This blog as might be apparent from the title has to do with running, biking and basically other outdoor individualistic sports, sometimes extreme, such as rock climbing . But don't be surprised if you find articles on work, personal life, music and even philosophy, this blog is an exception in this aspect in the blogosphere of running blogs and I am trying to revamp the blog to make it more runner friendly. You might want to look at the sidebar titled 'categorised', which as is obvious, categorizes my posts into different areas of interest.
The other thing that might interest many people is a section on 'running videos' and 'general videos' on the side bar, which I keep updating now and then.
I plan to bring in more posts on running and biking, with some added colour, so as to make them 'complete'. That's about it for now.
As a post-note, I have run a half-marathon, but I am yet to attempt a marathon, which through some concerted effort and time should happen in the future, but that ofcourse is not the culmination of this blog, it would on the contrary be something to jumpstart this blog onto new vistas.

Monday, February 12, 2007

External and portable hard disks

I have been doing some reading on external and portable hard disks, mainly because I am planning to buy one of them in 100gb - 200gb segment.
External hard disks are primarily used for back up of files on your computer, but they also offer great mobility and can usually function well when connected to USB 2.0 ports (disks with memory of say 100 gb and higher or a thickness of 3 inch and more need an external power adaptor to supplement the USB 2.0 connection). USB 2.0 ports(30 MBps or 420 Mbps) are an improvisation on the USB 1.1 ports which can support a maximum speed of 1.4 MBps or 12 Mbps and external hard disks work much better on USB 2.0 ports than on their former version.

I see a range of prices on offer, right from 60$ for a 120 gb hard disk, 100$ for an 80 gb hard disk to 150$ for a 160 gb portable hard disk and others in between. It seems from what I have read in the forums and other web pages, there are a few things to be considered before getting an external hard disk:

1) An external casing for the hard disk is always preferrable especially if you are going to move them around . Some brands like Western digital offer them for a few models, while Seagate offers an external casing for most of the models that have a memory of greater than say 100gb.

2) Speed - If you are going for a memory of 80gb and higher, it's better to go for a higher rpm of say 5400 or 7200. It seems that despite the usb 2.0 inteface having a limited capacity of 30 MBps or 420 Mbps, having a higher rpm would help sustain higher speeds over a long period of time.

3) If you are looking for mass storage, there are 500gb and 1 tb(tera byte) models that offer pretty cool prices. For example: Seagate offers a 500gb for 300$ and 750gb for 400$, while Lacie offers one of the 500gb models for 175$ and a 1 tb model for 1000$ !!! (1 tb models actually look like a scaled down version of the CPU). Fantom G-force offers a 1tb for around 400$, so you see these price variations are sometimes hard to comprehend and a big price doesn't necessarily mean better quality or even service.

4) Other aspects such as portability: Portability necessiates doing away with power cords as far as possible and making the hard disk slimmer and hence more costlier too.
For example: Seagate has two models that offer 160 gb:
a) A 3 inch thick * 8 * 5 hard disk with 7200 rpm at - 103 $ requiring the use of power. This is ofcourse portable but heavier and requires the use of power.
b) A 1 inch thick * 5 * 3 hard disk with 5400 rpm at - 150 $ requiring the use of only a USB 2.0 port. This is a slim, power free but costlier model.

5) Some minor aspects that nevertheless count are the sturdiness of the disk (thick metal cover etc), the level of noise produced during operation, presence or lack of irritatingly bright leds', errors after formatting. Now, formatting to NTFS needs to be done as soon as the hard disk is purchased since FAT 32 doesn't support transfer of files of size greater than 4gb onto the external hard disk. On some models, when this formatting is completed, some error messages keep coming up which could be a pain.

On the whole, selecting a model from among Seagate, Lacie, Western digital, etc comes down to the budget at hand, portability required, frequency of usage and the 'anticipated' size of back up and usage of external hard disk. Ofcourse I haven't mentioned customer service here, some brands such as Seagate have a reputed customer service, a few others are supposedly average in their response. All this information is gleaned from discussion forums and product reviews at websites such as, cnet, etc and hence the authenticity is debatable.

P.S. I would appreciate feed back from people who have bought external hard disks, on how they perform, etc.


EP/ UK said...

Hey man..I got a WD MyBook 400 GB external hard disk during the thanksgiving sale. Got it for a cool $100 + around 10 tax or so. It is pretty good I must say and I didn't have to format it or I guess it must've been pre-formatted. Disk speed I think is 7200 rpm. But my laptop is a bit old (got it from hyd) so it only has a usb 1.1 transfer is a bit painful. But I have the torrent download directory directly on My Book now so I guess it's better now (it's almost always connected; and needless to say it needs external power too). I've filled up almost 200 GB already (downloaded episodes of all sorts of stuff..fam guy, southpark...same old shit) and some movies, video lecs, etc.

All in all, I don't know what I'd have done without this hard disk as my old laptop again has only 40GB hdd space.

EP/ UK said...

dei enna da moderation and crap!?

Arbit said...

I hear you man.. some fundaes are there.. but on popular request I am removing itz.. :)

Arbit said...

Thanks for the info da..I guess you got a good deal.. I am considering western digital as an option.. my comp's currently got 200 gb.. so I am not in a hurry, but I wil get one in the near future..

Kennenisa Bekele with the WR

Robbie Mcewen and steve o'grady - The 'Nudge'