Offsite backups with Windows Home Server and Crash Plan

I have been slowly moving files onto my new WHS.  HP is due to release a new software version that allows for users to easily backup their shares to Amazon S3.

I have done a lot with Amazon’s S3 service, but I don’t feel good about using it for backups for a few reasons.  Primarly, if you want to backup large amounts of data, it IS very cheap, but it is sill kinda expensive.

In other words, it is very cheap compared with other managed storage options, but if you want to backup 500 GB you are still going to be paying a lot of money over the course of a year.

The solution I came across, which appears to be working fine on the WHS machines is Crash Plan (  I installed it on my WHS and on the WHS I bought for my parents and have configured the 2 to backup to each other.

I won’t get into all the details, but Crash Plan:

  • costs nothing for the basic version
  • encrypts your files before they leave your machine
  • sends you emails if a backup has not happened successfully in X days

I have found no problems with running it on WHS.  I even replicate the files crashplan backs up across multiple drives so if my house burns down AND a hard drive at my parents fails, my data will still be safe.


Performing a Baseless Merge in TFS

If you create a branch in TFS, you can easily merge it back later, but if you have 2 branches or folders that you want to merge, but are not related (they weren’t branched from one another) you need to do a baseless merge.

This article describes the process:

But the short end of it is that you run the following command at the VS command prompt:

tf merge /baseless c:source c:dest /recursive

It will launch the dialog box for you to manage the merge from there.

Has RJDJ been removed from iTunes?

One iPhone app that I really like is RJDJ.

It is very hard to explain it, but it basically takes the sounds around you that it picks up through the mic, and does all kinds of weird stuff to it to make beats/sounds/music etc.

It’s really fun, and every single person I have shown this too has loved it, except for 2 people, and they are brothers, and they know who they are.  But everyone else has totally loved this program.

Unfortunately, many users felt that, once they paid the giant price ($2.99) for the full version of RJDJ, called RJDJ Album, that they would get future songs/scenes for free.

Instead, mostly due to how Apple restricts developers in how they can charge for stuff like content/udpates, they released the 2nd “album” RJDJ Shake as another $2.99 app. 

Some users were pissed, and I think they logged enough complaints to have RJDJ removed from iTunes, which totally sucks because I wanted to buy Shake and now I can’t!

I wanted to put this post out there so if anyone else was trying to figure out why they can’t get RJDJ they might get some answers here.

I hope the folks at RJDJ get this resolved, b/c I think it’s an awesome program.  When I get some free time I am going to program some scenes for it, but right now I am spending all my free time on work for my clients.

UPDATE: It’s back.

Streaming Audio From WHS

I have been looking into some of the options for streaming music from my WHS to devices in my house.

So far I don’t seem to be finding many good options.  There are some that you point to a UNC share and then have to deal with a crappy UI to select the songs you want.

2 of the nicer options I have see are:






I’m going to have to keep my eyes open for other options, but these seem like viable candidates.


Learning Spanish In Cancun Mexico

I recently had an opportunity to travel to Mexico for some spanish lessons.  I wanted to put up a little write up here so if someone else was searching google for some options they might come across my article.

I arranged for lessons with Francisco Romero of the Cancun Spanish Language Institute.

We had a great experience with Francisco.  We opted for an immersion type experience, with Francisco speaking almost no english during our lessons, but unlike some of the other instructors we have had, he was clearly 100% fluent in english, and could help explain some of the nuances in english. 

I would really recommend him to anyone else considering taking language lessons while in Cancun.