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Portable Storage?

Cliff posted about 10 years ago | from the movable-data dept.

Data Storage 479

An anonymous reader asks: "I need a portable storage solution, as I strongly desire to keep my personal stuff separate from my work stuff. In the past I have used some types of portable external hard drive (via USB connection), but I wasn't too pleased with the quality of the barebones models I found at Fry's. With so many new types of portable storage out (USB keys, 2.5" drives, full drives with enclosures, etc) I would appreciate some feedback from others using this type of device regarding what their favorite brand or model is. Remember: bigger storage is better, as is smaller size."

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FP BITCHES (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10063901)

fuck john kerry, hes a liberal faggot

Re:FP BITCHES (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10063983)

Dude!! Can I invite you to my next party?!?

ximeta (4, Informative)

Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) | about 10 years ago | (#10063904)

usb and ethernet, well done

www.ximeta.com

Re:ximeta (2, Funny)

Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) | about 10 years ago | (#10063987)

Darn, I would have had first post, but the man said it was too soon since my last post. f m

NDAS is a good solution. Ximeta makes drives with USB 2.0 + Ethernet, (choose one) pretty cheap compared to plain USB/FireWire drives. Plug into your work PC with USB, take it home and use it to fileserve on your enet.

Clicky [ximeta.com]

Re:ximeta (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10064029)

Holy cow! Someone add a printer port and 802.11g to that bad boy!

Re:ximeta (2, Informative)

artlu (265391) | about 10 years ago | (#10064048)

Drive fried... I was a big fan of my ximeta drive, I used it strictly for backup purposes. 3months later, the drive just died. Just one user's experience. Also, it isn't very mac/linux friendly unless you put sometime into it or like annoying messages.

gShares.net [gshares.net]

Re:ximeta (-1, Offtopic)

StarKruzr (74642) | about 10 years ago | (#10064051)

Hey, I'm in Staten Island and curious about this NYMPHS thing, which sounds like it'd be a good bit more active (and less rigid) than NYLUG. Are you guys still recruiting? :)

Re:ximeta (1, Redundant)

fedux (262863) | about 10 years ago | (#10064116)

Nice...

What about that new OS: Red Hot Linux [ximeta.com] ?

1GB USB drives (3, Insightful)

VTEC01EX (726566) | about 10 years ago | (#10063905)

Super small, good capacity. Done.

Just what we need (1)

OsirisX11 (598587) | about 10 years ago | (#10063908)

Just what we need--more storage options. Now we have to worry about how many formats?

Ok (-1, Offtopic)

jamoan (807175) | about 10 years ago | (#10063911)

is that your final answer?

iPod? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10063915)

40 GB, plus music, for $399? Why would you choose anything else?

Re:iPod? (-1, Troll)

crtfdgk (807485) | about 10 years ago | (#10064106)

because the ipod tends to corrupt data, especially when used in conjucntion with windows...my experiences with it were terrible, xp most likely to blame... plus apple might do somthing stupid and create an update that prevents already loaded non-music data from being read...that scared me until i did a soft reset...

ONLINE (4, Interesting)

SirRandom (170675) | about 10 years ago | (#10063916)

If you're oging to be accessing your data from online enabled computers try a good online storage solution. They often cost less than the portable drives or keychains and there's nothing to get lost or stolen.

Thou hast open the flood gates (5, Funny)

prof_peabody (741865) | about 10 years ago | (#10063918)

Syquest is the BEST!

Not many people have the drives anymore, making my data very secure.

In fact when I find working drives I break them to insure my security...

Re:Thou hast open the flood gates (1)

ruiner13 (527499) | about 10 years ago | (#10064082)

I've still got my syquest 135MB cartridge drive. SCSI-1, 5MB/sec maximum bus speed! Booyah! I got it when there was zip and that, and all my friends (bastards) had the syquest. Then zip became the ubiquitous standard.

Re:Thou hast open the flood gates (4, Funny)

Dwedit (232252) | about 10 years ago | (#10064101)

I thought Syquest drives and media generally broke themselves to further increase your data security.

Worked for me (2, Insightful)

slumpy (304072) | about 10 years ago | (#10063920)

Get an Iriver. I have an IH140 or something like that 40 gigs, plus an MP3 player.

