I’ll never forget the time my friend Nat lost her entire novel (or most of it) due to a malfunction on some sort of word processor called a “Brother.” This was the late 90’s. So whatever machine she was using was extinct. A mutual friend made fun of her, snorting and going, “It was bound to happen, she’s using that piece of shit.” Me? I was using, believe it or not, a typewriter. You read it right: a typewriter.
At the time, it was kind of expected that if you were a writer, artist, muscian, or non-robot, then you weren’t supposed to know anything about technology, least of all a computer. If you did, you were a geek and totally not “edgy.” Now, though, if you don’t know your way around a PC and iPhone and all the BS apps out there, you’re worse than a geek: you’re frigging OLD, which is far worse, obviously.
Slow to technology at every age—I work in IT, oh, the irony!—I didn’t even get a microwave oven until college graduation. Unless it’s absoutely vital, I’m kicking and screaming into every new gadget out there. I think I was the last person in civilized territory to finally get a cell phone. Or an MP3 player. My excuse now is basically, “Of course I don’t know how to use my digital wall thermostat! I work with technical shit all day.”
Where we worked at the time, Nat was in the warehouse and I was in an office, so she constantly made fun of me, even after losing the novel. I once lost half a grad school paper on a PC, so I know the pain. Seriously, to a writer, losing your novel—and your only digital copy—is akin to losing a limb. I hoped she wouldn’t jump off a ledge. And yet it was a couple years before she lowered herself to using a PC. She now surpasses me in some tech stuff.
Okay, back to the point here: LOSING YOUR DATA SUCKS BIG TIME.
Hence, I am inspired to write this post after I came upon this article over the weekend. Great things are mentioned about how to back up your data. But here’s another alternative: installing a second internal hard drive. I got one installed a couple of months ago due to lack of storage space on my C drive in addition to this problem: Nihilistic Folder Disorganization. In other words, I have so many freaking files in different places and there are dupes because of it.
Here are 5 Awesome Reasons To Get an Internal Hard Drive:
1. It’s safer than an external hard drive. External hard drives are more easily destructible. They’re easy to knock off the CPU. I know someone who lost all his data doing that. As for me, I distrust third-party backup sites—despite that fact that any lost data has been the result of moi. But nestled safely within your CPU, these are harder to break. If you want portability, get a good thumb drive.
2. More storage space for your dollar. Mine is 500GB, but for a little more I could’ve gotten a terabyte. Comparing it to the price of an external hard drive, I spent $30 less for more storage space.
3. Easy access. I have all my current stuff on a thumb drive. I should be backing this up between the three PCs I use. I use it at work on my PC, laptop, and at home. Like I said, I should be. If I lost it, I would be seriously hosed. But then Confusion hits as to what folders I changed when and what is the most current and the Nihilistic Folder Disorganization problem sets in. With the external hard drive, I dump all my new folders into one place and will “figure it out later.” (Yeah, right!) Point is, it’s all there.
4. Privacy. You can password the drive and if you share the PC with anyone, like your spouse or kids, then you don’t have to go file by file to privatize your stuff. You have your own drive, all to yourself.
5. Organization. I keep my software installs on my C drive and most files on the 2nd drive (and compressed on the C drive as well). More room allows this, because when I bought my PC in 2007 I thought I’d never need more than 100GB, right? Hahahahahaha! We’ll always tend toward short-sightedness when it comes to how much storage space we’ll “need” so getting a large internal drive allows you the freedom to either screw up your folder filing system even more, or to organize them.
I still don’t know where I fit in that scenario other than: “I’ll get to the file organization someday.” A larger hard drive certainly allows you to prolong that Someday, but at least your data is intact, even if it’s nearly impossible to find.