How much storage is enough?
A 250 GB hard drive is more than enough capacity for any normal PC enthusiast. That’s quite a bit of storage to hold your installed programs, music, pictures, videos etc. If you do manage to fill it up, there’s the option of optical storage to shave off a bit of files from the hard drive. At the moment, DVD writers are the best option with 4.7 GB and 8.4 GB discs. In the near future, HD DVD and Blu-ray writers become available, you can opt to replace your aging DVD drive to be able to store much more information on a disc. Is it enough?
My answer is no.
I?ll admit that my demands for disk space are greater than that of the average person. If I put the amount current amount of storage that my PCs carry:
- 2 X 200 GB IDE
- 3 x 200 GB SATA
- 1 x 160 GB
- 1 x 80 GB
- 1 x 320 GB
That amounts to 1.5 TB of storage space. I’ve dedicated some of these drives for storing a specific type of file?one for music, one for images, one for the images of server configurations of my past clients and other programming files, one for a backup of my installers and the rest for my video collection *cough*anime*cough.* Now you may think that it’s a whole lot of wasted of space that could be stored on optical drives?I admit, I did too at first?but now that I think about the advantages of having my files on my drives instead of discs, it more than out ways the cost. I’ll discuss more on that later.
On the professional side, if you hook up your digital camera or camcorder to your PC, your storage demands starts to sky rocket. At first it’s quite unnoticeable because you can stick throw your files into DVDs but after a few months you start feeling the need for more disk space. If you let it go on for a year, you’d start thinking that installing a bigger capacity hard drive is a much better option.
On the enthusiast side, as you spend more and more of your time downloading stuff on the net, burning them to DVDs then storing them out of the way, you would soon encounter the problem of inventory.
Now if you realize that you suddenly have 200 – 300+ discs, figuring out what contains what can become quite a challenge. I used to note down the contents per DVD but it’s too cumbersome at times to keep both the list and the discs updated. One more problem is safety. Even if your drive runs 24/7, its less prone to accidents, thereby data loss, than your DVDs sitting idly in the corner. How many times have you lost your precious files because your DVD suddenly developed a scratch?
The obvious advantage of keeping files on a hard drive is easy sorting. Just pop your files into an appropriate folder, label the disk with a marker and store away. It will be a bit costly compared to storing onto DVDs but it the long run you’ll appreciate the ease of management over price. After all, you can’t use desktop search on ALL your DVDs at the same time. Security is also another feature that you can’t easily adopt with discs. You can use encryption on your drives to protect your data from being accessed by anyone but yourself. If you’re using a SATA drive then you can use it like a huge flash disk by installing drivers supported by your motherboard. If you did it right you should get the Safely Remove Hardware icon on your taskbar so you can easily swap drives when you need files.
If you’re looking for an online alternative to both you can buy storage online via Microsoft’s Skydrive or Google Drive. They are both low cost online storage that’s integrated into their services (Picasa, Gmail, etc. for Google, LIve mail etc for Microsoft). If you need to transfer large files though, you need a speedy connection. Having your files online makes it easier to share files with other people on the Internet.
I’m currently planning to switch over to a 500 GB drive for my next PC, so long as my budget allows it. Is my storage hunger going to end? Probably not. Especially now that my connection speed has more than doubled.
What?s are your space requirements like and how have they changed over the past few years?Tags: General Computing, Windows