Re:Worked for me (1)

hawkeyeMI (412577) | about 10 years ago | (#10064016)

How do you like it? I was looking at it as a portable storage / mp3 player / class recorder, as it has the recorder built in and has more capabilities than an iPod. Granted it's not super-slick like an iPod, but I use macs and linux boxes and you know, I'd rather have something a little more open.

Anyway, pardon the rant. Seriously, how's it working out?

one word: (-1, Redundant)

interactive_civilian (205158) | about 10 years ago | (#10063923)

iPod [apple.com]

Re:one word: iPodisNOTtheAnswer (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10063961)

mod parent informative because he mentioned iPod...

useyourweiner (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10063929)

Seriously. It remembers everything.

Oh! the Punchcard.. (5, Funny)

FractalPenguin (804175) | about 10 years ago | (#10063930)

You absolutely need a punchcard as your solution!!! You know papers are very cheap nowadays... And you can use without any special devices.. Just excute your Hex Editor and need a punch and bunch of papers.. Or you can just use your pen or pencil!!!

Re:Oh! the Punchcard.. (1)

Hobadee (787558) | about 10 years ago | (#10064066)

I wouldn't suggest that method as it may result in another "Florida chad" issue, requiring several recounts.

I would suggest a 1GB USB key. Expensive as all hell, but small enough to put on a key-ring.

Get an iPod (2, Insightful)

Duncan3 (10537) | about 10 years ago | (#10063931)

It's a firewire harddrive with the right drivers. Noone looks twice at the thing, becasue most people think it's just for music, so your boss isn't gonna think you're smuggling out sourcecode.

Oh, and it plays music.

Re:Get an iPod (3, Insightful)

eingram (633624) | about 10 years ago | (#10064058)

But then you're stuck carrying around the Firewire or USB cable that comes with the iPod. And as you mentioned, with the right drivers. It's best to have somethning that will plug in and work, even on a new computer.

I would think the USB key devices would be best for what you're wanting to do, but I've never used one.

Re:Get an iPod (3, Interesting)

Duncan3 (10537) | about 10 years ago | (#10064083)

Unless you really get around, you're gonna use your home PC, a primary one at work or school, so it's not an issue.

And they make these short little cables ... o so cute.

Re:Get an iPod (1)

wyldeone (785673) | about 10 years ago | (#10064072)

Noone looks twice at the thing, becasue most people think it's just for music, so your boss isn't gonna think you're smuggling out sourcecode.

Sorry, but I beg to differ [bbc.co.uk] .

Re:Get an iPod (2, Informative)

Yaztromo (655250) | about 10 years ago | (#10064089)

I was going to post "Get an iPod", but it looks like a whole lot of other people beat me to it.

So instead of doing so, I'll expand on the benifits of doing so:

  • Comes in sizes from 4GB up to 40GB
  • Supports both firewire and USB 2.0
  • Rechargable
  • Size of a pack of cards
  • ...and hey, it's a music playback device as well!

I love my iPod with my PowerBook. I routinely use it for storing backups of my data (even though I have the 3G 15GB unit, I'm currently only using about 3GB to hold the ~1050 songs I have on it, so it has lots of free space).

Small, sleek, portable, lots of storage space, and fast -- what more could you want?

Yaz.

If you have the cash... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10063933)

Get an iPod or iPod mini. Not only are fairly well concealed (not many 'normal' people know that they're anything beyond just a portable mp3 player), they pack a lot of space. A friend of mine just got back from Japan for a study abroad program and used his iPod frequently to transport files between computers on the network there (apparently you didn't have much in terms of personal space on their network). Worked on every machine he tried it on and was quite rugged.

And hey, it's an MP3 player, too.

iPod (2, Insightful)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about 10 years ago | (#10063936)

Cheap, lots of space, stylish, and plays MP3s to boot.

USB Keys (5, Informative)

gr0ngb0t (410427) | about 10 years ago | (#10063937)

I've got a 512 mb Kingmax USB key, and it's awesome - never had any hassles with it. my dad has got a whole range of sizes of theirs and has had for a few years now - he's happy with them.

