December 23rd 2009, Issue #18, Family and Christmas Tradition

From Michael Boyter, Editor and Writer, of

In This Issue:

- Opening Comments

- Share A Christmas Tradition or Memories

- Book Review: Total Recall How the E-Memory Revolution Will Change Everything...even our personal and family histories.

- Coupon: Why I Use Carbonite to back up My Family Photos, documents etc. online.

Opening Comments

As Christmas approaches it is the perfect time to reflect not only on the true meaning of Christmas, but also on the importance of family; family Christmas tradition and Christmas memories of yesteryear.

Christmas traditions of food, activities, Christmas music and more, have all played a vital role in our lives. We fondly reminisce on our own childhood memories of Christmas as we strive to extend many of those same stories and traditions onto our children...letting them also experience the magic of Christmas and the holiday season.

For me it just wasn't Christmas if we didn't get the old Andy Williams Christmas record out, and play it. We literally wore that old vinyl record out!

Today, thanks to services like iTunes, it is pretty easy to track down those wonderful Christmas songs from our childhood.

If you go look, I bet you can find some of your favorite Christmas music from the past.

As I write this, I hear Andy Williams singing upstairs. My 18 year old son downloaded the MP3 files of those old Andy Williams Christmas songs. He used a jumped drive to add them to his Playstation 3. Right now it is playing via the speakers on our TV.

Technology changes quickly, but whether favorite songs from our childhood are playing on an old record player, back in the early 1970s, or on a Playstation 3 console in the year 2009, the sweet memories are the same.

Best of all I think I have successfully passed on the love of Andy Williams Christmas music to my kids. That is most exciting of all. I'm kind of hopeful that this will be a Christmas tradition that he will passively pass on.

Share A Christmas Memory or Tradition

I recently updated the Christmas traditions page, on my Web site. I set things up so that you can share a special Christmas (or Hanukkah) tradition or memory.

This can be Christmas memory from your childhood or it might be a Christmas tradition that you observe with your kids, now.

There are several site visitor contributions there already, that I know that you will enjoy reading.

One such contribution is from Kevin and Mary, from Kansas. They tell of a family memories book that they write in each year, at Christmas time. That book is then stored away in the Christmas decorations, until the next year.

They've done this for many years now, and their family enjoys taking a look back at Christmases past.

Read about that Christmas tradition and/or share your own Christmas memories!
Click Here to Submit a Christmas Memory!

Book Review: Total Recall - - How The E-Memory Revolution Will Change Everything

Quite by accident, I found, purchased and read a very interesting book called "Total Recall".

No, it isn't about any Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. Total Recall, co-written by 75 year old Microsoft Researcher Gordon Bell, is about human memory and how modern technology and life-logging will merge our bio-memory (your brain) and "e-memory" to transform the very way that we look and think about our lives.

The book chronicles the intense experiment of Gordon Bell digitally recording as much of his life as possible. Photos, letters, and memorabilia were scanned. Everything that he did on his computer was captured.

Here is a quote from the book that begins to address Total Recall technologies and the areas that I am most interested in, life story writing, family memories and family history.

"Now imagine a complete digital record of your life. A complete e-memory of your time on earth. By recording your life digitally you have the opportunity to bequeath your own ideas, deeds, and personality to posterity in a way never before possible."

I found it a very, very interesting read!

Go here to read more of my review on Total Recall

How Not To Lose Your Family Photos When Your Computer Crashes

A little over a year ago I made a big mistake. This mistake would have cost me thousands of digital family photos that I had on my computer's hard drive.

I won't go into detail about how it happened, but I accidentally hit a button that started to wipe clear my hard drive. When it was all finished, my computer was just as it was the day that I bought it...with nothing on the hard drive!

The only thing that saved me was that I had purchased an online backup service through So once my hard drive was wiped clean, I was able to log into Carbonite and download every last one of my pictures, back to my computer!

Phew! What a relief!

Another online backup service, that you may have heard of, is

Carbonite is about $54.95 per year. After, thankfully, getting my family photos back, I think that was about the best $50 I ever spent.

Carbonite is running a special through December 31st. Use the discount code CUST50 and you can get Carbonite for $27.47 for an entire year.

It is very easy to use and it is completely automatic.

The Web site will give you more details about how their service works.

I'm using the discount code to give my parents and and my wife's parents a Carbonite subscription this year, for Christmas!

Thank You

That is all for this issue!

I thank you for being a subscriber to this newsletter. Please feel free to forward it to a friend or family member, that you know will enjoy reading it.

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Best Wishes,

Michael R. Boyter
Wasilla, Alaska USA

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