The Big Book

I know some readers of this blog are actively seeking better and bigger storage solutions. After a long search, I decided to go with the Western Digital My Book 1TB Studio Edition. This is the mini-review.

Design - This is a great looking drive. It was even smaller than I expected it to be. To give you some perspective, I photographed it next to an iPod.

I've also found that you can stick this between the iMac foot and screen. You don't lose any desk space this way, but it looks a little silly and puts the light in a place that is distracting. I still have it there, but I plan to move it to a shelf up behind the computer soon.

The Studio edition is formatted for Macs, and they did a decent job matching the silver of Macs. It isn't exactly the color of the latest iMacs, but it is really close and you really can't tell unless you shine some direct light. I'm also happy that the power supply is a small wall wart. Some folks don't like wall warts, but I hate the inline bricks even more. It's really hard to hide wires when there's a box of animal crackers in the middle of the wire.

Noise - The drive is fairly quiet. You can hear the tick tick of the drive head searches, but only when it is quiet. I have not heard a fan spin up loudly like some other external drives.

Software - If you're like me, you don't want software to run a hard drive. The drive came with a "button controller" for OS X that is supposed to control the fuel gauge light on the front of the drive. I installed it, or at least I think I did. It gave me no indication that it worked or not. I never saw the drive light behave any different in a week of use, so I uninstalled the driver.

Drive light - You'll love this or hate it. The light slowly pulses when the drive is asleep. It marquees Knight Rider style when the drive is being accessed. I wish I could turn the light off completely.

Interfaces - I'm using FW800 (remember kids, USB drives burn processor, FW doesn't). It seems fast, but I didn't benchmark it. It cranked across nearly 500GB in the first Time Machine backup.

Power - The drive has a feature where it will turn off completely when the computer is off. Folks tell me this is pretty common, but I've not had this on previous external drives. My Kill A Watt says the drive has used less than a KWH in 8 days of use and that includes a few days of Time Machine activity.

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