If there is one thing that I got from my trip to the Canon Expo in New York, it is that speed is a great thing to have: use a fast CF card, use a firewire card reader, use a firewire external hard disk, etc. So, I finally decided to get the LaCie Rugged Hard Disk with firewire 800, firewire 400 and USB 2.0. Before, I was on the fence on whether I should get this disk or not. The thing that prevented me from getting this was due to the fact that the price for a 500GB model is much higher than a 1TB desktop model, albeit the Rugged one is portable while the 1TB model is only USB. I actually have the LaCie Hard Disk 1TB Neil Poulton USB model where I store my photos while this is backed up by a 1TB Western Digital Hard Disk. I also use the Western Digital for my Time Machine back ups.
I was already thinking about getting an external drive because my aging Macbook Pro was running out of disk space. I tweaked the contents of my internal disk drive by deleting stuff that I felt I will never miss and moving some of my stuff from the internal disk to the external ones. But, after I attended the Expo, I finally took the plunge and got the Rugged Hard Disk. The Expo even pushed me into buying the firewire 800 model.
After getting the hard disk, I partitioned it and allotted 100GB for my iTunes contents. Then I transferred my Photoshop and Adobe Bridge cache folders to the remaining disk space. I got two advantages when I got the hard disk:
- My internal hard disk got a lot of breathing room when I transferred my iTunes contents - 70GB total.
- After a photo shoot, I download my photos to the two 1TB drives but I also download the photos to the Rugged hard disk. I do my photo edits there and, when I am completely satisfied with my edits, I transfer my final versions of the photos to the two 1TB drives. This may sound like a lot of steps in the photo edit process, but the time it took me to save a 500mb .psd file, for example, to the firewire drive is much less than the time it will take to save the same file to the USB drive. When I am done editing, I just transfer the files to the USB drives and I can do what I want like read a book, watch the Yankees, or go to sleep - since I am done with the edits, I don't have to wait for the copy process to finish.
If speed is of the essence for you, then I suggest that you also follow what I have learned from the Expo - use firewire 800.
The disadvantages are, since my iTunes contents are now on the external drive, I would have to always bring it with me or else I won't have anything to listen to nor watch. I also won't be able to sync my iPods without it. But for the advantage that I get with the speed, these are things I am willing to live with.
The drive came with a USB cable, a firewire 400 cable and a firewire 800 cable. It also came with a power cable that you can plug into a powered USB port, but, currently, I am not using this one. I just let the firewire 800 port of my Macbook Pro power the drive.