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Happy Halloween - Last Day Social Networking Sale
Happy Halloween - a fun day for all those that get to play!  So we themed up this newsletter for this day to help you get in the spirit and have some fun.

If you're not following us on Facebook (click LIKE) or on Twitter (@LogbookPro) then you're missing out.  We've had a sale running for the past two weeks on our cloud based services.  Now that we've let the cat out of the bag for all of you, take a look at our Facebook page to find the sale information which expires tonight (Oct 31st - midnight Eastern).  We offer small sales from time to time for our social networking followers so be sure to click LIKE on Facebook or if you use twitter follow us @LogbookPro and you'll get notified of the micro-sales when they occur.
 
The Cloud - We're on Board
The Cloud
As you may have noticed from this newsletter and our cloud offerings to date, we are fully on board with the cloud and have been developing cloud integrations for over five years now.  With broadband just about everywhere these days and the cost of storage continuing to decline, and get better and more reliable, more people are able to take advantage of "connected" cloud (Internet) services and applications.  As you probably know, the "Cloud" is just a hip term for the "Internet."  So it's nothing new, however, using the Internet more effectively especially with high speed access and integrating it within applications is just now taking form.

We've invested heavily in our cloud architecture from an array of high-end Dell PowerEdge servers, Dell PowerVault storage systems, and a iSCSI storage area network (SAN), backup systems, Cisco switches, Hardware Firewalls, all in a Tier 3+ data center in the Dulles, VA area.  Provisioning a cloud infrastructure takes time and careful planning.  We believe if you're going to do something then do it right, and do it right the first time!  Some companies will try something to be hip yet fail wholesale going about it the cheap way only to lose your data in the end much less frustrate you and take your money.  Proper planning is critical and funding the project properly to do the job right, and that's what we think we've done and we hope you're enjoying all of the cloud services to date.  We built Cloud Backup into Logbook Pro 1.11.9, our amazingly popular iPhone and Android apps use the effortless Cloud Sync and all integrate with our Cloud App - airline schedule importer.

Note: Apple recently released "iCloud" as part of iOS 5 and the latest iTunes.  Essentially a rebranded attempt at the failed MobileMe offering.  Our initial review of the iCloud system has not been favorable so we're continuing to watch the iCloud service for a more stable and feature rich system.  We'll investigate implementing iCloud in our iOS apps when we feel it has matured and we can trust the offering from Apple.
 
Cloud Backup - How To
There is only one thing more critical than entering your flight log data -- backing it up!  No matter how many times we put articles in our newsletters or advisories to have a backup plan we continue to get inquiries about stolen computers, cats walking on keyboards, crashed computers, or simply deleting the file by accident.  There is no story we haven't heard!  So before you read the rest of this article open Logbook Pro and click File..Backup (to File or Cloud) and then resume reading.

Logbook Pro has always had a backup system in place from the File..Archive menu area and in more recent versions we moved the backup option to the File menu directly.  Clicking the File..Backup to File menu option creates a single compressed archive of your data to a file ending in .BAK.  It's critical not just to create a file once but continue to create backups depending on how frequently you use Logbook Pro.  Don't overwrite prior backups EVER.  Instead keep a history of backups as they are date tagged for you by default such as MyLogbook_2011-10-32.BAK.  You never know when your last backup has a problem you're trying to get rid of so you need to step back to the prior backup created. 

Keeping an off-site backup is crucial as well.  Your computer could get stolen, house burn down, kid use it for baseball practice, you name it, it CAN happen but let's hope it doesn't!  There are many ways of keeping an off site backup but since we have an awesome cloud system we built we created a cloud backup service to make it easy for you to keep backups off site at the click of your mouse.

Just by subscribing to cloud backup does NOT mean your data is on our servers.  Let me say that again.  Just because you have a cloud backup subscription does NOT mean your data is backed up on our servers.  You MUST send a backup to the cloud and place your backup on our servers and then we'll have it safely stored for you and backed up in our backup systems as well.  There are two ways to get your backup to our servers:

1) Login to http://logbookpro.com/backup after creating your .BAK file by clicking File..Backup to File.  Click the Browse button (see image below) and select the .BAK file you created.  The default location .BAK files are created in is your My Documents/My Logbook Pro Files/v1/Backup folder.
Cloud Backup Online

2) Use the direct cloud backup integration within Logbook Pro PC edition 1.11.9.  Click File..Backup to Cloud and you'll first create a .BAK file to your local hard drive and then the system will guide you through the process of submitting it to the cloud for you.  The instructions are clearly outlined in the documentation, click here to read.

Cloud Backup is simple and effortless but a MUST for properly protecting your data.  For more information on our inexpensive cloud backup subscriptions click here.  We recommend at least the 5-File option so you can store 5 backups in the cloud and keep a history of your logbook data.
Cloud Backup
 
Cloud Sync - Seamless, Effortless, Reliable
block times

Cloud Sync is our innovative system for synchronizing data between our apps (iPhone, iPad, Android) and Logbook Pro PC edition.  As you may not realize, Apple does not allow developers to sync apps via cable/iTunes so we have to come up with an alternative method to synchronize our data.  Some have dealt with messy pairing of device to computer over WiFi network, or who knows what, we were not going to make you suffer like this!  When developing our first iPhone app release we pioneered a cloud sync system to take the pain and suffering out of synchronizing your apps so you can spend more time flying than fiddling with your computer!  Other sync methods have also proven less than reliable, our cloud sync system is 100% reliable!  As we say "it just works" and that's exactly how it is.

