15 December 2006

[tech, design] My Duplo Hard Drive

695 Having been made abundantly clear to me by time and events lately that a second hard drive is an Extremely Good Thing™, we went a-searching.

The usefulness of having a second hard drive of course goes way beyond at last having enough room to store all the music I own and not having to fret about free space (though it also must be mentioned that I think, on my original 80GB startup disk, having a mere 50GB free is just too damn full. And, it took me the better part of three years to fill it that full. Anyway.). Also, as time and events have taught, the processor might make the computer, but the hard-drive is what makes it your computer. It's the heart and soul, or maybe the fuel tank; you can have the hottest hemi on the block, but if you have a tiny gas tank, you ain't going far, friend.

It should go without staying, but I will; it's nice to have two Startup Disks. The facility of this was more than demonstrated by annihilating my OS X system folder and having to erase and reinstall, as per our last odyssey of chasing down the kernel panic on my no-good, very-bad, really-horrible day.

Another thing I didn't count on was in beta-testing some software (no, I'm not going to say what it is; they make you sign agreements for that). In this case, the beta release ought not to be used on your current installation, because it will very probably overwrite some common files on the startup drive, not only rendering your current production software inoperable but maybe even preventing its future re-installation.

And uninstalling some stuff to install some other stuff just to reinstall the prior stuff later on is a stone-freaking-pain.

The indicated solution? A second hard drive, of course. FireWire, I was thinking. Now, I hadn't shopped for equipment in a while, but I went a-looking; I knew the name LaCie from one of my other day jobs. They make a nice silver desktop FW drive that is a workhorse and kicks data in a major way. They were the first place I seriously checked, and the place I bought from. Little did I know how little extra storage costs.

I give you the LaCie Brick, a mobile FW hard drive. Starting at 40GB (we have the 60GB model), they look just like Duplo blocks. The whimsical packaging allows for handy stacking quite obviously, and the model we have, 60 gig, cost only about $100. This has my beta software on it at current and has OS X installed, so it's an external boot disk as well–which will be much, much better than booting from the DVD, which must take at least 5 minutes (which, when you are restoring your system, is as eternity).

The blue Brick is the 40 gig model; the red Brick is the 80 gig; mine is the white.

Throw into the bargain that LaCie's US home is in Hillsboro, out on NW Evergreen Parkway, meant that three-five day FedEx shipping got here the very next day, which is very good news for some of my workflows. After a current project, it's going to be devoted to backups and picture and music storage amongst other things.

And, while we're at it, add my voice to the chorus of those who sing the predictable refrain from memory; back up your data. Partial, full, however you can.

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