Re:USB Keys (2, Informative)

Frogbert (589961) | about 10 years ago | (#10064030)

I have to back this guy up, Kingmax are dirt cheap and their USB Drives are great quality, the only problem I can seem with their drives is that the necklace connects to the cap, not the drive, so if the cap breaks (unlikely at best) you loose your data. That said a small drill peice fixes that little problem.

these guys? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10063938)

You might want to try these guys:
http://www.micro-solutions.com

Depnds on the time for which you want to store (1)

stroustrup (712004) | about 10 years ago | (#10063940)

If the storage is temporary, i.e for a week or so, or to transfer files, USB drives are great. (Thumb drives I mean)

For longer term, i.e about a year or so, hard disks are good. Both USB and slave drives should do. (I wonder if there are any wireless hard drives ?!! )

For even long term, you will need back up tape drives.

Also, it depends on the amount of storage you need.

For small scale CDs are cheap and reliable, and for larger scale storage, DVDs are good. If you want to store lots of mp3s, just get two Ipods! ;)

Re:Depnds on the time for which you want to store (2)

Stevyn (691306) | about 10 years ago | (#10063993)

Just out of curiosity, why do you say tape drives are good for long term backups? What about them makes them last longer? I would have chosen good optical discs for long term storage as long as they're kept in dark dry places.

Maybe I'm just operating on past experience with floppies and I don't trust anything magnetic and plastic for long periods of time.

Re:Depnds on the time for which you want to store (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | about 10 years ago | (#10064123)

Don't trust anything magnetic, plastic, and high density for long periods of time, especially if not software duplication grade and/or made in this day and age.

I've got 23 year old Apple II floppies that work perfectly to this day.

Myself, I almost use my Lexar JumpDrive Elite (kicking myself for not ditching USB2 and going for a ruggedized one, now that I know it exists) as /home (C:\Documents and Settings\ for you Windows folk). I use it like most people use floppy disks. Put EVERYTHING on it (well, not everything...), and trust it. While I do have a dead JumpDrive (a 32MB classic model - I lost the cap - most likely, the flash itself is still good), I trust this one more. I'll be sure to offload important documents to my school network shares, laptop, and old desktop/server, though.

Re:Depnds on the time for which you want to store (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10064125)

>wonder if there are any wireless hard drives?

like this [ehomeupgrade.com] ?

pen_drive++; (1)

Zoko Siman (585929) | about 10 years ago | (#10063942)

I find a small "pen-drive" is like the floppy of the future. Back when I worked with the tech admin in high school that little 128mg pen drive he had came in REALLY handy.

IPod... (1, Redundant)

nweaver (113078) | about 10 years ago | (#10063943)

A nice 20 GB firewire drive for $200, very small form factor, oh, and its also an MP3 player...

Re:IPod... (4, Interesting)

evvk (247017) | about 10 years ago | (#10064015)

... and extremely fragile. Repeat after me: HD is bad. Once it takes a hit, it becomes shit.

(Signed, "one fourth of my hdd mp3 is now bad sectors after having accidentally dropped it")

iPod? (2, Insightful)

roshi (53475) | about 10 years ago | (#10063944)

I think you'd be hard pressed to find more storage in a smaller form factor than an iPod (classic or mini). And what you don't need for your files, you can use for music.

Besides, if you're a mac user, you will soon be able to seamlessly carry your home directory around (Google for Home on iPod).

Just my $0.02

Re:iPod? (-1, Redundant) (1)

roshi (53475) | about 10 years ago | (#10063986)

Yeah, yeah, replying to myself.

But as I go back and look at the comments that piled up as I wrote, I realize you'll need an as-yet-announced 60GB iPod just to hold all the "get an iPod" comments

Glad I could add my part to the noise.

Sorry, but you asked (2, Informative)

krray (605395) | about 10 years ago | (#10063946)

WARNING: I'm now a Mac zealot :)

The answer is Firewire and Lacie or a iPod. Self powered and with a Mac either can easily be used to boot the host computer from -- my Lacie is the backup for my Application directory tree and User accounts which can be booted from with the loaded host OS [X].

Yes, they can both work with Windows too.

Two birds with one stone (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10063947)

Use this [thinkgeek.com] AND be a babe magnet!!!

Re:Two birds with one stone (2, Funny)

Hibikitour (757068) | about 10 years ago | (#10064024)

My friend bought one of those watches before and had quite a few problems with it. I am not sure if it was from ThinkGeek or not but the usb cable kept popping out at odd times. "Is your watch happy to see me or somthing?" "Oh crap, stupid watch."

iPods (0, Redundant)

global_diffusion (540737) | about 10 years ago | (#10063949)

I won't be the first (or last) to say it, but iPods are nice. Big hard drives on a small piece of equipment, and you get to listen to music as well. (Although they still don't support ogg.)

