I’m tired of hard drives already! That’s my exclamation for the evening. I got backups and backups and backups. Yet I bought another backup drive. Staples had a 500 gig USB drive on sale for 120 dollars. I really didn’t want to spend the money (when do I ever) but I wanted all of my backup data in one place.

I’ve got two 250 gig internal drives. The first is the one I boot from and that has most off my applications and, more importantly, a folder called “Work”. This is where all of my own artwork goes. All of my digital prints, scans of my drawings, scans and photos of my paintings, and my web site graphics. Needless to say this is important information that I want to back up. It runs 50 gigs or so. I thinned it out some a couple of years ago when backup wasn’t as cheap as it is now. I put a bunch of stuff on DVD. Nothing too important but now I have to track it down and add it back to the main folder. I like everything in one place. Backup info that you can’t find does no good.

The second internal drive has plenty of room on it. I back up the “Work” folder there and have some applications and random things that ended up there. I dump video I’m digitizing on to this second drive so I need lots of room. Then I compress the video and get rid of the huge files. Plus it’s a second boot drive.

I have Mac OS 10.4 installed on the second drive but I run 10.5 on the main drive. Believe it or not I need 10.4 installed because of one program that I still run in the Mac Classic environment: Adobe Streamline. It’s a program that hasn’t been updated since before Mac OSX was released but I still need it. It converts bitmap drawings into vector drawings. Adobe programed Illustrator to perform this task a couple of versions ago but it doesn’t do it to my liking. Illustrator knocks out shapes where Streamline layers them. This isn’t a big deal unless you actually want to edit your drawings in which case knocking shapes out of their background shapes creates holes if you want to edit the top shape. Confusing stuff if you’ve never done it before. I think I’ve just discovered a way around it so maybe I can get rid of 10.4 and the classic environment once and for all.

My third drive is a 320 gig external drive that I got from a job when they needed to give me about 80 gigs worth of images and things. I keep all of the work I do for them (I’ve added another 50 gigs worth) and some other clients on that drive. The problem is that I don’t trust the wacky drive it’s on. It’s a Maxtor drive and it is the loudest drive I have ever heard. I read up on it online and lots of people note how absurdly loud it is. It sounds like a drive with its fan off kilter but this drive has no fan. When I turn it on in the morning it makes this terrible sound but with some experimentation (I got tired of whacking it on its top – that can’t be good for it) I discovered that if I change the drive from the horizontal to the vertical position and back a couple of times it will quiet down and remain that way until I turn my computer of and on again. I’m glad it quiets down because I couldn’t work with it on otherwise. It’s that loud.

My fourth drive is a 500 gig external drive. It’s my media drive and I have about 350 gigs worth of photos, music, and video on it. I bought that drive so I could consolidate my media on one drive. It used to be spread across three drives. That got really cumbersome. Consolidation is your friend. At least after it’s done. Doing it is a pain.

My fifth drive is a 250 gig external. This was my first backup drive and it used to have my media and such on it too but it developed some bad blocks and I lost a little data. Now it’s strictly a redundant backup drive and I keep it unplugged and powered down. It can’t die on me if it’s not turned on I say!

Then come my two 80 gig external drives that used to be internal drives. I had them hooked up but now they are powered down backups. One has yet another copy of my “Work” folder (I am careful) and the other some of my photos. At only 160 gigs combined they weren’t enough to back up all the stuff I wanted to. Hence the new 500 gig big backup drive.

I have copied about 300 gigs worth of data copied to the new drive. I have about 100 more gigs to copy over and then all of my backing up will be done. Good. I’m really sick of thinking about data and hard drives.