Amazon CloudDrive Pricing

German Summer Scene

Being Ripped Off

Amazon recently informed that they will withdraw from their “unlimited cloud storage for 60€/year” offer. This offer is now discontinued; instead they will soon charge 20$/year for 100 GB and 100$/year for 1 TB of cloud storage – only photos can still be stored unlimited for Amazon Prime customers.  Oh well … so it’s about time to re-think my backup strategy.

I used to use ArqBackup and pushed my complete user folder to Amazon CloudDrive – admittedly not the smartest possible solution, but hey – *they* said “unlimited” … now I had to think about it once more. Backing up my whole user directory is convenient without doubt; but then on the other hand the difference between 20€ and 100€ gives reason for thought.

After looking a little bit closer I found that besides my photos there are mainly two types of files I want to back up on their cloud: My digitalised Super 8 movies featuring the younger me and my documents, most of them packed into DevonThink libraries.

Planning For Backup

After analysing my demand I reorganised my filesystem structure accordingly. The DevonThink libraries get their own directory since the app does not work well with cloud sync; all other documents go to the “documents” folder which is synced to iCloud. Movies get their own directory in “Amazon Drive” from where they are synced to Amazon CloudDrive. For Documents, DevonThink and Lightroom catalogs (excluding all objects with name matching the “.lrdata” pattern) I set up Arq to backup them to Amazon cloud. Now my demand for backup is 70 GB for Movies and 15 GB for documents, which still gives me some space to breathe.

The Hard Part

What Amazon does not tell you is the fact that their “Trash” counts against your available space. The retention period is 30 days, only after this period deleted (read: moved) objects will be really removed. Since I wanted to verify the effectiveness of my setup I had to manually delete everything in the Trash bin (~50.000 objects or ~600 GB) which is a really cumbersome procedure. Amazon lets you select 3.000 objects max which often does not work properly due to the buggy web interface. The deleting alone took a few hours yesterday … a simple “Empty Trash” button would do the trick much smarter, Amazon!

Jumping off the cliff

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Burning the Bridges

just a few minutes before writing this post I cut all the ropes to my previous internet service provider. I have always been a satisfied customer of HostEurope. Their service offering is definitely cutting edge with a fair price tag and they never left me standing in the rain. But I decided to reduce complexity and focus on the essentials. I found that running my own virtual machine on the internet becomes more of a burden over time. I did not really benefit from the advantages for quite a while. So I moved three domains to my new provider InternetWerk and terminated my previous primary domain “kister.org” – thus also indicating the beginning of something new.

Moving On

I set up the new KisterBlog and as you witness I am starting to populate it; this will become the source of Kisterness over time, everything too long for Twitter and too long lasting for FaceBook will go here in future.

Partnering Up

My new internet service provider InternetWerk is a small company, but the service quality is – at least as far as I am able to judge this early – far above expectations. They respond to support requests ultra quickly. My first request was answered within fourteen minutes on the Saturday night before Christmas! The pricing model is more than fair. They handle things really professionally and the tool kit for maintaining the web page is up to the mark. Couldn’t be happier at this point with my choice, so a big recommendation for this company! … even if people criticise them for using the WordPress-Name and -Logo on their homepage in contradiction to the WordPress Foundation Trademark Policy.

Happy New Year 2018

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Happy new 2018 to you

I wish all of you a happy new year 2018! May your wishes come true and may your year be blessed with health, happiness and success!

The House in Crete, Chapter 1

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How it all began

Ever since I’ve been to Greece the first time in 1987 I wanted to live there. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but this dream was in the back of my head for the last thirty years. In 1987 I visited Thassos and Samothraki with my girlfriend Wiebke and was overwhelmed with the friendliness of the people, the beauty of the nature, the taste of the food and wine and, of course, the warmth of air and sea. I could proceed listing up positive memories here forever, but either you have been there yourself and know what I am talking about or not and then you definitely should close the gap.

After that I spent many holidays in Greece – in Peloponnese, in Samos, in Crete, in Corfu … but Crete was the essence of what I love in Greece and I definitely lost my heart to Plakias in the south cost of Crete.

I don’t remember exactly when it was, but at some point in time I started to research real estate offers in Crete, but without any concrete and real dedication …

How it continued

Early last year my older daughter Lea thought aloud about holidays in Plakias and reminded my of my dream, which at that time was pushed aside by other priorities. When I heard Lea talking Plakias I remembered my old, half forgotten dream and researched once again …

… and BÄM, there it was: My dream house in Myrthios, with a view of the Libyan Sea from the bedroom, and a f f o r d a b l e! The more I thought about it the more I liked the thought of buying it. Unfortunately it was not available any more once I decided to contact the seller one day later, but now my decision was made. The seller was very friendly and provided me contacts of real estate agents in Crete, so I contacted them, made appointments, booked flights for Karin and myself and went there.

Our Trip was a miracle of efficiency and determination. The first appointment with the wonderful Nikos Sartzetakis of Crete Properties4u was a full success. He showed us a small, but absolutely lovely house in the heart of Plakias – close to the Kosmos, but located in a dead end street with no traffic and no walkthrough crowds. Only the price tag was a little steep …

How I did it

I am a pretty security oriented person and always preferred saving the money first and spend only what I have instead of spending borrowed money. But then I pay premium premium for a life insurance which more or less is a bet that I get old enough to use it. Of course I negotiated like a pro and finally managed to push the price down by 13% of the initial offering, making it much more affordable …

I decided to trade in security for fun and after one night of heavy thinking (and calculating) I decided to buy the house and fill the financial gap with the life insurance’s premium which I redirect into mortgage. Hell, you only live once and who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow? Fun now at my age is so much more reasonable than security later!

Shooting Birds at Ammersee

Photography

Today I shot birds at the Ammersee – not literally of course. See the outcome here or directly on flickr:

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