No one can answer that question (3, Insightful)

Uhlek (71945) | about 10 years ago | (#10063950)

Why? It's too vague.

How portable do you need it? How much space do you need? What kind of interfaces do you have available? How fast does it need to be?

There is no one best storage solution, there are many different bests depending on what's needed at the time.

Throw out some more specifics, and maybe someone can help you out.

Re:No one can answer that question (3, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 10 years ago | (#10063969)

So we give him a variety of answers, and he chooses between them. What's wrong with that?

best buys got something (1)

kelceylehrich (600264) | about 10 years ago | (#10063957)

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=1083712 392784&skuId=6698237&productCategoryId=pcmcat33200 050002&type=product

Firewire (1)

Stevyn (691306) | about 10 years ago | (#10063959)

I mainly use my laptop so internal storage is nearly out of the question. Last summer I purchased an external firewire drive. It's basically just an enclosure with a firewire to EIDE connector and a regular 3.5 inch hard drive. This summer I had to upgrade the drive and it was no trouble at all.

My laptop doesn't have USB 2.0, but it did have firewire so that's why I chose firewire. It will work fine in windows and linux. I formatted it as FAT32. Now while that's not the best thing to do for a 160 GB drive, it ensures that windows and linux have no trouble reading it.

USB 2.0 is probably a good alternative if you already have it. I would look around for just an enclosure with the firewire or USB connectors and then get a good hard drive from a reputable manufacturer.

Creative's Nomad MuVo (1)

CdnZero (318885) | about 10 years ago | (#10063968)

I bought a Diamond Rio 500 ages ago. Since I am basically looking to replace it as well as get portable storage...I am waiting for the 512MB or 1GB Nomad MuVos to come out. They are already up to 256MB and I keep hearing noise about a 512MB version.

MP3 player AND tiny USB drive all rolled into one! Small enough to wear on your arm for jogging. Now if only they will add an FM tuner to it... *drool*

Well.. (2, Informative)

useosx (693652) | about 10 years ago | (#10063971)

2.5" (laptop) drives are pretty damn expensive, but they are more convenient as they can be bus powered. Here's an example [lacie.com] but I'm sure you can get them for cheaper. I'd personally rather buy the enclosure separate from the drive because I can usually get a longer warranty on the drive itself and I don't have to worry about voiding the warranty if I open the enclosure.

I personally only buy external drives for video stuff so I get 3.5" ones.

Another option would be to get an iPod or iPod mini type device.

I have a 128 meg USB keychain and I really like it. It's a Transcend JetFlash. But it's only good for documents and the occasional set of photos or MP3s.

Personally, this stuff is pretty obvious, just Google around. It's not like there's some kind of hidden mega-cube storage out there that only a few people know about. Pretty basic stuff.

USB Keys (1)

joemc91 (757436) | about 10 years ago | (#10063973)

USB keys are awesome, especially since they get fairly large, such as 512mb (big for flash storage). We use them at work as boot floppies to install Ghost images instead of the usual floppies. The main advantage for this is that they boot faster. Of course, if you want something huge, external hard drives kick ass. Plus, they sometimes support multiple connections (wrong word?) such as USB 1.1/2.0 and Firewire on the same drive. They're a lot bigger than usb keys though. The iPod's a good compromise if you want to spend the money. AND you've got an MP3 player, what more could you want?

Um, ThinkGeek? Hello? (5, Informative)

ElForesto (763160) | about 10 years ago | (#10063976)

You call yourself a Slashdot reader and yet you didn't check out ThinkGeek [thinkgeek.com] ? For shame! I found this model [thinkgeek.com] on there that may fit your needs. I haven't used it before though, as a disclaimer.

Re:Um, ThinkGeek? Hello? (1)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | about 10 years ago | (#10064071)

Where can I get a Fire Wire Thumb Drive?

Re:Um, ThinkGeek? Hello? (1)

ElForesto (763160) | about 10 years ago | (#10064128)

I'm not entirely sure such a thing exists. USB is much more ubiquitous and with the relatively small size of thumbdrives, there would appear not to be much of a speed benefit by using firewire. Maybe it has something to do with the cost of the firewire chips?

