Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Lessons from my external drive purchase

I needed a SATA drive enclosure in a hurry for a work machine, and a 1TB external drive wouldn't be a bad thing either.

So I ran out to Best Buy and bought an Iomega Prestige 1 TB USB 2.0 Desktop External Hard Drive for only $10 + taxes more than Amazon.

It's only after I make my purchase that a friend asks "are you sure it's not soldered in"? WTF? Soldered?

Turns out these low end drive/enclosure bundles save pennies on connectors by soldering drives in.

No, this one isn't soldered in. And it's easier to open than the LaCie enclosure I have at home, though it's a bit of tight fit. It's also, of course, an IDE drive (the drive is Samsung, the case fanless, with a metal case that hopefully radiates nicely).

Sigh. Makes sense. Why use a SATA drive when there are still lots of cheap IDE drives around? The USB connection is much slower than the drive anyway. It just didn't occur to me that IDE drives were still sold. I thought they were extinct!.

So now I have my backup drive, but I still need my SATA connector.

I learned two lessons.

The first lesson is that there are no quick purchases in tech. Unless it's something you have direct knowledge of, you can't duck the research chore.

The second lesson is that life with Macs has made me unsuited for the intricacies of PC hardware management. I just don't get the practice I used to get!

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