Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Shameless Post: I need more storage so that...

Seagate is having a contest where someone could win a 750GB external hard drive. All they have to do is describe their digital lifestyle, and explain what they'll do with more hard drive space. So here it goes...

My Digital Lifestyle
I'm currently the proud owner of Seagate's 300GB external model. It is the centerpiece of my home network, which means it gets beat up on a daily basis. It's connected to my Vista Media Center PC, so it stores all my recorded TV. I use my Xbox 360 as a Media Center Extender, so I can watch that content on my new 50' HDTV. It also stores almost 7GB of songs downloaded off of my Napster-To-Go account, which means the music is accessible in any room in the house.

My girlfriend bought an 8 megapixel camera, and both of us take way too many pictures of our cat. Here he is, in his favorite sleeping position.


How can you blame us? He's too damn cute.

We have about 2,500 pictures we've accumulated over the past couple years, and we'll have many more as the years go on. And since Windows Vista has such cool video editing and DVD tools, I've been using them to edit home movies into cool video montages.

But what I use it for the most is virtualization. I have 25 different virtual OS installations that I use for development and testing. I don't like installing OSes on new VMs over and over again, so I keep a base library with a bunch of different OS configurations.

I keep them on a separate hard drive to improve performance... keeping virtual machines on the same spindle as the host OS is a serious performance pig. Keeping them separate also helps me keep them mobile. I can plug the hard drive into another computer and fire up the VM if I need to... or I can take the hard drive with me on the road when I go on trips.

My hard drive breakdown:

  • System Backups: 38.3GB
  • CD/DVD Images (ISOs): 36GB
  • Music: 6.6GB
  • Pictures: 8.5GB
  • Recorded TV: 53GB
  • Virtual Machines: 90GB

You know, when I bought the drive, I never thought I'd fill it up. It took over a year to fill up my 160GB HD. Ha! It lasted about 4 months before I filled it up again. That's mostly thanks to virtualization.

What I'd Do With 750GB
More than doubling my hard drive capacity would allow me to expand my Vista Media Center's recording space, which would let me record more of my favorite TV shows... and keep them a lot longer. And with the new OpenCable Receivers coming out soon, I'll need the space. Recorded HDTV content takes up much more space than analog.

It would also let me do more frequent backups of the three computers on my network. I don't like rebuilding my systems any more than the next guy.

But what I need it for the most is my virtual machines. As it stands, I have to put at least one VM on the chopping block on a regular basis... and I spend way too much time running Invirtus VM Optimizer on my VMs. I'd much rather have a crapload of space so that I don't have to worry about it for a while.

In Conclusion
Well, I may not help students go to college, like this guy. I may not take really awesome photos, like this guy. But I think I've made a pretty good case for needing a bigger hard drive. Does Seagate think so? We'll see at CES, won't we?

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