Thursday, April 02, 2009

Flash Drives and Trees

I just got an e-mail about a new social media things called The organizers state:

" was founded by Richard Price and a team of people from Stanford and Cambridge University. The aim is for the site to list every academic in the world, together with their university and department affiliation."

But like LinkedIn, I'm not yet sure whether it is really much use for anything else but being seen to be there. From a quick look around, it's overwhelmingly graduate students who are members despite the claim that: "Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, Noam Chomsky, Paul Krugman and Steven Pinker have all added their names to's tree recently, and so have 70% of the Nobel Prize winners for 2008."

I'm settling into my office - all my books and stuff are now there and my computer is set up and I have an appointment scheduled for today to check my ergonomics.

I'm trying to decide on the best system to always have the most up to date version of my data (i.e. all my computer files excluding applications etc.) with me whether I'm working at the University or at home. In the past I've used an external hard drive with all the data on it, which I've then plugged into my home or office computer. I had the applications residing on the computers and used the computers as backup for the data (where usually an external drive is considered the backup). The only problem is the long cable to the drive is awkward when using a laptop and gets easily disconnected. I know that there are networking solutions like Apple's MobileMe but I can see where that will very quickly exceed my internet download allocation at home or I'll still need to use the hard drive to make backups. So the solution I'm coming to is getting a 16GB USB flash drive instead. It's big enough for all my data. I have a 2GB one at the moment Kingston Data Traveller but it is very slow when copying lots of small files as some users note. And too small for even my e-mail database. From what I read there is no reason why these things should be slower than hard drives. Maybe the next one I get will be faster?

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