The MacBook Airs are wonderful machines, let down only by the still-small storage offered by today’s SSDs. Worse, whilst external Thunderbolt drives are finally trickling into stores, they’re neither cheap nor plentiful.
Alas, Elgato’s rather awesome-looking Thunderbolt SSD drive combines the worst of both worlds — a high price and low capacity. Then again, I imagine this things is fast enough to burn a hole in your desk.
It’s taken a while, but it seems that the dried up tear-duct that was the supply of Thunderbolt accessories is about to turn into a torrent of high-speed, daisy-chainable tears of relief. Hard drive supremo LaCie will at last sell you a 2big Thunderbolt Series external drive.
When you buy an external Hard Drive for use with Time Machine, Apple’s backup software, you will most likely need to format it before you can use it, since chances are that it is formatted for a Windows based computer. You could always spend the extra money to get a Mac formatted Hard Drive, but what’s the sense in that? You can format your own external Hard Drive right from Mac OS X. This video will show you how.
Have you ever found yourself thinking that your Mac takes too much power or that your MacBook battery is draining too quickly? If you have, you’ll want to check out this video. In it, I’ll show you some of the best, yet most overlooked options for saving energy on your Mac.
Friends, Romans, Applefans, I come to bury hard drives, not to praise them. The evil that poor technologies do live after them, and our good files are oft interred with their ashes. So let it be with hard drives.
Look at your MacBook Pro. It’s beautiful, no? Bright screen, thin body, buttonless trackpad, carefully engineered ports, MagSafe power port… it’s a master-work. Except for one thing. It carries a vestigial organ that all-too-often reveals itself to be the ruptured appendix of computing: a hard drive.
Yes, for all of our wonderful computing progress (spaghetti ports to USB; mobile dual-core processors, DDR3 DRAM, insanely fast GPUs), the lowly hard drive continues to exist based off of approximately the same technology it was back in the 1970s. Spinning magnetic platters with read/write heads, saving our entire digital lives in the process.
And while they have many wonderful qualities (massive storage capacity, more so than anything but TAPE; extremely low cost), they also have a fatal flaw, which is that they break and they break hard. Platters get warped, spindles get loose, heads get misaligned, and suddenly your computer stops working and you lose the project you’ve been slaving over for the last few months (see my wife’s recent calamity for evidence and a little solace in the iPhone).
If you’ve decided to pick up one of Apple’s miraculously thin new MacBook Airs, but have a large media or photo library, you’re probably going to have to pick up an external USB hard drive to go with it: those SSDs are blisteringly fast, yes, but they’re not exactly voluminous.
What external hard drive can match the Air’s resplendent svelteness, though? Try the Hitachi G-Drive Slim. It’s only 0.39 inches thick and clocks in at 320GB for $99.99. That’s not a lot of storage space for the price, but then again, neither is the Air.
Employing the iPad Camera Connection Kit, it’s technically possible to hook an iPad up to a portable USB hard drive… but only if that hard drive falls within the maximum range of the SD card’s storage capacity. That’s only 32GB, which makes the Camera Connection Kit’s ability to read storage off of an external hard drive more a matter of trivia than practicality.
That gruesome device above, though? That’s the Sanho spacious 750GB HyperDrive, designed to circumnavigate the iPad’s restrictions by turning individual file folders into virtual 32GB drives on the fly. It comes with a CompactFlash and SD card slot for slurping up your camera’s photos, as well as a 3.2-inch QVGA color display and the ability to interface directly with your Mac. All yours for just… $600.
*Sputter* That’s a lot of money to drop on a hard drive that, because of iOS limitations, can’t even read music or launch apps. Of course, this isn’t for consumers who need to upgrade their iPad space: it’s clearly aimed at photographers who want to be able to juggle huge archives of RAW files on their iPad’s on the fly. A very niche market indeed, given the relative lack of powerful RAW editors on the App Store, but perhaps that will change in time.