Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Photo Backups -- Found a solution

I had been considering several different options for generating a backup of my photos when traveling sans laptop.

There are several "viewer" devices out there, that have a screen as well as a drive. I have found these to be somewhat universally overpriced (especially if you want a "reasonably-sized" hard drive), and therefore could not justify purchasing any of them. Probably because everybody feels this way, the even-pricier-than-the-Epson Canon M80 was never even sold in the United States.

I also thought about the netbook option. The price would be cheaper than the Epson or (unattainable) Canon, and the screen would certainly be larger. But, the space difference vs. my "real" laptop isn't really enough for this option to make sense, and the drives tend to be tiny.

Finally, I settled on the Photo Safe II from Digital Foci. It does not have the ability to view photos, but I was able to secure a 160GB model for $105 from Amazon. It successfully slurmed both an 8GB SDHC and a 4GB CF card in a reasonable time during my initial testing. The 160GB provides adequate capacity to overcome the device's main weakness, which is that it just dumps the card to a folder during each copy operation (and therefore will create duplicates if you are doing multiple backups from the same card as it is slowly filled, e.g. over a period of a few days). The formatted capacity is ~149GB, which can handle more than 18 copy operations with a full 8GB card. In other words, it should be enough to handle almost any reasonably-probable trip...