June 04, 2012

Backing Up Your Data

Just like Bookends... I blog at the beginning of the school year and then again at the end. Oh brother! Such is the life of a busy student, I guess. Ha!

Here we are, at the end of the year, and we need to Back Up all the pictures and videos of those precious little faces.

I get a lot of questions about what external hard drive to buy, how much it will cost, etc. It changes, of course, but I did a little digging around and here's what I know as of today:

How Big of a Hard Drive do I Need?

If you make movies a lot you'll need way more.
If you don't save pictures or movies you'll need way less.
Here is an article that describes  the Megabyte-Gigabyte-Terabyte thing. It's helpful.
But here's the short, un-scientific version:

  • 1MB -Is about the size of the information in a medium sized novel.
  • 1GB -Is a little over a thousand Megabytes (a thousand novels?)
  • 1TB -This is about the same amount of information as all the books in a large library or 1610 CDs worth of data. 
How does this translate to pictures and movies? Depends.
I bought a 320GB a few years ago. I put about 7 years of family photos on it plus a bunch of other stuff and it's only about one-third full today. Does that help?
Really high-res photos and videos take up more space.

What Hard Drive Should I Buy?

You can get a 500GB for around $70 right now. Here are a couple with good reviews, but you might check for sales at Costco or OfficeMax.
Seagate -$70
Western Digital -$65
If you bump up to a Terabyte you're looking at around $100

Here's How to Partition Your Drive

Can I Use the Same External Drive to Backup My PC and my Mac?

You can, but it takes a little fudging with.
Here's a great article about how to make that happen. It even has a video that will walk you through it. (I have to do this to mine.  It was set up for my PC out of the box, so my PC files are saved to it. I can get files off of it and use them on my Mac, but I can't save Mac files to the drive...yet. I think I'll partition it, like the article says)

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