countries, making AOMEI a truly global brand that’s well respected (AOMEI, 2020).  

Required by upper-management of RGTC, a product must contain the following five (5) features: full backup, incremental backup, differential backup (optional), backup of file(s), backup of registry, and backup of application(s). Because AOMEI offers a large number of software solutions to a wide range of end-user implications, I will be focusing on the company’s All-In-One Backup Toolkit for Enterprise and Service Provider and Multi-Manager product. While there are similar products offered by the company, I believe this backup program will deliver the most beneficial features to RGTC systems.
This backup software offers features of full backup, incremental backup, and differential backup. The program also offers the user to backup files, registry files, and applications in-between scheduled backups of full, incremental, and differential sessions (Fisher, Shychenko, AOMEI, & Stanojevic, 2020). With meeting the basics, there is an additional nine (9) other saleable features which are highly beneficial for the system administrator(s). Since this software is specifically designed for server usage, features were designed accordingly (Stanojevic, 2020). Such features include the ability to create unlimited backup images for PC and server system drives. This includes operating systems and installed programs. Another feature is creating partitions, for added security. Files can also be restored on-demand. Files and folders can be synced in real-time every second (Fisher, 2020). The programs allows for cloning entire hard drives, partitions, and specifically individual operating systems, settings, and installed programs (Jacobi, 2020). When looking at restoration of this software, the program provides high speed data restoration from backup images. The software also allows for bootable WinPE and Linux media creation. The feature for image deployment to multiple computers over networks, is also high desirable. The options for massive PXE booting is present too; the ability to machines over a network and restore machines without bootable media remotely (Fisher, 2020).

Of the many features presented in the above section--Features, specific services stood out more than others. In this section, I will provide a feature examination for the currently reviewed backup software. One of the primary strengths this backup software exhibits are the ability to provide full backups, incremental backups, and differential backups. The program also allows for the backing up of files, the registry, and applications. This software also allows for backups to be carried out from different servers within the network. There is no discrimination towards which backup medium data is coming from or going to. The company also provides a customer service help line that operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The company carries a reputable reputation, as being used by many major corporations, such as BOSCH, GM, CITI, UNITED, McDonalds, FedEx, Costco, to name a few. The brand is also recognized internationally as being reliable (AOMEI, 2020). The company is offering its services and product for a one-time payment of 2,198.00 USD. The only true weakness of the product chosen is the location for usability. The software was designed to operate on server specific operating systems, though, there is no requirement towards which brand of operating system chosen.

Alternative Companies: Examination
Runner up to the two companies chosen for this report, five other backup software products were deemed only acceptable because they either did not meet all RGTC management requirements or the software carried obstructing burdens that would interfere with administrative productivity. First was Personal Backup; which allows for full, incremental and differential backup, it runs on both windows desktop environment and Windows server but the graphical user interface has no organization for settings. Next was BackUp Maker; provided only full backup and no password is available to protect the program itself. Then MiniTool ShadowMaker; Allows for full and incremental backup but charges a fee on services used each time. Followed by GFI Backup; Provides full, incremental, and differential backups but software only works through a terminal interface, specifically FTP. Lastly, DriveImage XML; full and incremental backup is available and the program is Windows Server ready, however, backups start with little warning, when scheduled. Administrators also can’t restore a backup to a drive that’s lower in capacity potential than the original drive copied from.  


Of the two companies discussed in this report, one must be chosen under professional opinion.
In comparison to Simple Data Backup, I have concluded that AOMEI’s All-In-One Backup Toolkit for Enterprise and Service Provider and Multi-Manager product is best suited in which RGTC management requires. The software meets the minimal requirements needed and carries many additional features that are seen as highly beneficial for system administrators. While Simple Data Backup did meet the necessary requirements needed to qualify, their lack in reliability in communication through customer service and the overall market-share presence, is of dire concern.
RGTC is a company that should invest with AOMEI, to protect against future data dismay and to increase administrative efficiency.  
Works Cited
Fisher, T. (2020, November 18). 34 Free Backup Software Tools: Ranked and Reviewed. Retrieved from www.lifewire.com/free-backup-software-tools-2617964.
Stanojevic, M. (2020, October 14). 5 Best Windows Server Backup Software. Windows Report | Error-Free Tech Life, WindowsReport. Retrieved from windowsreport.com/windows-server-backup-software/.
AOMEI. (2020). AOMEI Partition Assistant. AOMEI Partition Assistant - A Safe Partition Manager for Windows PC and Server. Retrieved from www.aomeitech.com/aomei-partition-assistant.html.
Long, C. (2020). About Simple Data Backup.
Retrieved from www.simpledatabackup.net/about.html,  
Shychenko, Vitaliy. (2020, April 29). 16 free backup software tools put to test. Retrieved from https://thinkmobiles.com/blog/best-backup-software/
Long, C. (2020). Home. Retrieved from http://www.simpledatabackup.net/index.html.
Jacobi, J.L. (2017, July 18). Aomei Backupper Standard 4 review: A versatile free backup program. Retrieved from https://www.pcworld.com/article/3203247/aomei-backupper-standard-4-review.html
Major Geeks

© 2020 Patrick Cain, All Rights Reserved.

