Saturday, 5 July 2008
Several years ago I bought myself a Vosonic V-MP3H portable hard drive it was about the size of a late eighties mobile phone (Think house brick) It had a small colour screen and a compact flash slot. The idea was that I could have a single device onto which I could copy my CF cards and use as an mp3 player. At the time it cost about £250 and it worked out a great deal cheaper than buying enough compact flash cards to last me a family holiday. It had its problems, notably loading images in over 5 seconds, but the neat thing about it was that I was able to leave it copying a card and then on the screen, check that it had actually copied the images, usually by looking at the first and last image.
It worked great for a year or so and then it started getting a little grouchy and unreliable, I lost some images and decided that I had to get another device. The next purchase was an Archos Gmini 400, which was a really lovely machine. Review times were a lot faster, and I actually managed to get videos on it and it was small and neat looking. It had all the benefits of the vosonic but with go faster stripes. But tragedy struck, the drive fell on a marble floor on holiday and all the images became unreadable. I did manage to recover the images by dropping the drive on the floor again, but I couldn't trust it after that and started looking for another device.
The cost of this sort of device just seemed to keep going up instead of down and I was getting fed up of buying a new one every couple of years, so I opted for a JOBO Giga One, which was purely a device for copying images to disk. I was very nervous because there was no proof that the images had copied other than the disk space indicator reducing and the thing would go into power save mode after copying the card, which mean that quite often I wouldn't see that re-assuring 100% done message. Eventually disaster struck. I was at a friends wedding and I had left a card copying. The device ran out of juice part way through the copy and shut off, but I didn't realise because it usually powered down before I got a chance to see the 100% message. Consequently I lost some images which I would much rather I hadn't.
Fast forward to today. I can now get a 4GB card for as little as £13 or a Sandisk Extreme III for £18, so I have bought 4 4GB cards. Combined with the two 2GB cards I already had, thats as much storage as I have on my Giga One for a fraction of the price. The cards will be my digital negative. I'll still use the Giga One for backup, in case something happens to the cards, but from now on the cards will not be erased until the images are safely home.
I'll be really happy when someone starts selling a small battery powered device that will allow me to duplicate my CF cards, or better still a camera with two slots and CF mirroring.
How do you manage your storage on location?