Archive for October, 2009

How to prevent catastrophic data loss on handheld devices

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

This article first appeared in Labour Research magazine.
In the course of the last decade, two colleagues of mine — both senior trade unionists — have suffered catastrophic losses of data. One lost his address book and calendar when his hand-held device died. The other lost all his handheld’s calendar entries when he synced the device to his desktop PC, which had contracted a virus, thereby wiping out what was on the handheld.
There are two important lessons I draw from these experiences.
First of all, backups are essential — but not in the way we used to do them.
And second, use of open source operating systems is no longer a luxury for the geeks.


Posterous: Email lists as starting point for net campaigning

Monday, October 5th, 2009

This article appears in the current issue of Labour Research.
To emphasize the importance of email, I used to tell unions that given the choice between a great website and a list of all members’ email addresses, choose the latter. I still believe that email is the most powerful tool we have and now, thanks to a new service called Posterous, email lists can be the starting point of a multi-platform net-based campaign.