Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Black Box Found!

I have been contemplating for so long now...

Should I invest on a NAS drive or should I just get an external harddisk?

Network Attached Storage can do wonders... home network data storage and sharing, data backup... something you would not really bother until your PC's internal harddsik makes a clacking and you realize it finally is too late to save your precious data from being lost entombed forever in the metal casing.

I have always fancied Apple's Time Capsule. A 1TB network drive, coupled with dual-band wireless N connection and a Print Server to boot... but that will burn an asteroid-size hole in my pocket.

Or, maybe just a simple external harddisk that connects directly to my PC for local use...

NAS sounds wonderful but still will leave a big hole in my pocket because if I were to get one, it should at least have 2 harddisk docks for mirroring or redundancy... so much to think about before I can comfortably sink my money in to one of these options.

Well, last weekend had made my decision simpler!

The Courts Megastore advert in the newspapers of an external harddisk with a gigantic 1 terabyte capacity was on sale for S$109.00 from the usual S$169.00. I think it retailed initially for a S$199.00 when it first came out.

The Acer Aspire EasyStore 1TB, a 3.5 Inch external harddisk with its sleek, black, clean-cut casing had won me over when I first laid eyes on it early Saturday morning.

Since the store carried limited stock, with Wifey's blessings, I bathed quick-time, got dressed and left home a good hour before the store opened at 10:00AM. Normally, I would have my tech-savvy Sonny whenever we shop for techno-gadgets, but he was still in blissful slumber after a late night finishing his homework and revising his studies for his upcoming tests.

Already there, was a queue of about 40 odd people at the entrance when I reached the store 20 minutes later. I had to join the queue that led all the way to the store's main entrance.

"Those buying electrical products, please come to me to get your coupons," the Courts sales person called out, waving the stack of coupons up in the air, "and those buying S$499 notebooks, get your coupons from my colleague here." Pointing to the lady beside him who was waving a stack of coupons in her hand up in the air too.

"We can only give one coupon per adult." The salesman continued, "Children under 12 years old are not allowed to get a coupon... we are sorry, we have to be fair to everyone here."

Yikes! "Can I get my harddisk this time?!" I asked myself... not after I queued for a good 40 minutes! 40 minutes! What is wrong with me?!

I missed the opportunity to get one the last time they had a sale just like this. That time, I came with Sonny when the store was already opened for 20 minutes . It was all sold out... that was several months back.

"Those of you buying other IT products, please proceed directly to 3rd floor," the sales person hollered to my delight, "no coupons needed, just ask the sales persons there."

Yes! The queue going into the store was still intact, no rushing or pushing occurred when the main door finally slided open at 10:00AM.

This time, I brought the newspaper advert with me and showed the first sales person I saw on the 3rd floor. He showed me to the shelve where the 1TB harddisks were on sale. There were about 10 boxes and I was the first person to buy it.

I bought 2! One for Sonny and another for me.

We both need lots of storage for our ever expanding valuable data... mine are mostly photos, more so now with every photo taken with my 10 megapixel Canon E450 dSLR while Sonny's are songs, photos and his fractal art creations.

My iPhone rang while I was in the store. It was Sonny. He was excited to learn that I was out buying the long awaited data backups. Wifey told him when he woke up late that morning and realized I was not in the house.

"Please get one for me," Sonny sounding excited, "I need to move my data off my internal harddisks because my PC is getting sluggish."

I was afraid that I could only get to buy only one - one per customer. I would have to think hard on how to share the harddisk space across our home network but fortunately not the case this time.

True enough, Sonny greeted to open the front door when I reached home. Without wasting time, his new harddisk was already hooked-up and data flying off into it as soon as I went to his room after changing my clothes!

Sonny converted the FAT32 format to the faster NTFS hours later. He made his 2 old IDE harddisks from the old PCs to become back-up harddisk while freeing some data off his 500GB Serial ATA C:\ drive.

"My game PC can fly now!" Exclaimed Sonny after he did a Windows 7 performance test. He was in cloud 9!

I connected mine to my iMac without a hitch... only drawback, I discovered that it did not support Mac OS. So the harddisk was just... well a large storage without intelligent backup software. Acer's SoftwareSuite auto-backup feature was not able to work. Oh well!

Sonny helped to convert my Acer harddisk to NTFS format upon my request. despite his warning that it may not work with my iMac. He was right. My iMac detected it as not supported and auto-triggered to format it.

Fortunately, Sonny's quick thinking saved a lot of frustration for me. He downloaded MacFUSE and Tuxera NTFS programs to make my new external harddisk to work seamlessly again, and faster too... not that it matters. It is just human nature to want to since it is available and doable.

Two happy geeks with our own little black boxes, for our own peace of mind...

1 comment:

  1. Gosh...there is so much to know about all this new technology...I just can't keep up...ha.
    It sounds like Sonny is as keen and has the knowledge too, just like you.
    There is a saying here in the U.K. that would say that better.
    ''Sonny is a chip off the old block''. Ha.


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