My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

new external hard drive

Daily, Retrospect runs automatically to back up my Mac at 2 AM to two 160-Gbyte SmartDisk external hard drives. I inherited one of the drives, so I put it to work and on even days, Retrospect backs up to drive "A" and on odd days, to drive "B."

Problem is that some days, depending on what projects I am working on, Retrospect cannot do a backup because there is not enough space on Drive "A" or "B." When that occurs, I delete some of the project files from my Mac and when 2 AM rolls around, Retrospect can do its thing.

This occurs about once a week and has gotten old fast, so every once in awhile I consider buying a larger external hard drive. That once in awhile occurred again last week and when I checked online, I was amazed how low the prices for hard drives have fallen. So I bought one: a LaCie 1-Tbyte external hard drive that includes a slew of interfaces including Firewire 800, which is the interface I was after. (The SmartDisks only had Firewire 400, while my Mac supports both 400 and 800.)

The LaCie arrived yesterday and I connected it to my Mac last evening. When I made the connection, my Mac asked me if I wanted to use the new drive with Time Machine to do backup. I clicked positively and my Mac informed me that Time Machine would do a backup on the hour.

I finished some work, then went downstairs to clean the litter boxes and walk the Pies. After I finished my sanitation assignments, I returned to my Mac to see how the backup was going. A progress bar indicated that there were over one million files to backup and that Time Machine was about one-third of the way through.

The Harmonic phoned and I talked with her for a half hour or so, then I checked my Mac again. The progress bar was nearly at its end and less than a minute later, the progress bar disappeared and the initial backup was complete.

I was impressed! Firewire 800 is fast. I expected that the initial backup would take the better part of the evening, but I estimate that it took no more than 90 minutes.

By the way, the new hard drive (specifically a LaCie 301827U d2 Quadra) is soundly constructed and not much bigger than the SmartDisks. It includes a bundle of software that I have not explored yet.


  1. Now that you have the 2 extra drives, you can use them for offsite storage. Once upon a time, I would back up my home PC to tape and take the tapes to the office. The desk drawer was an great offsite vault.