We enjoyed our newest Android app customers posting their reviews citing their amazement with our cloud sync system and we thank you for the great feedback and we are thrilled with your remarks.  We're also glad we can bring your these apps free and keep costs to a minimum.  Buy one cloud sync universal subscription and enjoy all your free apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android phone, Android tablet all for one low subscription to sync.

Some ask about getting all of their data between PC and apps.  Yes, that is the plan, but for now we wanted to walk before we run and make sure we have all the right pieces in place as this infrastructure is quite complex, and expensive nonetheless.  It's not always a great idea to have your complete logbook on a device and we're not going to put your or your data in a position where there could be a problem.  We wrote a parody on this announcing "Logbook Pro Watch Edition" a few newsletters ago.  Click here if you haven't read it.  We have it right and we have achieved our goals and we're ready to take this to the next level.  In fact we've been developing our cloud infrastructure the past five years so you're just now seeing the beginnings of what we've been working on.

With our next round of applications we are planning on data anywhere - full synchronization!  So those that ask about full sync, yes, it is coming, rest assured.  That is the plan.

We're thrilled you like what we've been delivering backed by our reputation of reliability and accuracy.  We take great pride in the quality and innovation of our products.  We are flattered when we see our competitors copy our ideas and follow in our footsteps.
 
Cloud Apps - Airline Schedule Importer
Cloud Apps such as our Airline Schedule Importer are a great use of the cloud to bring you the latest and greatest software without requiring any install or having to keep up with updates.  The schedule importer is a perfect fit for a cloud application because of the potential changes to a schedule source which require a filter update within the software.  Long ago we offered a windows application and updated it every 45 days.  It was a disservice to you, our customer, because if you reported a problem with importing schedules you'd have to wait for the next software update before you could use the product again.  By having the schedule importer as a cloud application you can report a problem, we can say "please hold" and fix the problem and within minutes you can be importing your schedule again.  A product like the schedule importer is best suited for a cloud application completely abstracted out of the software which consumes the data.  This is the exact approach we've taken which in the end delivers you, our customer, timely use of the resources so critical to your day to day operations.

For more information about our cloud application "Airline Schedule Importer" which works with all of our apps: Logbook Pro PC edition, Logbook Pro for iPhone and iPad, Logbook Pro for Android, and APDL for Palm and Pocket PC click here.  To try the schedule importer risk free, no purchase required, click here. (login required, create an account if needed, no purchase required)
 
Cloud Sync Public API - Coming Soon
Attention ALL software developers.  If you develop any logbook applications such as Web, Windows, iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, WebOS, you name it; soon we will be announcing a system to allow you to connect to Logbook Pro PC edition via our innovative cloud sync system.  We are wrapping up the final bits of our Cloud Sync Public API which will allow you to sync with Logbook Pro as well. 

Pilots - if you're using another logbook app and you want it to connect to Logbook Pro PC edition, forward this newsletter to the developer of your app.  We will have more information coming soon.
 
iOS 5 - Things you need to know - backup backup backup
Apple released iOS 5 in mid-October and then the iPhone 4S which I personally bought after using Android the past year.  As with any new "major release" there are going to be quirks so be sure to research prior to upgrading your existing devices to iOS 5.  The first thing you should do is a manual backup in iTunes.  The iOS 5 update process has been far from flawless and takes a long time.  It's better now that the Apple servers aren't as overwhelmed as it was with the initial release but there are still issues.  Issues that could result in total data loss on your device, i.e. apps lose their data!

We published a newsletter article a few months back suggesting to be very careful about using a device for your only logbook solution titled "Logbook Pro Watch Edition" poking fun at the idea of pilots choosing a watch as their sole logbook - an obvious bad idea.  As you know we do not offer a stand-alone logbook for iPhone and Android as we believe your desktop computer should be the main data source of your flying career, something easily backed up, etc.  Your device could get dropped in the toilet, lost, stolen, damaged beyond repair (just add water), or an iTunes update could wipe it out.  Yes, we said this in that very newsletter article and another vendor that offers a stand-alone pilot logbook for iPhone and iPad has users completely losing their data, check the app reviews to find one report as well!  Very sad, very traumatic but it can happen. 

Flying Magazine issued a warning (click here) and I highly recommend subscribing to Sporty's iPad News (click here).  The data loss issue was mentioned in their recent advisory and points you to a blog article by ForeFlight on the same topic (click here).

Don't jump to the computer when a new OS update comes out such as iOS 5.  Be sure to do your research to avoid a catastophic data loss and always backup manually to be sure you're protected.  It's also wise to use your best judgment in what will be used to keep your entire aviation career stored such as your pilot logbook.  I'm sure you as well as I do not want to be trying to recreate our logbooks in a situation such as described above.
 
Are you up-to-date?
Product Version
Logbook Pro PC Edition 1.11.9
Logbook Pro Universal App for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad 2.4.2
Logbook Pro for Android 1.0.6
Logbook Pro Palm Companion 1.10.5
Logbook Pro Pocket PC Companion 1.10.16
Airline Pilot's Daily Aviation Logbook - Palm OS 6.0.4
Airline Pilot's Daily Aviation Logbook - Pocket PC 6.1.4
FlightCentral Route Browser 2.2
Airline Schedule Importer 8.4.5
Android Market  App Store  Sporty's Pilot Shop
Click here to download updates as required.
 

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