Let me open with a question for those who were involved in the past with building their own computer or just upgrading their current system with a harder capacity hard drive.
Do you remember the price and capacity of the internal hard drive that was to be included in a new or upgraded system? In my case I can distinctly remember scouring through adverts in several computer magazines for a hard drive that would increase my computer's storing capacity. As my budget was around £200, my choice of possible drive was limited to those drives with a maximum capacity of 200MB (this is not a typing mistake as MB was the current standard at that time).
I am sure we all have a number of USB Sticks often they have information from vendors of course these may contains ‘cookies’ or much worse but we squirrel away information and data and hope it’s not corrupted when we need it.
Most come as a single solid stick and if we stick in our pockets or bags the contacts are exposed and may pick up dirt, they could rip clothes and maybe worst of all get damaged. Here is a drive that retracts at the push of a button on the side so it’s a flat surface with no contacts exposed, push the grey end and it clicks out ready for use. This unit also has a hole cut in the grey end to allow it to be attached to a key ring.
As traditional hard disk drives have grown in size and reduced in price, so SSD products have followed a similar trend
External drives are useful but they do need a layer of protection such as that provided by encryption.
Nowadays when it comes to the time than selecting a hard drive for storing valuable data is called for, yes there is the Cloud but this is not everybody's favourite storage location, we could be considered as being rather spoilt for choice. I can still remember struggling to decide whether I could manage with a 100 MB drive or stretch my budget to afford going larger with a 200 MB unit (and the capacity is not a typing mistake).
External hard drives used to be large and also require external power now not only are they powered by the USB lead they are also very capacious and often far larger than the hard disc of the PC that they are often connected to.
The drive is 11x7.7x1.7cm and weights 216grams with the supplied 40cm long USB3 attached. This will add another 2cm to the 11cm length of the unit. If you do not have full size USB ports and only USB ‘C’ you have not been forgotten as a USB ‘C’ to USB adapter has been supplied. This fits into your USB ‘C’ port and sticks out 3.2cm to give you a USB3 port. The total measurements of the adapter are 4x2.2x1.1cm.
Whether Brexit goes through or not, a passport will be required.
As part of its “My Passport” family, Western Digital (WD) has released a wireless SSD (Solid State Drive) product. This particular offering is a SSD giving the user wireless connectivity to a variety of devices, Along with the My Passport SSD unit, this kit consists of a protective bumper or rubberised jacket, USB power adaptor with a choice of 3 or 2-pin plug, and an adaptor to switch from standard-to-Type C port use.
It is small, lightweight and capable of moving files you do not want to loose.
Have you noticed how many brands of smartphones there are? This number of brands is probably equalled by the different ways these multi-purpose devices are put to use by their owners, especially by those users who feel their lives would be seriously compromised without a fully-functional and working device. While similar in certain respects, these constant companion devices do tend to vary somewhat with regards to price and street cred.
While a proportion of the latest SmartPhones have USB ‘C’ connections there are still a good number of new phones arriving with Micro USB connectors so this latest device to cross my desk from SanDisk still has a place for lots of people.
It is a 16GB USB memory stick and at the other end the same memory shared for a Micro USB port found on SmartPhones. It fits easily on any key ring so data can come with you. It is only 3cm long and 1.5cm wide and .7.5cm thick with a weight of less than 6 grams. The middle has a metal clip that is 3mm wider than the casing which allows it to be added to a keyring.
While a 1TB hard drive for a decent desktop machine is now the norm larger drives are available and as the size of the machine gets smaller a second drive bay gets rarer so having multiple partitions may be the way to go with a single larger drive. However with Windows making the formatting of anything over 2TB more difficult this 8TB offering may be more for those with more specialised uses.
While it is not impossible to format this as a single Windows drive the will require more knowledge than most have to do so. In fairness would you want such a large single drive anyway especially if it was the boot drive. It is most likely to end up in a NAS unit where even this huge capacity can soon be swallowed up by backups and the like. The drive measures 14.7x10.2x2.6cm which normally gets called a drive to fit into a 3.
Robots are not just work horses but can provide fun and entertainment for the youngest members of the family.
With a title that gives a clear indication as to the product’s general appearance, the Boxer (no relation to a hit Paul Simon song) is an interactive box-shaped AI robotic toy. As one of the top twelve entries in the latest DreamToys listing, the Boxer has been developed by Spin Master Toys and is being aimed at the 6+ age group or anybody who is young at heart and enjoys technology.
While a NAS has long been something for larger organisations and even smaller companies it now has a place for the SOHO or even the Home user as Synology have recently launched a single bay NAS and also Seagate have launched a drive designed for NAS use so a recent visit to London had me finding my way around the chaos at Euston caused by Crossrail for the construction of the Elizabeth line.
