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Beth Cox Report: September 2015

Dear Loyal Readers, Authors, and Publishers,

Our computer's hard drive completely died early in September, a sudden and frustrating shock that erased a whole day's worth of work. Fortunately, we lost only one day because we regularly make backups!

There are myriad services and softwares for backing up one's computer files, either online ("in the Cloud") or offline. The one I would recommend most readily is Norton's backup service, which they offer in addition to being one of the most popular virus protection providers around. (We at the MBR use Norton on our computers, and Norton has saved me personally from downloading a harmful virus on at least one occasion).

A professional computer backup service can be supplemented by something as simple as putting a spare USB drive into the computer and making an extra copy of crucial documents. Even an email service that keeps track of incoming and outgoing mail can work as an extra layer of protection, since a copy of incoming or outgoing sent emails is typically preserved in the "Old Mail" or "Sent Mail" folders of one's service for a significant amount of time. (There is usually a storage space limit, though).

The MBR website also doubles as an extra backup, since the failings of our personal computer do not affect Doteasy's webhosting service. After our computer and key programs were restored, I took extra care to re-download copies of our most important website files. Should Doteasy capsize - an event that I don't ever expect to happen - we have the necessary files on our computer and can re-upload our website to another webhosting provider.

So when we say that we display published book reviews on our website for a minimum of five years, we mean it. Currently, we have the past ten years of our online book review magazines on our site, dating back to January 2005, and I don't intend to cull any back issues unless we run up against a storage limit.

September's Link of the Month is Apache OpenOffice

This is a genuinely free, completely legal, widely used, regularly updated, and user-friendly software, ideal for word processing documents and working with spreadsheets. I personally rely on it to fill out emailed spreadsheets or checklists, while a friend of mine uses it to write ebooks. I've added this link to the "Technical Resources" subsection of our "Publisher Resources" links page:

Now for September's Book of the Month, "Every Tenant's Legal Guide, eighth edition". During and after America's 2009 financial crisis, it has become distressingly common for renters who have done no wrong to be forced out of their homes, or caught in a confusing situation where they don't know to whom to pay their rent, because ownership of where they live is in dispute! This makes Every Tenant's Legal Guide an absolute "must-have":

Every Tenant's Legal Guide, eighth edition
Attorney Janet Portman and Marcia Stewart
Nolo Press
950 Parker Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
9781413321364 $34.99

Now in an updated eighth edition, Every Tenant's Legal Guide is an absolute "must-have" for every renter, especially students and others who are new to the art of finding a good place to live. Written in plain terms for readers of all backgrounds, Every Tenant's Legal Guide covers tenant's rights with regard to pets, how to fight back against improper rent increases and late fees, how to persuade a landlord to make repairs quickly, under what circumstances one can withhold rent without legal trouble, how to protect one's privacy, how to combat illegal discrimination, dealing with problem roommates, getting a security deposit returned on time, and much more. "If you receive notice that the property in which you live has been foreclosed (that is, a 'trustee's sale' has been held), you should stop paying rent to the new-former owner and pay it to the new owner. If you don't know who that is, set aside your rent payment each month (to be extra careful, set up an escrow account and deposit it there), so that you can pay it to the new owner once you find out who that is. If you receive a three-day notice to pay rent or quit from the new owner, you might want to confirm with your county's Recorder's Office - usually located at the county seat - that the person or entity giving you the notice is truly the new owner." Every Tenant's Legal Guide comes with access to a unique web page on where owners can download the forms in the book, stay current with the latest legal updates, and gain access to more resources. Highly recommended!

That's all for the September 2015 Beth Cox Report. Know your rights!

Bethany Cox
Managing Editor
The Midwest Book Review

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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