Monday, February 2, 2009

A Drive...To Succeed

I have written before about the need to have a solid workflow and backup plan. My flow includes backing up onto three separate hard drives and also to DVDs. One problem with the new digital age is that it is common to take lots of photos. And with higher camera resolutions and RAW format, you can fill up several chips over the course of a day.

All that means that you need to have a good plan of what to save, and when and where to save it. An external hard drive can really speed up your workflow and provide some additional benefits. Each year I purchase a fresh drive to hold that year's images. I have a nightly routine that copies all of my data files from my working hard drive to this external drive. So while I sleep, I have copies of my files preserved. Then I can thin down my working drive, knowing that my other files from older jobs are just a click away.

I wanted to highlight this recent opportunity to every photographer out there., one of the sites I use for tech gear, is offering a 1 Terabyte Fantom drive for $99. That's ten cents per gigabyte. That's 1 MILLION megabytes. That's 250 full 4Gb chips. That's 648,000 3.5" disks.

I can go on about that capacity, but suffice to say that it's a lot, for not so much money. I use Fantom external drives a lot. And shipping is free. By no means am I endorsing You may find the same or better deal elsewhere. But at this price, you cannot claim that backup storage is unaffordable. If you don't have an external hard drive, get one soon!

Another great use for an external drive is to rip your CD collection so you have stuff to put on your MP3 player, and a place to dump all those great photography and personal finance Podcasts.

Incidentally, my backup software of choice is EMC's Retrospect software. It has a "duplicate" mode that copies data from one drive to another, and only updates files on the target drive that are older than the source copy. Basically this builds a copy of everything that ever was on your source drive, so you can then delete the source files and the backups remain. Plus the structures are preserved and you can explore to the drive without running any backup or recovery software. I run Vista on my network, and version 7.6 does the trick.

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