So, what did I get?
I got myself a Toshiba 320 GB external hard drive. Just like the one on the left side of this entry. And so far, I am liking it. I found it on sale, so for less than a hundred bucks, I got myself a good back-up method.
So why did I decide to get one of these? Well, there are several reasons.
It used to be the case that back in undergrad, I had a collection of floppy disks, yes, remember those? Floppy disks, the ones that come in different colors, and I had one for every class I took. Inside those, I had my papers, projects, and all the things related to class. Then, when I finished my undergraduate education, I burned them up in a CD. I now have one CD full of my undergraduate history. It later proved useful because for one of my papers here in graduate school, I used the data I collected for a class I attended back in undergrad, so it was very useful to be able to dig up my past.
Then, for graduate school, I initially had a rewritable CD as a back-up. I have a rather smallish flash drive, about 512 MB, and it had a back-up of all the files I have that are currently active. Then, what I would do is that every end of the semester, I would take my flash drive and dump it all to my rewritable CD. That was fine and dandy, until my rewritable CD failed me. Somehow, it wouldn't write anymore. Good thing I had all the data from the previous semesters saved before that. So, I bought a larger flash drive, 2 GB this time, and then I transferred the data from the rewritable CD to the large flash drive.
That was academic-related. Now, I also have about two dozen CDs that have photos in them. I don't have any other copy of these photos except these CDs. And after reading an article in the National Geographic Traveler about backing up my pictures, since after all, they are my memories, I decided to do so. So now, I do have a back-up of my photographs, categorized by year, and by country.
Another reason is again academic-related. Given the fact that I am in graduate school, I am reading plenty of papers. There are so many PDF files that I have, related to the different classes that I took. There are also PDF files that I have read because of my research. I have them in different folders in relation to the classes that I took, but then sometimes I have to re-read some papers that I have read before, and it is a pain to remember which class I took in which it is related, so searching for the right folder is a pain. Thus, I need a cyber-library in which I can store all my PDF papers. Thus, again, the solution is a gigantic external hard drive, where I can just store the papers depending on the author, and so I don't have to search for where I filed it in.
I know, it's geeky, but the fact that I now have a place to store my stuff is cool, don't you think?