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The Backblaze of Pizza?


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Backblaze and pizza? Two great tastes that taste great together, right? Recently, one of our employees checked out a pizza place near his home called “Blaze Pizza“. The next day he wrote to the company:

“Blaze Pizza” is basically the Backblaze of pizza: They offer one size of pizza, but unlimited toppings for one flat price. Sound familiar?

It’s fast, friendly, and pretty straightforward. Their logo and name are eerily similar to ours…and also a “red” color scheme, though it’s a bit more orange than us. It’s pretty decent pizza too!

After seeing the menu, another employee pointed out, “We have 180TB in a pod, and they make you a pizza in 180 seconds.” Delicious.

Author = Yev

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Marketing Intern: Angelina


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Now that Marketing Intern Lisa is heading back to college, we proudly introduce our new Marketing Intern, Angelina. Her hobbies include musical theater, singing, sculpting, and fencing, but it was her love of digital arts that was most intriguing to us here at Backblaze.

Where are you from?
I currently live in Pittsburg, California.

What attracted you to Backblaze?
I’ve always had an interest in Graphic Design and this experience will help me in my pursuit of a marketing career.

What do you expect to learn while being at Backblaze?
I’m working with the marketing team learning to develop social media ads and create good images for ads through Photoshop.

Where else have you worked?
This is my first professional job, but I am very active in the leadership of various youth groups.

What’s your dream job?
I’m pursuing Graphic Design in Marketing, but my specific dream career is to be a trading pin designer for Disney.

Favorite place you’ve traveled?
I have been on 7 Disney Cruises, but my favorite port of call was Castaway Cay, an island owned by Disney.

Of what achievement are you most proud?
My Presidential Award in Academics.

What Angelina lacks in experience, she more than makes up for in youthful enthusiasm. She’ll certainly keep our creative services department on it’s toes the next several weeks. Welcome to Backblaze.

 

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Engineering Intern: Eli


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Eli is a self-described lover of magic tricks and is now also an engineering intern at Backblaze. We gave him a shirt and told him to learn the product ropes from our CTO Brian so that he can “abracadabra” and make bugs disappear.

What attracted you to Backblaze?
I have been a supporter of Backblaze since its very creation many years ago and I’ve have been a follower over the years. I am very excited at the opportunity to be an intern here.

What do you expect to learn while being at Backblaze?
At Backblaze I hope to learn more about how a successful software company works and operates. I also hope that I will be able to use and improve my computer science skills.

What achievement are you most proud?
Last year, I attended the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair with my project partner and was awarded a Third Place Award in Plant Sciences. I was extremely honored and proud to attend an event with so many amazing projects.

What is your favorite place you’ve traveled?

Before coming to Backblaze, I was able to travel to the beautiful country of Costa Rica and conduct research on the endangered sea turtle populations there. It is the most gorgeous place I have ever been, and I was very lucky to be able to have such a wonderful experience.

Favorite Hobby?
Aside from computer science, I enjoy playing tennis and soccer. I am also a lover of magic tricks, ping-pong, and watching basketball.

Join us in welcoming Eli to Backblaze as one of our summer interns. We look forward to helping him sharpen his computer skills.

 

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Welcome Chris, Sys Admin & Backup Maniac


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Let’s welcome Chris as a Senior Systems Administrator for Backblaze. Born and raised in San Jose, California, Chris joins Backblaze after stints at VMWare, Sunrun and a couple of other local organizations.

Tell us how you backup your photos, music, data, etc. on your home computer?
It depends on what the type of file is and how volatile. Static media (pics, music, videos) are synced back to my primary storage array and colo servers via Bittorrent Sync. Documents are all synced to Google Drive (usually because they are created there too). Scratch documents, shared docs, and misc. are multi-synced to Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box. Super critical documents and such are multi-synced + bittorrent synced.

What attracted you to Backblaze?
Many many moons ago, your first storage pod came across my RSS feeds and I followed it back to your blog, ever since then I’ve been following you guys. When I got the call and started interviewing I was impressed with the friendliness and knowledge of the team members and the overall sanity of the work place, something that can definitely be a rarity in the valley.

How did you get into computers?
My Grandpa and Grandma moved to this country and got in on the very early computers. My Dad was raised with and on them and went into computers. It was kind of a given that I’d be getting into it as well. Case in point, I learned to type and use DOS long before I had writing figured out fully.

Favorite place you’ve traveled?
Disneyland, but then I don’t travel too much either. Washington D.C. and Boston were pretty cool too.

Favorite hobby?
I think I split my time fairly evenly between tinkering/experimenting with new hardware/software, reading (books, comics, manga, etc.), and playing video games (usually PC, sometimes console or board).

Of what achievement are you most proud?
Hmm. I had a kind of…decentralized load-balancing scheme I set up once that was pretty neat. I think otherwise every time I achieve something, I tend to do something I consider to be cooler the following year.

Anything else you’d like our audience to know about you?
Yes; 42, 117, 413, 612, 1025 and 11 11 11.

I think that sums it up quite nicely. Welcome to Backblaze Chris.

 

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The High Cost of IRS Hard Drive Failure


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In 2011, Lois Lerner’s hard drive crashed and took some emails with it. Unfortunately for Lois she happened to be working as the Director of the IRS’ Exempt Organizations Division. Now there’s a congressional inquiry in to the IRS and at the heart of that investigation is that very same broken hard drive. Bloomberg writes:

The device in question belonged to Lois Lerner, the former IRS official accused by Republicans of giving extra scrutiny to small-government groups seeking tax-exempt status. The IRS says a catastrophic failure — the crash of her computer hard drive followed by the recycling of backup tapes — means two years’ worth of her e-mails were wiped out.

