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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Technology in action

The old external hard drive which was purchased a few years ago to have all photos, videos, etc. backed up from 2002 became full last weekend. All 300 GB of it was filled up with mostly photos and videos starting from San's baby shower till now!

That meant a hunt for a brand new drive.

Thanks to a friend who works at WD, got a nice new "portable" drive with 500 Gb space on it. The difference is just amazing. Shows you how technology just makes you go "wow".

1. Do not need to power it up separately with a power cord

2. Can carry it in my pocket

3. reasonably fast for the size and storage

4. password protected and encrypted!

Nice huh?!

Next thing we know in two years we will have a 10 Terrabit memory in a box the size of a chewing gum stick. It can happen....

I used to think that the days of memory shrinking are over. Well, the concept of memory shrinking just got one more happy customer right about now!

Also saw this interesting technology design marvel. There are designers and ergonomics experts and overall box shrinkers who play as much a part in bringing us better goodies in smaller lighter packages as the technology guys who shrink more devices into smaller microchips or put denser features on disk drives.

Hats off to all of them!

On a side note, is there a simple small timer that can be put between the wall socket and plug for say night lamps, Holiday lighting etc. to enable turning on and off the devices on a set daily/weekly schedule?

That will come in real handy for things like night lamps which are always on in darker corners of the kids room in daylight, or Christmas lighting when we are not in the house, feeding the fishes when we are not around etc.

Considering this stuff is already there in our home heating system controller and in our water sprinklers, it should be easy to put it in a "compact universal timer box" and simply be able to turn any device on or off at a programmable schedule. Might save power on our entire entertainment system.

We have a TV, a DVD player, a Satellite box, a desktop, a bunch of chargers perpetually plugged to wall sockets, etc. all powered up all the time when we don't use them. A system like that would save lot of standby power.

If you know of something like that out there, do let me know.

Technology still holds that charm for me...


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I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 6:38 AM, Blogger Lak wrote...

I bought such a timer at Home Depot a few years ago. Cost $5-$10, I think.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 8:31 AM, Blogger Hawkeye wrote...

these are undependable. have suffered from WD externl HD failure before. buy a home server. dont say you werent warned.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 11:14 AM, Anonymous A-kay wrote...

Got one from Walmart about 5 years back (costed about $7, IIRR), when we went on a trip to India - to turn lights on and off in the evening so that the house doesn't look dark and unoccupied :) Use it for my swamy vilakku now - pretty useful...

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 11:35 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...

Lak, A-kay, thanks. going to check it out in both places.

Hawkeye, thanks. already got blue screen of death while unplugging the HD, but figured out that we had to disable something called sonic DLA to avoid the blue screen of death on the WD 500Gb Mypassport hard drives!

home server.. hmm. don't know if the comptroller of the exchequer will approve another gadget purchase anytime soon.. in the meantime, will read up on home servers!


I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 6:44 AM, Blogger Hawkeye wrote...

the HD dies if you dont safely remove device. we lost many of our photos because of this error.

HP EX 490 best in market.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 1:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...


the other day, i was reading google docs help instructions, and they were offering 1 gb of space for $0.25 - that must be a typo, or was i misreading something? i mean, there was no per year or per so many downloads mentioned. that is very very reasonable for photo backup (i would have grabbed it asap but for the fact that i have already invested in external hard drives).

my rule of thumb of a good deal nowadays is about 7 cents per gb for normal size external disks and 20 cents per gb for the pocket size ones. anything more and you are paying too much.


didn't you have redundancy and/or fault tolerance built into your backup process? :-)

- s.b.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 6:58 PM, Blogger Hawkeye wrote...


I have 2TB of original data. So I cant think of having original in comp and back in HD. All my original has to be in HD, which means i am exposing myself to such risks. given my luck i totally got screwed.

on web space, my research tells me that its cheaper to buy a home server for my data needs rather than pay 270$ per year for online storage.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 7:01 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...


you are scaring me.. I have NO backup or redundancy. every photo video of Jr. and the little one, not to mention our trips is on that 300 GB drive (granted some photos are on google picasa web albums because they made it to the blog)

looks like I should go get a backup drive..


I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 5:00 PM, Blogger Hawkeye wrote...


i've lost several unrecoverable photos because of WD and Seagate. We organized a family get together inviting all my father's brothers and sisters. Took group snaps etc. My aunt passed away a few months after this and so this was among the last of the group photographs she was part of.. Seagate ensured nobody every got to see it again..

ippadi pala vayatherichal..

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...


i have four external hd drives, the smallest is 100 gb or so and the two largest ones are 1 tb each. they are not that expensive anymore.

in addition, my photos are on two separate laptops (except for recent photos) in india, and a laptop and a desktop here in the usa ;-).

and yes, you are way way ahead of me in the amount of digital stuff you have (all of my stuff currently fits within 100 gb or so).

i was wrong (obviously) about google. the rates are per year, though i am pretty sure that it does not specify that on the screen i was viewing.


when murphy rules, redundancy is king! ;-)

- s.b.


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