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BitCasa = Love

Note: this is not a paid advertisement.  BitCasa doesn’t have any clue who I am.  

As a semi-pro-(but-not-really) photographer and a totally-not-pro graphic designer, I go through a ton of storage space.  I currently have four external hard drives: two 1TB drives, one 2TB drive and one 500GB drive (that one is portable, and goes with my laptop on adventures since I have a Macbook Air with just a little bit of internal storage).  In addition to needing a ton of space for large files, I know that a hard drive failure is inevitable, so I keep redundant copies of my files.  Just recently, I had friends lose all of their family photos – everything – in a hard drive crash.  Thinking about that gives me chest pains.

In addition to local storage, I’ve had a cloud-based backup service for the past couple of years.  It’s been about $12 a month for unlimited storage and computers, which was a good deal at the time.  There is definitely peace of mind knowing that the backup is running in the background, keeping copies of everything secure and offsite, just in case.  But the problem I have with the service (and similar services) is that downloading my backed up files is a total pain.  Because of that, it’s unlikely I will go back and restore anything unless it’s absolutely critical I have it.

On top of the external hard drives and cloud storage, I’ve always uploaded processed versions of my images to Flickr and put them into organized albums.  It’s been a great solution for sharing albums with friends and families and also having access to images from anywhere.  But Yahoo! has destroyed Flickr, which is a sad realization.  I’ve been a Flickr Pro user since 2004 and I was a dedicated, unwavering user.  I met so many great people through the groups on Flickr and even reconnected with old friends.  It was the best.  But Yahoo! has taken something wonderful and made it a disaster.  They’ve made the site ugly, hard to navigate and they’ve taken away much of the capability to customize it.  And recently, they put the nail in the coffin for me, by adding the ugly, poorly designed and integrated Yahoo! bar across the top.  Up until now, I’ve been able to ignore the fact that Yahoo! ran Flickr but I can’t turn a blind eye anymore when every. single. page. reminds me of who has taken apart the service I love and mangled it.

..end rant.  And enter BitCasa.

I’ve spent the past couple of weeks trying to find a solution that would 1) give me a better way to backup and restore files 2) solve for the fact that I hate Flickr and want to move away from it and 3) be cost effective.

Limitless Space

This is a big one for me, because my collection of photos, music, video, Photoshop files and other goodies isn’t getting smaller. I don’t want to have to worry about storage space anymore, or navigate tiered plans, where the cost changes based on how much storage you use or transmit.

Automatic Backups

BitCasa calls automatic backups “mirroring”, meaning that the service will mirror the contents of any folder or drive onto your cloud space.  If you add or delete a folder on the local drive, the same happens in BitCasa (although you have the ability to back in time to find deleted items, should you need them later).

External Hard Drive…in the Cloud

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This is the feature that sold me.

Your BitCasa cloud space functions just like an external hard drive! It mounts in your OS (Windows or OS X) and you can drag and drop files back and forth all. day. long. If you need to access a file that was automatically backed up via mirroring, just click in, find the file and drop it to your desktop.

That’s a solution I can love, and is user-friendly.

How I Use It

iMac - My iMac is the “central hub” of my computing; it’s where I process photos, store photos, work in Photoshop, Illustrator, store web design files and whatnot.  On the iMac, I have it set to mirror all of my important folders, so that they are automatically sent to the cloud without me ever having to think about it.  I also have the BitCasa drive mounted to my desktop, so I can browse backed up files, and items I drop from other machines.

Macbook Air – I have a couple folder set up to mirror – my Pictures folder and my Documents folder – as I don’t keep much on the hard drive (it’s too small), but I do occasionally work on documents or process photos on the MBA when traveling.  I know that I don’t have to remember to upload anything – the files just appear in BitCasa.  And, of course, I have the drive mounted to my desktop to manually drag and drop items.

Work PC – I have a Dell laptop for work (waaah-waaah) that I do a fair amount of Excel work on, that I need access to later.  I have the BitCasa drive mounted, and I just drop the files into my “Excel” folder so they’re available at home or on-the-go.  It’s also nice to be able to grab an image from my iMac if I want to change my desktop wallpaper to a pic of Sprout at soccer practice.

iPhone, iPad – The iOS app is great.  It automatically syncs my camera roll to the BitCasa drive as well, so I don’t have to think about backing up pictures on my phone.  As any photographer will tell you, the best camera is the one you have on you.  Many of my favorite pics are snapped with my iPhone, because it’s always in my pocket.

In addition to backing up pics, the app also gives me access to all of my content from anywhere, which means I can watch movies or show pics when I’m traveling.  I can open docs if needed as well.

