Our New Year tech resolutions for 2012

I will backup daily. Or at least monthly

Backing up should be like brushing your teeth, but the truth is most of us do it only semi-regularly.

And that’s just not good enough, because lots of things can happen to your data. Your phone or computer can be stolen, you might accidentally delete information, or your device might simply fail. One GadgetGuy staffer even reversed his car over his notebook. Accidentally of course.

The unforeseeable can happen, even when you’re careful, so make sure to give yourself a bit of insurance by doing a simple backup. There’s no excuse not too, really, as most solutions are easy to use, and don’t cost much. Some don’t cost anything at all.

The Dropbox iPad app lets you browse the files you've stored on Dropbox with an iPad when you're connected to the web.

Find your most important files – data you really want to keep – and sign up for a Dropbox account. You can upload these important files to a website and access it from wherever you are, provided you don’t forget your password. The first 2GB or storage is free.

For everything else – photos, music, videos – buy yourself an external hard drive from your local office or electronics store and backup. And the next time you take some photos you value, back them up to it as well.

Make it routine to backup too, so that you’re updating your archive regularly with newer files. Set a reminder for yourself in your calendar, or choose a programmable solution that handles everything automatically.

External hard drives are a must have if you plan on keeping good backups.


I will stop checking my phone messages at the lights

It’s illegal in Australia to use a mobile phone while you’re driving. This includes texting, playing games, and of course lifting the phone to your ear to talk on the phone.

That’s why you resolved to get a hands-free system for your phone last year, right? And it’s been great, right?

But you’re still checking messages at the lights, and that’s just not on. It’s illegal, and more importantly, very bloody dangerous.  You could crash your car, crash into another car or run down a pedestrian. Not. Cool.

Plus, you’re not soooo important that the world will end if you don’t check your email and messages This Instant Right Now. You’re just not.

So wait until you’re home or at a petrol station to check your messages, and refrain from checking messages as you’re walking too. Just to be on the safe side, you know, because those lampposts you bump in to have feelings too.

Try not to check your messages at the lights. It's not as if reading your newest message is as important as keeping your eyes on the road.