Saturday, December 29, 2012

IRL: Western Digital MyBook external hard drives, Doxie Go and Apple's Podcasts App

  • Table oxternal HDDs
  • Doxie Go
  • Apple Podcastselcome to IRL, an ongoing feature where we talk about the gadgets, apps and toys we're using in real life and take a second look at products that already got the formal review treatment.

IRL: Western Digital MyBook external hard drives, Doxie Go and Apple's Podcasts App
Merry Almost-Christmas, folks. Time to find out if Engadget's editorial staff was naughty or nice this year. If our recent experiences with tech are any indication, we might be atoning for something: Billy's external hard drive is about to die a drawn-out death and Brian's still looking for an alternative to Apple's lousy Podcasts app. But at least Darren's enjoying his mobile scanner, so that 's good, right?


With my freelance design workload, I need to be sure my backup system is going to be super reliable. I also need to archive reviews, liveblog images and hands-on shots from time to time in such a way that I can access them in the future without any hiccups. When I was in grad school, I snagged two MyBooks about a year or so apart. Back then, $100 got you 250GB so I grabbed one for storage and, later, a 500GB disk for added piece of mind. You know, a backup for my backup sort of thing.
Now, the two are about six years old. The older of the two, the 250GB one, is nearing the end of its tenure as part of my workflow. After a good run with no issues at all, it's starting show signs that it's on its last leg. So far, the 500GB model is chugging along just fine. During the course of my years of weekly backups, I never had problems connecting or transferring files that needed to be stowed away for safe keeping. Everything worked as advertised every time. Transfer spends, even now, remain right in line with expected USB 2.0 speeds; the drives handle gigabytes of data in a matter of a few short minutes.
I'm not surprised that my external HDD is about to kick the bucket after six years. Honestly, I'm glad it made it this long, and $100 these days will get me at least four times the storage space. Pairing a couple of these Western Digital MyBooks with a cloud backup system like Backblaze has served me well and my level of anxiety about my digital wares remains at a minimum.


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