new external HD, project, life

My backup strategy as of last week was to copy the really important stuff onto my 16GB USB thumbdrive relatively frequently, and more infrequently copy everything onto an external hard drive. Feeling rather clever at the time, I bought an enclosure like this, so I could buy a cheaper SATA hard drive and stick it in there and plug it into my computer via USB. Then when I wanted to upgrade drives I could just buy another SATA drive.

This sounded good in theory, and indeed kinda worked, but it was very slow for some reason – copying 200GB over to the drive and then untarring the 200GB file took around 3 days. Because of this I backed up way less often than I should have.

As luck would have it, the SATA drive seemed to die last week, and so after doing a little research I bought a Western Digital Elements USB Hard Drive with 1TB of space for $90. It was easy to get it to mount on Linux, and took less than 24 hours to do the same copying/untarring procedure. And it doesn’t look totally cobbled together! So I’d recommended it if you’re looking for an easy backup solution. You can also get a version with fancy software and an e-ink label on the outside that was actually kind of tempting.


I’ve been working for a little while now on my next WebOS app, which is called FlightPredictor. (unless I decide to change the name 🙂 ) It’s an interface to FlightCaster.com, which can predict airline delays ahead of time and generally has lots of interesting data. (see a sample report) They already have iPhone and BlackBerry apps, so I’m happy to bring a third platform into the mix. (and before Android, even!) I’m just putting the finishing touches on it and incorporating some API changes, but right now the best part is that it does WebOS notifications to let you know when the information has changed so you can always keep on top of things.


The last few weeks have been quite busy, and I’m starting to wear down a bit. Between squeezing any time I can to work on FlightPredictor, plus a lot of yardwork we’ve been doing (planting a few new trees, making a rock garden), plus the usual weekend errands, plus volunteering at the tax center…it’s getting to be a bit much. Hopefully things may quiet down soon but it’s conceivable we/I’ll start flaking on things to stay sane…

Baseball season has started! Here’s a handy map to what parts of the country root for which teams. Go Astros!

2 thoughts on “new external HD, project, life”

  1. I had an Ethernet Western Digital for a while… then it died. Overheated due to poor case design – no fan, goofy cooling holes. It was one of those booked shaped ones that was supposed to stand on its side. After that, I swore them off, and I’m now with a LaCie model that does eSATA, USB, or Firewire. I went with Firewire.

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    1. My 500GB Iomega drive just died after less than 6 months of use. No way to get a warranty repair in Brazil and a new drive here at that size costs almost $400. Sigh….

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