American Express & Small Business

Before investigating, I found it strange that some small businesses don’t—won’t—accept American Express (AmEx) and I wanted to understand why that is.   Being a card member with American Express for almost 9 years, Its now an unnoticed habit to ask if AmEx is accepted. Usually it’s during a visit to a small businesses I’m new to, I’ll politely ask. Usually, my card’s welcomed without question, but not always. Some small businesses won’t accept my method for payment, causing me to either leave empty handed or scrambling for cash. These situations are not only inconvenient but also annoying. So out of pure irritation and a little curiosity, I began my quest for truth.   I started with the businesses; over the course of this summer, I asked a number of merchants, who didn’t accept AmEx, why they’re resistant towards welcoming the service. I found their responses to be...dubious, at best. The most common feedback I heard was “their processing fees cost too much.” So I decided to research the cost of these services and here is what I found.   When comparing the processing fees between the legacy brands of Visa, MasterCard, and Novus Discover to American Express, I contacted five cars processing companies by phone to obtain the differences in cost. Now there’s a few factors that play into a merchants processing costs, such as the business location, size, type, along with the contract term, method of payment capture, signing incentives, and so on. However, there’s a baseline which most small business owners pay into. For this, I will focus on the most common method for payment, ‘card present in-person’ transactions. I also exclusively examined the processing percentage fees. Each processing percentage fee shown here is applied per transaction: Visa 1.29% + 5¢ to 2.54% + 10¢; MasterCard 1.29% + 5¢ to 2.64% + 10¢; Discover 1.53% + 5¢ to 2.539% + 10¢; American Express 1.58% + 10¢ to 3.3% + 10¢. Most small businesses pay the highest percentage rate, to each processing company’s price spread. Large businesses like hyper-markets, department stores, and supermarkets, pay the lowest percentage rate.  So what’s my take on small businesses choosing to not accept AmEx? I find their reasoning behind it stupid and foolish.  Turning away a customer over 0.64% is beyond senseless. Sure, it does cost more to process American Express but with the average markup for a merchants product / service being over 80%, there must be a bias against the processor because of prior issues.  


Sources:  Flagship merchant, Pauline data, American Express, TSYS Merchant solutions,  Helcium


© 2020 Patrick Cain, All Rights Reserved.
Why Mask Wearing is Important & How they Function

The purpose of this article is to inform those who have been mislead wrongful information and need clarification.

COVID-19 is changing every human-being that currently resides on God's green earth.
Within six months, the world is now a different place. From how we socialize to the loss of innocent life, this pandemic event is terrible.

To return our previous way of life, we must listen to our American experts who know these creatures better than we know ourselves.
We need to stand together and flight.

In this posting, I will be discussing the highly questioned topic on public mask wearing. I will give a basic background on why masks were chosen for use, followed an explanation behind the purpose for wearing a mask, and why masks are important.


History--In the past:
Wearing a mask to protect the spread of disease is nothing new. Masks and facial coverings have been worn by medical professionals and amateurs of the general public for centuries. Though, in those times, they carried no knowledge in the existence of bacteria and viruses. However, through trial and error, members of the public discovered that spreading sicknesses from one person to another was slowed when their nose and mouth were covered in the presence of others.

Modern day:
Advancements in technology have allowed the general public to become protected from diseases from the horrors of the middle-ages. With a better understanding to the world around us, medicine extended the live expectancy of people from 26 years old to 83 years old. But to live this long is not natural. Our lives continue and age because of science and technology within the medical community. Even today, a person may die in their twenties from common illnesses like pneumonia, rotten teeth, or syphilis, but only if medical treatment is refused.
Currently the human race is experiencing a rotten gift from Mother Nature -- influenza. These viruses come in many shapes and sizes, they consist of diverse constructions, and some medical theorists today debate whether viruses are "living beings."

Viral Transportation:
One thing to note about viruses is their mode of transportation. They cannot exist for long, without a transport medium. Such substances, which a virus may transport itself in, is the saliva (your spit), mucus (the wet slippery coating inside the lungs and going up to the nasal passages), bile (feces), urine, blood, and internal fluids. They uses these mediums for transport to move from one host (a person) to another. Why? Because, like all creatures, their basic instinct is to survive and thrive through basic reproduction.


Plain and simple, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Masks, which cover the nose and mouth, absorb the moisture being exhaled from a persons breath. The moisture is what carries COVID-19.
Any tightly woven cloth will effectively work. The mask you wear does not need to be of medical grade because a tightly woven cloths were found to work equally well. Though they do not work perfectly, cloth masks catch roughly 90% of the water vapor being exhaled. The remaining 10% concentration the cloth mask failed to catch will diminish to a level that will not get a person sick. But the moment that mask is removed, 100% of the virus is being broadcasted out nearly 20 feet per breath.


But I'm not sick:
Not always true. You may be infected with COVID-19 and not know it, because your body has not alerted you yet.
Unfortunately COVID-19 takes longer to spread around the body, during its initial presence. Once this virus spreads itself throughout the body, it will then strike. It attacks all your internal organs, such as your brain, lungs, heart, liver, kidneys...everything. It is horrifying. It's painful. It's deadly. And it took over the earth in 4 weeks. If people wore masks from the start; if people took this pandemic event more seriously, this virus would've died off back in November 2019. But it's not too late! COVID-19 is here to stay until we engineer a cocktail of medicines to help our bodies destroy it. Until we develop a true cure, wearing the mask will stop COVID-19 from spreading.


All in all, why pretend to know everything about something which you have no knowledge in?
Listen to what your primary doctor tells you. Ask questions, be very open minded, and take notes to remember by.

Any questions, do not ask for answers here. Instead, schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor and ask them. I cannot stress that enough. Do not take medical advice from any politician. Do not take any medical advice from any news agency. Ask YOUR doctor because they trained for 10 years so you didn't have to. (Be sure to also take note of what your doctor is wearing, when they enter the room. Ask them, should I be wearing the same level of protection when I'm around other people too?)

I hope this information helps and wish you good luck throughout this medical crisis.

© 2020 Patrick Cain, All Rights Reserved.