Sunday, November 28, 2010

Flash drives and external hard drives

I will probably preface all of my posts with "it used to be." Computers these days have gotten so much smaller than they used to be, and memory has become that much cheaper. It used to be you'd get the bear minimum of memory to play with, and would have to expand your memory each time you wanted to play new game. Now, computers as a matter of course have so much memory - both memory to run programs and storage space (two different things) that the average computer user never has to buy more.

But you do need to buy at least one flash drive, and if I were you, an external hard drive.

These days, an external hard drive is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, costs only about $40, and has as much storage space as the hard drive inside your computer.

You want this, because you want to back up all your files onto this external hard drive. (You don't need to back up your applications or system, you will have the installation discs for these, or the appropriate code to download it from the internet). But you should backup all your files on a daily or weekly basis, and this is very easy with an external hard drive. (There are also internet based backup systems, such as Carbonite, but they costs about $200 a year. If you have the discipline to remember to back up things yourself, you don't need to go to that expense.)

But you must have some back up system. Harddrives do go bad, unfortunately, or someone steals your computer, or some kid sticks a peanut butter sandwich into it and fries it...all sorts of things.

The flash drive replaces the old 3.5 inch discs that used to act as portable storage between computers. They are also inexpensive, and have lots of memory. You'll want at least one of these. (They are also called thumb drives or memory sticks. Despite the name, they aren't "drives" - just storage memory.)

No comments:

Post a Comment