It's quite simple, but expensive. (3, Informative)

Tuxedo Jack (648130) | about 10 years ago | (#10063977)

I was lucky enough to get my office to pay for a LaCie Bigger Disk. It's one terabyte of space, and we don't have to worry about losing my shares or work.

CF Cards (1)

infernalC (51228) | about 10 years ago | (#10063979)

I use CF cards for totin' stuff home quite a bit. The readers are $30. I've heard you can't countinuously rewrite them, but for dumping files off at the end of the day, I've never had a problem.

2GB cards appear to start at $133 on pricewatch.

I've heard other folks have had trouble with these wearing out, though.

I have (1)

Mag7 (69118) | about 10 years ago | (#10063982)

a USB memory stick in my pocket, and a DVD-RW disk in my bag.

Works well since most computers have USB, and practically all new computers have DVD writers. Of course, you could have a whole external DVD-RW drive in your bag if you like.

it depends (1)

garignak (611737) | about 10 years ago | (#10063985)

It really depends how much storage you want and how much your willing to pay. For my uses, I've found that a USB "pen drive" works great. A 1GB unit is going for around $100 now. For me, my 256MB unit that I bought a year ago works great and has sufficient storage for my local email storage and my gpg key. It's proven to be pretty durable as well. I keep mine on my key chain and only $DEITY knows how many times I've dropped mine.

20G Archos GMINI120 (2, Interesting)

BoBG (9969) | about 10 years ago | (#10063988)

I purchased this originally to use on vacation for storing pictures from my digital camera. I got used to carrying it around and it will soon be replacing my laptop as the 'take home every night' device. It plays MP3s and has a CF slot built in. Very practical device.

Separating personal and work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10063989)

Separate them, different computers, different places.

Do not mingle data.

Re:Separating personal and work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10064107)

or just use the new revolutionary technology of separating files in directories (aka folders).

The Sound of Music (-1, Troll)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 10 years ago | (#10063990)

I've never bought USB keys/watches/butt-plugs or any other gadget they could stick a memory card into.

I do however own a very large iPod and what's nice it it plays music. So I just put on my white ear-buds while I'm getting busy ripping off valuable client data to sell to my other "clients", The fools just think I'm just downloading from their MP-3 server.

A USB keychain???
That would be far too obvious.

Besides, the one time some security guard did try to stop me on my way out, I just made like I couldn't hear him. Unfortunately for him he made the very grave mistake of laying a finger on me.
That ill fated finger was quickly chopped off.

Hahahahahahah
iPod == Ultimate Ninja Tool

Re:The Sound of Music (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10064080)

"Im getting busy ripping off valuable client data to sell to my other "clients" "

What kind of freak professional are you?, you just should be rip-off by fbi just by posting this kind of comment, you berbelly hills ninja.

Multipurpose (1)

Reconfigures (778049) | about 10 years ago | (#10063995)

Folks in my office were constantly giving me the eye because of various portable storage devices I brought into work. They had this nagging feeling that I was borrowing proprietary code for use at home.

I finally settled on bringing in my Sony digital camera [sonystyle.com] . They hook up through USB and mount under windows as just another drive. Easy to move files on and you can still take pictures of top-secret stuff in the office! Capacity is limited only by what you're willing to spend on memory cards.

Why a USB keydrive raised eyebrows and a fully-functional camera didn't, I'll never know...

Cruzer Mini (2, Informative)

thief_inc (466143) | about 10 years ago | (#10064002)

256 megabytes of storage.
I switch between Mac an PC quite abit and this is perfect as it does not require a driver for MacOS v9.1 or higher or for win2000 and XP.

how much size? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10064003)

I've heard of USB keys that go up to 1 gigabyte, I don't know if it's enough for you.

Otherwise Maxtor.com has some good external hard disks.

For around 350$ you can get 300 gigabyte and it's not that big, you can carry it easily. It's a little heavy though.

8" Floppy Disk (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10064009)

'nuf said.

But if you need to store more than 90KB of data, then I recommend setting up a VPN between your work computer and your home computer, without anybody in your company knowing about it. You can then offload all the company data to the safety of your own machine, and when everything fails at work, you can come to the rescue!