At this point both the House Ways and Means Committee and the Congressional Oversight Committee have discussed and heard about this hard drive failure. We did a bit of fun math, assuming that every single member of each of the committees was present, and that the hearings last for one day:

Total Committee Members (Oversight + Ways & Means) 79
Yearly Congressional Salary $174,000
Total Committee Member Yearly Salary $13,746,000
Total Committee Daily Salary $37,660.27
Total Years of Backblaze service (daily salary ÷ $50) 753
Years of Backblaze Per Committee Member 9.5

We’re not afraid of poking the government a bit (see our NSA blog post), but for the amount of money spent talking about a broken hard drive, all 79 members of the the House Ways and Means Committee and the Congressional Oversight Committee could have had Backblaze for 9.5 years. And we’ve restored over 6,000,000,000 files, so we’re pretty confident we could get their data back too.

*Update*
We’ve just been sent an article from the Wall Street Journal which states:

In a statement, the IRS said that it has made “unprecedented efforts” to comply with congressional demands for documents and information concerning the targeting. The effort has involved more than 250 IRS employees working more than 120,000 hours at a cost of almost $10 million.

That’s some expensive email recovery…

Author = Yev


Sources
Salaries of Members of the United States Congress.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 06 Dec. 2014. Web. 25 June 2014.

Committee on Ways and Means” Committee Members. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 June 2014.

113th Congress Oversight Committee.” Committee on Oversight Government Reform. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 June 2014.

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Candace Sails Her Way to Backblaze


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Let’s welcome Candace as she joins Backblaze as a Senior Software Engineer, initially assigned to our Mobile products group. Previously she had worked with our CTO, Brian and yet she still decided to join us ;-)

What’s your favorite hobby?
I love both cooking and sailing. Over the last year I’ve been working my way through the American Sailing Association certifications, I’d love to be able to charter a boat.

If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do?
I’m pretty happy with my life now. I think my post-lottery life would be just the same except with a catamaran.

Where are you originally from?
A tiny town in Wisconsin. I moved to the Bay Area when I was young, then moved back to Wisconsin a few years back.

Why did you move back here?
I’ve missed the people here, the tech industry, the weather, the fresh food, the oceans, and the mountains. I even missed the fog. I’m really looking forward to working with Brian W., Brian B., and Monika again.

How did you get into computers?
I got a Commodore 64 when I was young. I remember writing simple games in BASIC and playing around with the turtle graphics. It seemed like magic.

Where did you go to school?
I have a BS in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT.

Where else have you worked?
At first I worked on video editing and search software (SGI and Virage), more recently I worked on bioinformatics software (DNASTAR and Roche NimbleGen).

We look forward to having Captain Candace aboard the good ship Backblaze. May the skies be clear, the seas be calm, and the winds be strong.

 

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Next Batter: James, Partner Program Manager


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James started at Backblaze several months ago as a contractor and recently accepted our invitation to join Backblaze as an employee. We hired him not only for his partner management skills, but because he said he would manage the Backblaze softball team. Now all we need is a Backblaze softball team.

Are you from the Bay Area?
I’ve lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 5th grade and graduated from San Jose State. [Ed: Go Spartans]

Where have you worked before Backblaze?
I started my career when I was living in Palo Alto with a good friend of mine who had just joined a recently funded startup a few blocks away from our place. They needed someone to buy Aeron chairs and stock the fridge with organic fruit. I excelled. I’ve also taught English in Korea and done Sales and Partner Management for a couple of startups in Silicon Valley.

How do you backup your photos, music, data, etc. on your home computer?
I use Backblaze to back up my two laptops and an external drive. I was one of the original customers way back when. It works great! I’m hoping they come out with NAS support some time soon.

Favorite place you’ve traveled?
Rose Island: a tiny piece of snorkeling paradise in the Bahamas.

Favorite hobby?
Duh, Softball. I also like running, it’s where I get some of my best ideas.

If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do?
Totally freak out. Then travel around the world with my family.

As a Partner Program Manager, James spends his time pitching to partners about the Backblaze partner program and handling the curves that come with along the job. He only wears his cleats to the office on Tuesdays — that’s game night.

 

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Introducing: Flash Drive Restore Boxes


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We’re excited to announce that our 128GB USB flash drives will now be shipped in tiny little restore boxes that will come to your door with all your lost data eagerly awaiting to return home. To some of us in the office, these little restore boxes look like tiny flash drive coffins, with the USB drive resting peacefully inside them, just waiting to be plugged in so your data can come back to life. Coffins or boxes? Who cares, you’re getting your data back! Yay!

Even cooler, we’ve updated the USB flash drives to USB 3.0. Now you’ll be able to restore up to 110GB of your data, and get it back on to your computer almost 10x faster than with USB 2.0, and it’s still $99 – next day shipping included. Restoring to a flash drive is quick and painless, just log in to www.backblaze.com, select the files/folders you wish to restore, and we’ll express ship the drive to you. As always, you get to keep the drive.

Some key improvements that come with our upgrade to USB 3.0:

  • Faster transfer speeds (Approximately 4Gbs)
  • More power availability and power conservation when idle
  • USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 ports

Of course, restoring data to a USB flash drive is not the only way to get your data back. You can still download files for free using a web browser and the Backblaze downloader. You select which files/folders you’d like to restore and download the .zipped files. We also have our USB external hard drives, with up to 3TB, for $189, shipping included.

Please enjoy this .gif of a flash drive rising from its little box, spooky…

Author = Yev Pusin

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