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A Bit About Storage

April 28, 2010

I have only a few words to say about computer storage, the main phrase being “Just Do It”. Really, you have to. And since storage is so cheap these days, you just can’t afford not to.

When I bought my recent upgrade for Poser, I also picked up a couple of additional 1TB external drives too. A couple? Yes, I always at least duplicate offline storage. I learned my lesson the hard way several years back.

For my photo and commercial work, I keep 3 external drives. Two are kept on site here, and one is rotated out to my brother’s house on at least a monthly basis, more frequent if I have a lot of work going on. Why offsite?  Lots of reasons – possible break in and theft, possible fire, and the most plausible of them all, a possible really bad power surge taking out both of my onsite drives at once. Don’t laugh – shit happens. Yes I have power surge protection, but it’s not infallible.

Back around 2001 when I was living down near NYC, it was a quiet Saturday in June. I had run out to get some bagels and the paper, and on the way back noticed that there were power trucks on the main road near the house. Well I don’t know what the heck they were doing, but for the next few hours, the power was up and down, up and down. Then maybe a long brownout, out, then back on with a vengeance. Luckily I was home and I unplugged all of the computer equipment from the wall. But guess what took the hit? I could no longer use my clothes dryer for any length of time. It would run for 10 minutes, then shut off. How bizarre. Could have been coincidental, could have been the power company. As the dryer was about 10 years old, I just wound up getting a new one.

Power usually flows pretty smoothly bet every now and again, the unusual does happen. My one friend had a house fire when the dog somehow knocked a toaster oven off the counter. It just goes to show you that stupid things happen, things you’d never expect.

So during the next week, I’ll be looking at the old archives, possibly doing a bit of reorganization there, and getting the new additional drives up and running. They will be used mainly for the 3D stuff.

1TB drives. Pretty amazing to me. Because my first PC had a hard drive size of a whopping 105MB, and I was the envy of the neighborhood. Boy things have sure progressed. Anyway, these days yo can pick up external 1TB drives for about a hundred bucks depending on where you shop. If data is your livelihood, you can’t take the chance of not safeguarding it properly.

Brand loyalty is not a huge issue when it comes to buying drives. I’ve been using LaCie for many years, and there are a few companies like Western Digital that have been around forever. Visit your tech sites, read some reviews. There are enough good companies around now that prices are competitive and you can get good value for a moderate price.

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