ARCdisk (1)

Hitmen (780437) | about 10 years ago | (#10064010)

ARCDisk [archos.com] . 40GB, smaller than a floppy, less than four ounces, USB 2.0, $250.

Try... (1)

Lazyhound (542184) | about 10 years ago | (#10064012)

...this [futureshop.ca] . It's a 1.5 GB USB 2.0 hard drive, and also pocket-sized.

lazy? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10064013)

ask slashdot rather then use google, get someone else to do your work for you. Are you a consultant by day?

WiebeTech!!! (1)

AvidProToolsDoc (805008) | about 10 years ago | (#10064018)

WiebeTech http://www.wiebetech.com/ [wiebetech.com] has some of the best FireWire and USB solutions around, I've been using their BayDocks for video editing for a while, and never had one failure. (knocking wood) Their ComboGB drive, with USB2, and Firewire 400+800 would probably serve your needs well. Disclaimer: Simply a satisfied user / not affiliated with the company in any way.....

Lots of funky advice in here (2, Informative)

Anonymous Cow4rd (761685) | about 10 years ago | (#10064027)

Sheesh.. Who wants only 20/40 GB or even less space? (iPod, CF, etc.)

Use a Firewire/USB2 to a small 3.5" combo enclosure (some are barely larger than the drive, which is damn small).

250+ GB... works on USB1 (ie. everything), USB2, and Firewire systems. No worries.

Slow day on Slashdot (4, Funny)

Dr_LHA (30754) | about 10 years ago | (#10064034)

What is it, stupid question time?

Dear slashdot, I am looking for some kind of input device that allows me to enter words onto my computer. Can you help.

Seriously, why is this on the front page - when anyone with half a brain can figure out the answer is either a $40 USB key or an iPod or equivalent depending on the size.

Sony 2GB memory stick (0, Redundant)

ruiner13 (527499) | about 10 years ago | (#10064035)

You didn't mention anything about price, so cruising the sites I found this today:

Sony 2GB memory stick [macworld.com]

It is $700, as it is bleeding edge, but should fit the bill nicely and is TINY.

Drivedock (1)

dj245 (732906) | about 10 years ago | (#10064037)

The Drivedock [dansdata.com] is really nifty, and it is probably the smallest solution out there. Heat isn't a problem, however it leaves your hard drive with minimal protection from the elements. You can buy a bottom plate to protect the bottom hard drive circuitry from harm. It is rather expensive however.

Personally I use a no-name 2-bay 3.5" firewire enclosure with an aftermarket Zalman fan and a resistor on the fan to slow it down. Its very quiet and reasonably cool, and I rarely move it so the size isn't an issue.

Firewire (1)

insert 3 letters (768692) | about 10 years ago | (#10064043)

I use a variety of firewire drives (all 3.5" to save money, but 2.5" enclosures are about the same). I generally buy enclosures and drives separately as it is much cheaper and you can choose which drive you want based on what you need. I find that there is little difference in quality of the ecolsure if you by a name brand or a generic one. the key is the chipset. I laways get some varient of the Oxford 911 chipset, seems to be the fastest and most reliable. Also if it not bus powered look for a power switch on back, cause unplugging a lot is really annoying.

MP3 Player (1)

1337 Twinkie (795608) | about 10 years ago | (#10064044)

I would go with a ('cheap') MP3 player with an HD, if you need a lot of storage.

For carrying small files, I have found my 128MB USB key drive very useful. You can get a similer one for $30 (US) at Best Buy. Those little flash drives are almost indestructable, too.

Smart-drive (1)

salimma (115327) | about 10 years ago | (#10064047)

Aluminium enclosure for 2.5" hard drives; available in Firewire and USB models. I currently use the USB2 model and it's brilliant.. it can be powered through the USB connection, and if your USB port does not supply enough power, there's an additional USB plug that is only used to supply power that you can connect to another free port.

From my experience so far, avoid Firewire+USB combo devices like the plague. My old external enclosure cannot be made to work using kernels > 2.6.4 using either USB2 or Firewire.. and even in Windows, Firewire does not work anymore with SP2. Ugh.