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The Price

I signed up with BitCasa at $99 for a year of unlimited storage, which breaks down to about $8.25 a month.  Like I said, I was paying $12 a month for cloud storage previously.  That’s a savings of about $45 a year.

Also, since using BitCasa, I don’t find myself using my external hard drives hardly at all.  BitCasa functions exactly like an external hard drive, without the storage limitations.  Plus, if I put something on the BitCasa drive, I know I can access it anywhere.  Using my local drives seems like going back to rotary phone in many ways; it feels antiquated.  So, there’s a cost savings there as well, since I was having to add or replace a hard drive annually (for between $60-$150 a pop).

Overall, I am crazy happy with BitCasa and wanted to share my experience.  In the digital age, so much of our lives are wrapped in JPGs, MOVs, MP3 and other digital files.  Technology is fallible and your hard drive will crash – it’s just a matter of time. BitCasa first and foremost gives me peace of mind that the important stuff is backed up, safe, secure.  Beyond that, the convenience factor of having constant access to my files has changed my daily routines and become a huge time saver.

Check it out.  Go forth, be merry.

Blue & White

We recently ran across some newly recovered vintage chairs in a flea market and they came home with us (impulse control is a real problem sometimes, but they were adorbs and only $50 a pop).  After getting the chairs home, I, of course, had to redo what was hanging out on our little round dining room table.  For some random reason (subliminal patriotism?) I decided to try layering in some blues and whites to play off of the red.

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An inexpensive white melamine tray from Target sets the foundation for my little arrangement.  I was hesitant to put white on white, but I was working with what I had and I actually like the mono-tone-y-ness.  The candelabra (I feel so Liberace saying that) is from Ikea and I love it.  I saw it on the way out of the store and was all YOU’RE COMING HOME WITH ME, CANDELABRA up in there.

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The blue hobnail candy dish is from one of our favorite stores - Sasha Malchi Home - in Brookside (you have to check out Sasha’s store if you’re local – great pieces at the best prices).

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The little aqua salt and pepper shakers are vintage, unmarked and are from a local shop, Southern Hospitality, in Broken Arrow.

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The bowl is, of course, Cathrineholm, which is a vintage piece of Enamelware from the 60s.  I’ll write more about Cathrineholm – it’s one of my great loves.

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I’ve been rediscovering my love of watercolor painting lately.  A vintage Ball jar with my bushes makes me happy each time I pass by the table (which is often, as the dining room is the in the middle of the house).

I’ll share more of the dining room once we finish up a couple things (we need curtains that fit the room and a rug, and then we’re pretty much golden).  But, in the meantime, this little pop of blue and white against the red chairs has me cheesy-smiling on the daily.

Russel Wright Residential Available Now!

Life is good for fans and collectors of Russel Wright!  First his Modern America line of ceramic dinnerware was revived by Bauer pottery.  Now his melamine Residential collection has been revived as well, and is up for sale!  The series comes in 4 distinct, 50s colors.

The first is my personal favorite of the colors….turquoise!

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..and yellow

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…and bone

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..and black.

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Be still my beating heart!  That’s a lot of mid century beautifulness!  The melmac is durable and shatterproof, which makes this the ideal choice for the restored camper I’m sure that you’re itching to buy!  Here’s a few more pieces.

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The Russel Wright Residential collection is available now from Pelago and prices range from $8-$26 US.

Willing Fall

As a ginger, I am not a fan of the hot Oklahoma summers.  This year has actually been really mild by comparison, but today was a roaster, at 100+ degrees with awful humidity.  I was cleaning up my iMac when I came across these pictures of some pretty autumnally inspired flowers from last fall.

Please come home soon, fall.

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…and go away ugly, yucky summer.

Hiya. I’m Ryan.

…and Deer, Midcentury is my personal blog that’s all about the things I love: mid century and Danish modern everything, my family, my friends, music, animated gifs and photography.  Once upon a time, I ran a moderately popular blog (meaning that more than 5 people read it…per year) but I got sidetracked and stopped writing.  I miss it.  So, here goes..

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If you’re viewing the site (versus reading via the feed), I’m purty proud of myself.  After toying with different styles and layouts, I love the look and feel of Deer, Midcentury as it stands today (I’ll be adding more elements as time allows and fleshing out the design a bit more as well).  The logo at the top has a gradual fade and change-a-roo effect as well; the logo crossfades between several different logo colorways (the images above).

Wooo.  Magic.

I’ve spent all night tinkering with the site and getting it up and running, so I am pooped and am lacking the special sauce to write very much.  Waah-waah.  But I will be back soon with some life-changing stuff.  :)

M o r e   i n f o