MacBook trouble, OneDrive, and other stuff

My replacement hard drive cable for the MacBook showed up yesterday, which is great, but I had no luck whatsoever extracting the two tiny screws that hold the old cable in place, which is not so great. There are a number of MacGyver moves I could try to get them out, but I’m not feeling really confident about any of them. So I think maybe I’ll be taking the thing into Tekserve next weekend and let them figure it out.

Meanwhile, I wanted to do something useful yesterday, so I decided to move a bunch of my personal files on my desktop PC into OneDrive. Microsoft announced last week that they were dropping unlimited storage in OneDrive, which annoyed a lot of people. But seeing this in the news reminded me that I have a lot of OneDrive space that I’m not using. I have an Office 365 Home subscription that formerly had unlimited storage, but now has 1TB of storage, which is still quite a lot. So I moved most of the files out of my local documents folder into OneDrive. Now I’m using about 3GB in OneDrive, and I have all of those files backed up to the cloud, and available on both my desktop PC and laptop. I also moved some files out of Dropbox and Google Drive into OneDrive. I have a free Dropbox account, so that’s only good for 2GB, and Google Drive is good for 15GB, but that’s shared with Gmail. So, for anything I can keep  in OneDrive, I think I’m going to try to standardize on that as my default cloud storage.

I’ve found that, while Microsoft hasn’t been great with multi-platform support in the past, they’re currently doing really good with that. Their Mac client and iOS client are both quite good. And they have an IFTTT channel, which might come in handy at some point.

I’ve been thinking about how far I can go with moving stuff into OneDrive. A terabyte seems like a lot of storage, but I could use that all up if I tried. If I were to move all my photos into OneDrive, that would be about 15 GB. A lot, but manageable. And if I were to try to move my iTunes library (music, videos, and audio books) in, that would be another 500 GB or so, which would be a bit too much, I think. But if I limited it to just music, it would be about 50 GB, which might be ok, though it would be a bit of a mess. And I have quite a lot of random DRM-free audio books, comic books, ebooks, and videos purchased through various Humble Bundle sales and other places. The total size on all of those is quite large, but, for most of them, I can re-download them if they get lost. Humble and Big Finish, at least, allow you to re-download past purchases easily.

I’ve also been thinking about other ways that I could get more use out of the services included in the Office 365 subscription. One odd thing that’s included is 60 minutes of outgoing calls via Skype each month. This doesn’t really help me much; I have plenty of minutes on my cell phone plan, so there’s no reason to use Skype for outgoing calls on my cell phone. If I could replace my home phone with Skype, though, that might be useful. But I looked into that, and it seems like that wouldn’t be worth the trouble. First, I’d have to sign up for a Skype phone number, so I could receive incoming calls. That would cost $5/month. And I can’t port my existing home phone number into Skype, so I’d have to deal with having a new phone number. Then, I’d have to figure out how to hook up a phone to use with Skype. Stand-alone Skype phones (and adapters to hook regular phones up to Skype) were a thing for a while, but it seems their time has passed. Looking for any of them on Amazon generally shows them all as being discontinued and only available from third-party sellers. So, in a nutshell, those Skype minutes are pretty useless.

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