Painted into a corner

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Raise your hand if "back in the day" you said something like, "A 4GB hard drive? I'll never use that much space!"

I remember back in the days when my neighbor had a Vic20, and he had a cassette tape drive, and I thought that was sooo cool - a device that could store 'data' - wow. Then I got my Apple //c, and it had 128K of memory and dual 5.25" floppies (a hand-me-down from the Apple //e) and I thought, "Wow, this is as good as it gets.")

Fast forward a few years, and those new-fangled 3.5" floppy drives came out... They could fit 1.44 megabytes on them! Holy cats!! And there was this thing called "a hard drive" and it could hold 20 megabytes -- who in their right mind would ever use so much space?! (Mind you, this was in 1992 or so)

And then I got a 386-33 with a 100MB hard drive, and I thought I was king of the world. Windows 3.1 came on 10 floppy disks, and after you installed it, you were left to ask, "So, ok... now what? What do I do?"

Fast forward to today...

I've got 500GB available in the G5, and I'm freaking out. Video takes a lot of space - so much so that it's caught me off guard... I have one SATA drive as my OS/application drive, and it's 140GB full -- Final Cut Pro Studio takes up 50GB of space alone (it's 9 DVDs worth of space). I've got Photoshop Creative Suite 2 on it, along with iLife '06, Microsoft Office 2004, and about 20GB of music. I've also got old files from past jobs, and my freelance work.

The other drive is a scratch drive - it's where I do the video editing, and where I store clips, etc. for video work. It's SATA as well, and it's a smoking fast drive, so that's really nice... but it's over 50% full already, and I'm just getting started with video (DV uses 13GB per five minutes of video in compressed format, and about 40GB per five minutes of uncompressed... HD is ridiculous beyond that).

I've got a 500GB firewire drive that I use for weekly backups. But now I'm thinking about archiving my drives and taking a spare offsite, in the event of some type of localized disaster - I have so much stuff on the drives, that if I ever lost them, I'd have a hard time recovering everything...

So, I need to buy another 500GB drive for that. And then I got to thinking, "Should I buy another 500GB drive for video work? A FW800?" Or, am I doing things completely wrong? Is there a better way to do this?

Anyone got any ideas?

I see myself using:

250GB for OS and applications/everyday files/music/etc.
500GB for video scratch work/editing/etc.
500GB for longer-term video archiving (saving old projects, clips, footage, music, etc)
???GB for off-site storage of data - would be backed-up once every 4-5 months or so.

I've even considered buying a LTO2 tape drive to backup to, but the tapes can only hold 400GB, so I'd need at least 3-4, and a $2500 tape drive... ugh. I thought about storing data online in a data vault, but I don't fully trust those places... I could get a network drive, but I don't think it would be fast enough (AVID is out of my price range, thank you), and it wouldn't solve the "offsite" issue.

My brain hurts.

... I want my 5.25" floppies back ... that was much easier to manage.


(I posted this to one of my daily-visit message boards, and then thought it might be worth posting here, just in case anyone has any ideas)

2 Comments

Steve, go RAID! You might be able to find on old Mac xServe on eBay or you could also build a Win-doze PC with a RAID card added to run a RAID 5 set. I took an older IBM 225 server, loaded up the 6 slots and got nearly 900GB of RAIDed storage. I just used parts literally laying around and got a great file server. I'm sure your creative juices will come up with something!
VERY nice rig, BTW...I'm very jealous!!!!

I would take the money and invest it, so that in a few years, you can use the interest off of the money to keep buying new gadgets, and not have to touch any principal. By the way, the dvd from our trip . . . .very cool!!

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