Karma (1)

n9uxu8 (729360) | about 10 years ago | (#10064050)

Wow...that's an open ended question. I use two items...a 256 meg thumb drive for quick and dirty transportation of bits of data and my rio karma (20gb) for data which is conistently moving between work and home (plus some bits that I just like to have handy at any given time). Dave

PQI iStick (4, Interesting)

Rexz (724700) | about 10 years ago | (#10064054)

I have one of these [pqi.com.tw] : a PQI iStick 2.0.

It's absolutely minute - far smaller than any other USB key device I've seen. It has a funny shaped contact at the end that looks like it shouldn't fit in a USB port but works perfectly.

It's made of study plastic and comes with a wallet-sized carrier/protector slightly larger than a credit card. Mine is a mere 64mb but they come in flavours all the way up to 1gb.

It works out of the box with no problems. You can use a small utility that comes on a mini-CD to add a password protected partition.

It even has a cool LCD embedded under a thin layer of plastic that gives a funky glow when transferring!

Heartily recommended. (Usual disclaimer: no relationship whatsoever with manufacturers or retailers other than I like their product.)

Archos (1)

Rich Klein (699591) | about 10 years ago | (#10064060)

I'm using an Archos Recorder V2 [archos.com] . It's an MP3 player with a USB 2.0 interface and a 20GB hard drive. Windows sees it as a generic Mass Storage Device so you can just drag and drop files to and from it. It uses a standard 2.5" notebook hard drive. Those hard drives are expensive compared to desktop drives, but at least it's easy to upgrade the drive (up to a limit of ~120GB, if I remember correctly). It can run off a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, AC adapter, or USB power. I think they're selling for $150-$200 these days. If you get one, do yourself a favor and install the RockBox [rockbox.haxx.se] firmware.

I've also used various digital cameras the same way, but they tend to have less storage space available.

Tiny Storage Drives. (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | about 10 years ago | (#10064061)

If you don't want an mp3 player, check this out: ThinkGeek [thinkgeek.com]

They have 2 tiny USB2 drives that range from 20 to 80 gigs. And support just about any OS that has USB drivers.

this one [thinkgeek.com]

"MAC OS 8.6 or higher
Windows 98/98SE/ME/2000/XP
Linux Kernel 2.4.5 or higher
DOS level support"

Or this one [thinkgeek.com] :

"Requires Microsoft Windows 98/98SE/2000/Me/XP, Macintosh OS 8.6+, or Linux Kernel 2.4+, available USB Port (To achieve USB 2.0 speeds, your computer must be USB 2.0 enabled), CD-ROM Drive for driver installation or internet connection for driver installation download"

Note: ThinkGeek and Slashdot are both part of blahblahblah.

External USB/FW drive - get the iPod (2, Interesting)

erwin (8773) | about 10 years ago | (#10064062)

I've got a 40GB 3.5" hard drive in an external case with USB 2.0 and FireWire ports. The flexibility is nice, but I almost never use one set of ports. The biggest hassle is the external power supply. It's just one more brick to carry around, and it's a non-standard part, so I can't even get another one without buying another (frankly overpriced) case. Very high PITA factor.

The iPod, with an extra dock, is a far superior solution. And the bonus of playing your tunes allows you to completely separate your stuff from your employers stuff. There's no ambiguity. Personally, 25-40% of my laptop's drive is given over to music, so an iPod would be the ideal solution for me.

a few options... (1)

John Seminal (698722) | about 10 years ago | (#10064063)

getting a small usb keychain like device with loads of space will cost you an arm and a leg, and that is for a 512 meg one. then there is the fixed external usb hard drive. i found one at microcenter for $105 after a $15 rebate, it was an 80 gig model (about the price of the usb keychain 512 meg). another option is you could get an external hard drive case. these cases are different than an external hard drive, as you can put any hard drive in the case, any size. you can interchange hard drives. then if you want smaller, you could get a hard drive case built for laptop hardrives. the drives might cost you more than a standard desktop hard drive, but if space is an issue it might be worth it. http://microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtm l?product_id=0145187 [microcenter.com]

oh, i know one guy who got a cheap, cheap, cheap pentium 166 laptop and added a large hard drive. he uses it as a data storage and transfer system. the laptop is an ibm 560e, and he has a wireless pcmcia card. at home, work and school they all have wireless networks. so he can transfer data back and forth easily. and the 560 weighs less than 5 pounds (it is tiny). much thiner than a hard drive case, and it looks cool. plus, you can use it anywhere. probably no more expensive than the 512 meg usb keychain.

