Your hard drive just crashed and you lost everything…
10 years of family photos, movies, spreadsheets with all your sales figures, email, music and more were instantly consigned to nothingness. Worst of all, much of it was irreplaceable. And now it's gone, as in gnashing-of-teeth-&-rending-of-garments gone.
Usually when this happens I get a panicked call and I'm asked if there's anything I can do to recover the data. My first question, of course…
“How old is your last backup?”
You already know the answer, don't you…
“I never backed it up.”
Here's the thing, I don't blame you one bit. Here's why…
Note: I updated this post on 28 September 2008 to reflect new options and better prices.
I've been needing a new external hard drive myself for a while now and after considerable research and deliberation, I selected one that did the trick. This drive is by Fantom and the reviews are consistently very good. The company also appears to be very responsive to faulty, or defective products.
Sometimes you just need a fast, cheap computer and you need it yesterday. And when I say cheap, I mean cheap; I mean as little as you can possibly pay, but still well built and with support that actually answers the phone.
We're assuming here that a Mac is out of the question for various reasons.
This is a box I can recommend. Check the reviews. I think this one will be the right answer. I've gotten Acer products on a number of occasions and been very happy with the product and their support on the rare times I've had to call.
And if you need a low-cost, high quality LCD monitor to go with that, check this out. I think you'll be more than happy with it (this monitor is NOT intended for high end color critical design work!) But it will be fantastic for 100% of what 99.9% of folks who use a computer need a monitor to do.
Hanns·G HW-191APB Black 19″ 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor Built-in Speakers
Your comments are most welcome!
Updated: 3 November 2009
I needed some more basic CDs for burning and found these Verbatim CD-Rs which are very reliable and burn at their rated speed of 52x, unlike many other brand-name CDs which we shan't mention. 🙂
About $20 for a spindle of 100 CDs. (Note that these are your standard shiny surface for labeling with a Sharpie or similar pen, not for printing from a custom CD printer, if you have one of those; most folks don't.)
Verbatim 94554 700 MB 52X 80 Minute CD-R, 100 Disc Spindle with Reinforced Packaging to Minimize Breakage
If you DO have an inkjet printer capable of printing on CDs, you'll want to get these instead:
Verbatim 97019 700 MB 52X 80 MIN DataLifePlus White Inkjet Hub Printable CD-R, 100-Disc Spindle Tape Wrap (White)
I've been going through it. I'm planning on doing the entire 16 hour transformation about 10 days from today and I can't wait.
There are some podcasts that really make it even easier to wrap your head around how this works and what you can expect—also hints and examples. Merlin Mann’s 43 Folders also covers Getting Things Done and just about anything else you might want to know about organizing and productivity.
I'm really looking forward to a huge change in the way my life works by using this.
If you find yourself frustrated by the overwhelming list of stuff you have to and want to do, you should definitely give this book a thorough review.
Check it out here:
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity