New Gear: Seagate FreeAgent|Go 500GB External Hard Drive

Every now and then, I go through a little panic attack as I see all the hardware around the digital darkroom, and I begin to ponder simplifying my digital world. Ultimately, I have a ton of storage needed (easily 2-3TB, including hot backups) for my photos, videos and other digital artifacts, but not that much processor power needed for my normal work, despite having a mongo big octocore beastie under the desk.

So with the new MacBook Pros having been released a few weeks ago, my brain yet again started spinning on shrinking my technological footprint. However, my stalwart partner in crime remained the voice of reason, and talked me off the Luddite ledge.

Still, there are some real good reasons to be down to one machine — at work, it’s what we call “a single version of the truth.” In other words, there’s only one place with my e-mail, master photo library, etc. With the big machine at home, and my MacBook on the road, it’s hard to keep a single version of the truth. I really banged into this when we were on the road in June as I tried to get my e-mail while letting my big machine get it too. A single version of the truth is a compelling concept for me.

Alas, with the permission of my CFO in hand to go forth and simplify, but the suggestion of said CFO that she knows me better than I do, and that I might just rue the loss of my eight-core beauty, I kept the concept of one version of the truth, but decided to tackle it differently. Enter the new purchase tonight.

So here’s the concept, strictly for the photo library. (I’ll tackle the e-mail problem another day.) Get an external drive, export my master library and LightRoom catalog to the drive, and use that copy as the master between Doc Oc and The-Little-MacBook-That-Could. Backups of that data would happen automatically whenever the drive is connected to Doc Oc overnight, and be stored in Doc, which is the copy that Becky accesses from her machine.

So, I have the hardware now, and only have to work through the conversion process. However, I do have one concern…. speed. With the little laptop drive inside the FreeAgent, and connected at USB 2.0 speeds, I could see where there might be a potential bottleneck. However, it’s rare that I do massive big things to the catalog, and LightRoom 2 performs pretty well, so that might be ok.

Stay tuned as I build out this little experiment of technological terror….