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My Love Affair With Storage


OK, so it's not quite a love affair, but with close to 2TB scattered around the house it at least qualifies as an obsession!

A few weeks ago I bought a Seagate 500GB SATA drive and a nifty eSATA/USB 2.0/Firewire 800 external case in which to mount it (full disclosure: I work for Seagate). You see, we've been bursting at the seams around here. My wife's eMac, which hosts our iTunes library and most of our photos, is down to about 500MB, the kids' iMac is in similar straights (who knew TuxPaint would be so popular?!?), and I'm constantly struggling to keep a bit of space available on my Mac mini and my MacBook Pro.

I've got a couple of big scanning and video projects waiting in the wings, and without more capacity on our homenet they'll be waiting when I start having grandkids!

Along with the drive and enclosure, I bought an Apple Airport Extreme, thinking that it'd be a great way to position the homenet for next-gen WiFi and at the same time provide us some NAS capacity through the AE's shareable USB port.

This morning while the kids were eating breakfast I grabbed the drive and enclosure, dug out my jeweler's screwdriver set and started opening boxes. I've always been impressed with Seagate's drive packaging, and this 500GB SATA was no different than other Seagate drives I've bought. Assembly was a simple matter of removing 3 small philips screws from the rear panel of the enclosure, pulling the mounting bracket out of the shell, attaching the drive connectors, mounting the drive with the screws supplied with the enclosure, then putting everything back together.

With assembly complete, I connected the power supply and the USB cable (Macs don't yet come equipped with eSATA...c'mon, Apple, let's get with it!) and plugged it into my MacBook Pro. A couple of seconds later, Mac OS X was prompting me to initialize or ignore the drive. I'd launched Disk Utility so I could make sure the drive would be formatted and partitioned the way I wanted, and when DU started its work the Finder dialog dismissed itself. Within a minute or two, I had the storage capacity I'd been yearning for, and we're now poised to take the next step...turning this external drive into network storage as an attachment to the AirPort Extreme.

And that's a story for another day!

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