It dawned on me before embarking on my CalArts adventure that I’d somehow have to take all my digital swag with me. And being that my digital swag is some 200GB’s, there wasn’t a chance of it all squeezing into my laptop’s memory.
The best solution was clear: to get a portable hard drive that would allow me to transfer so-called digital swag from my home computer to my laptop and back and forth between the school’s servers. After some research, it looked like Western Digital’s Passport Essential series was the most compact when it came to size– and, another major plus: it’s instantly cross-compatible with Mac and PC. (Couldn’t ask for any more, using PC’s at home and Macs in the school labs!)
Drive operation is simple… plug-and-play USB; you’re ready to go as soon as it’s plugged in. It comes with an insta-launch application (PC only); but it’s a hard drive, right? Why mess with anything other than storage space? I’ll admit I haven’t explored the insta-launch application any more than a few clicks, so I can’t give any opinions on the software it comes with.
Drive operation is quick and snappy: I haven’t experienced any crashes, lost/corrupt data or even browsing drags. Playing media straight off the drive (music, movies, pictures) is seamless; the only hiccup is that this does not run at 7200 RPM’s (and it is USB)– so don’t expect lightning-speed thumbnail loading when dealing with your image files.
“Unplugging” the drive is as near to painless as you’ll get for a media device like this (unlike a paltry little thumb drive): Eject it (Mac) or Safely Remove Hardware (PC) and within ten seconds you can unplug it and pack it away.
I’ll also have to brag about the durability of this USB-powered puppy (which, by the way, doesn’t require a separate power cable): Many-a-times have I left it in a case in my bag, only to completely forget about it and stack various books, binders, and sketchbooks on it… and, on a few occasions, have probably dropped it. Now, I reallllly don’t recommend that you go out and play baseball with your hard drives (even if they are in their safety cases)… but the thing keeps happily saving and transferring my files; and it’s next-to-silent, to boot.
Overall… I haven’t found a single downfall to this hard drive (except the fact that the 500’s didn’t exist when I originally set out to purchase mine); if you’re looking for a user-friendly, fast, portable hard drive… I hiiiiighly reccomend this one! (I’ve already converted several of my friends to Passport Essentialism, and they’ve all found the hard drive really helpful for server/laptop transfers, along with general storage).