I Use 3 Types Depending on Need (1)

Rob Riggs (6418) | about 10 years ago | (#10064073)

I have three types of portable storage:

128MB USB key

MMC Reader and multiple MMC cards

20GB Archos MP3 player / hard disk

The USB key is just handy and easy to take anywhere. It's the sneakernet of our day.

The MMC cards can be read by my Palm, used in my camera, and the small USB reader plugs into everything else. Lots of small, easy to carry storage. Hard part is keeping track of all the small MMC cards.

The Archos is a multi-function unit that does the heavy lifting, yet is still quite portable. (Yeah, the Apple zealots are all screaming iPod!, but I like my hackable Archos FM Recorder. The RockBox [rockbox.haxx.se] firmware is great.)

Show your inner geek... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10064077)

with the USB Knife and Watch from Thkngeek.com!

Have you considered (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 10 years ago | (#10064087)

pigeons [slashdot.org]
Note: Original story was in IT dept, gave it non-retina burning Apple color scheme :P

Smartphone and internet (2, Insightful)

rufusdufus (450462) | about 10 years ago | (#10064088)

I've toyed around with several portable solutions, what I settled on is an internet server accessable from my smartphone.

The main problem with the portable solutions I've tried, such as zip disks, cd burners, usb doohickies and handheld storage is that you need to actually carry it around. And hassle with hooking stuff up to use it. Things you have to carry around can get broken.
Also, you have the issue of instant access anywhere. Sure you can use a USB keychain, but can you read it at the mall without a device?
In any event, you need a device, that device might as well be your cell phone, since you carry it everywhere. The smartphones out now have little insertable media; this might do the trick for you, but you still have the issue of syncing and all that bother.
So my solution is to keep my data on broadband server, access it from anywhere with my smartphone, access from work/home on my broadband connection.
The best of all worlds, even backed up regularly by the sever admins.

Horrid Requirements (4, Insightful)

gnugie (757363) | about 10 years ago | (#10064090)

Look at that mess.

No budget requirement, except small.
No physical size requirement, except small.
No capacity requirement, except big.

So basically, you don't know what you want, probably don't know why you want it, what it has to do, or what you're willing to spend on it, but you want the answer?

Good luck.

Re:Horrid Requirements (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10064120)

42

Backup backup backup. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10064092)

No matter what media you choose, if the data you transport is of value - make sure you back it up. This makes it much less likely to be lost with catastrophic results.

I have a portion of my home directory in a version control database (I use the excellent, free and cross-platform Subversion [tigris.org] ). I have a copy checked out onto my Windows, Mac and FreeBSD machines. I also have a USB keychain drive that I sync onto whenever I need those files away from home. When I return, as soon as I sync up again, I can be sure that I how have all the changes I made while away.

A solution like this might be overkill (and not work well for large binary files), but it lets me take easy backups of all my code and documents (because they're backed up to the server whenever I sync - although since I don't care about the version history, just having a backup on another computer is enough redundancy for me) and easily keeps all the computers I use up to date with the files that I want.. without resorting to network drives (which are often complicated to set up and useless if I'm away from home with no internet connection).

Encryption is a whole 'nother topic, but if the data is sensitive, you might want to consider a portable device with hardware encryption (although usually software needs to be installed on the host machine before it can be accessed).

Bytecc (1)

zaffir (546764) | about 10 years ago | (#10064110)

I have an external 3.5" Bytecc enclosure. USB 2.0 and Firewire using the much sought-after Oxford chipset. I got a good deal on a 200 gig HD and just threw that in there. I love it.

Archos AV380 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10064113)

although only an 80 gig drive, it's also divx and mp3 player, and sound recorder.
bonus is, I've dropped mine several times from waist height and it's jes' fine.

What about this? (2, Funny)

Zorilla (791636) | about 10 years ago | (#10064122)

How about going with DVD-R9 discs, or is it DVD+R9 discs that I'm thinking of?

Never mind..

smartdisk (1)

sometwo (53041) | about 10 years ago | (#10064130)

http://www.smartdisk.com/ [smartdisk.com] Smartdisk is a good place to get highly portable firewire and usb 2.0 drives. I've heard good things about them and they're not a small or new company.
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