While the 22x7x15cm box has the Synology name, they are the people who produce the operating system that it runs on and the drive it has inside is made by Seagate, in fact the drive in the unit I have is made by Seagate especially for NAS use. Also in the box with the NAS are getting started instructions, an Ethernet lead and a mains lead.
Stated to be capable of copying 8K video as captured according to the box. I can certainly confirm capture of 4K video without any problem on two separate devices. It is an SDHC UHS-II Card, mine was 32GB but they do other capacities.
Looking at the face of the card it is no different in size (dimensions) to any other SD card. Turn it over and you see a difference, the same row of contacts at the inward edge of the card but below that an additional row of contacts. It is stated to have read speeds of up to 270MB/s*² and write speeds of up to 260MB/s*². However due to the high quality for one year there is data recovery software available for free. The card itself is warrantied for five years.
A new Synology NAS box provides users with personal data access.
Based in Milton Keynes, Synology is a company that is synonymous with NAS technology, devices and related issues. Recently I have been checking out the company’s DS119j product. With the “DS” part of the product’s title standing for “Disk Station”, this NAS box is being marketed as a budget-friendly, versatile and easy-to-use one-bay NAS product designed to host, share and protect the data of personal users.
To be precise this is a Micro SD Card but it does come with an SD card holder so it could be used as an SD should you so wish. Being old my mind boggles at the size (capacity) of these tiny items. I well remember the first consumer hard drives they were heavy took a full size 5.25 inch drive bay and the capacity was 10MB.
About two years ago the size of Micro SD card acceptable to recent mobile phones started to rise and before this unit arrived the largest I had to test was 64GB now I can check claims with this 128GB offering that without the SD card is small enough to get easily lost and of course at this sort of capacity is both expensive and perhaps could contain a great deal of information not easily immediately recreatable. So most of my tests have been with a range of recent mobile phones.
The latest range of USB3 small external drives from Toshiba sees the Canvio Advance (highest specified of three) cross my desk to be given the real world test over a matter of weeks, using transfer by USB2, USB3 and this time also USB ‘C’ for good measure.
As I was testing this with Windows PC’s and I had used similar products all I did was unbox the drive and connect the supplied USB3 cable. Unlike earlier USB drives this takes the small amount of power required from the USB port so it is true ‘plug and play’. While this is stated to be 2TB and by the 1000 calculation method it is but Windows used the 1024 calculation so it only shows as 1.81TB this is normal.
With its background in hard drives, WD has come up with a personal Cloud solution.
Where do you store the ever-increasing amount of personal data? With the options available, such as local drives, network facilities, flash devices and Cloud services, the choice and spread of the data is wide and varied. You could opt for a single location or prefer to mix and match as circumstances decree.
With the appearance of a bathroom wall tile, this next product under review offers 1TB of portable storage space.
The My Passport Ultra is a portable storage device from Western Digital (WD). Available in a choice of either Black & Grey or White & Gold, there are models with a capacity of 1, 2, 3 or 4TB of storage space. I have been sent the 1TB White & Gold unit for the purpose of this review. Slightly smaller and lighter than the 3 and 4TB models, my review sample has dimensions of 110 x 81.5 x 13.
Larger memory sticks are always useful if you need to transfer large files such as videos to various destinations, if these devices have the ability to work on what are otherwise conflicting operating systems then so much the better.
It is only slightly longer than a standard USB stick at 6.5x2.3x1cm and both the end pieces are covered. It weighs only 16grams. Assuming you only lift one cover the other is held in place as the rubberised cover has two strips down the back which if required can be integrated into a belt so you never lose the stick unless that is you lose your trousers. The Lightning connector is one end and a standard USB3 (actually USB3.1) connector the other.
If you need to move data around then on a Ethernet or Wi-Fi network should be easy, if however the files are in different places this is harder, so maybe a large capacity USB stick can help, or possibly to move from a mobile device to a PC then an OTG device can help, both are covered with the below.
Inflation is a thing most of us have problems with in one way or another, as far as computer memory it means that programs and the data they use can be larger, much larger, a long time ago – yes I am old – the operating system its programs and data fitted on a floppy disc of less than 100MB here however is a USB stick that can contain up to 115GB of data.
With claims that much of its stock being 20% cheaper than elsewhere in the UL, Reichelt Electronics supplied this next product.
File sizes, over the years, have grown at a prodigious rate, even far outstripping my waist measurement. At the same time, hard disk sizes and other types of storage media devices, such as flash sticks and memory cards, have expanded to create the storage space necessary to hold the bloated software products that we cannot do with out. Talk of 20MB hard drives.