Other World Computing On-The-Go Pro External Disk Housing
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My laptop, which I'm using for photo processing during my month in Ohio, found its disk full after a few days of photos of Anthony's cousins. The 80-gig disk needed a quick upgrade.

On Monday I ordered an “On-The-Go Pro 500GB 7200RPM Triple Interface FW800/FW400/USB 2.0 Storage Solution” from Other World Computing, and it arrived Tuesday. It's a small external housing with Firewire and USB interfaces, and holds the same kind of disk as the laptop; I got the 500 gig version, with the faster 7200 RPM disk, which will help with Lightroom (which benefits greatly from faster disk)..

I plugged it in, copied my whole disk with Carbon Copy Cloner (donationware, like my Lightroom plugins, so I sent $20 in thanks), then swapped the disks so that the new 500-gig disk was in the laptop.

After booting, checking the disk-free space, angels sung: “396 giiiiiig freeeeeeeeeee.”

The On-The-Go external disk housing is great.... it doesn't even require a separate power plug, since it's powered over the Firewire cable. I'll use it with the old 80-gig disk as a photo-backup disk.

I've spent all day copying data around, and can now get back to processing photos. Hopefully tomorrow I can start to process some of the photos from the last couple of days, and get back to posting on the blog...

All 6 comments so far, oldest first...

It’s always nice to have all this extra space…
Did you notice any dif regarding the noise and/or battery time because of the 7200RPM?
I want to do the same on my macbook pro and battery time is very important for me…


I haven’t used it enough to tell, but my battery life with my 3-year-old MacBook has always been horrible… it cuts out anywhere from 14% charge to 60% charge. Essentially, I have to always use the power plug, except for brief moments between outlets. —Jeffrey

— comment by Kostas on August 5th, 2009 at 7:11pm JST (14 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

This enclosure does not require external power for the USB connection either.

— comment by Mark Thalman on August 6th, 2009 at 12:16am JST (14 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Have you actually noticed a speed increas in Lightroom? I upgraded my laptop to a 7200 RPM drive awhile back in hopes of some extra zip, but really got nothign out of it. I’m curious if results are different with different machines or drives…

— comment by Sean Phillips on August 6th, 2009 at 12:34am JST (14 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

“it cuts out anywhere from 14% charge to 60% charge”

Try to “calibrate” your battery according to Apple’s instructions: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1490
I used to have the same problem. Now that I calibrate once per couple of months, it’s ok…
Keep in mind though that you will probably not gain any lost battery capacity, but your laptop will “know” when the battery is empty…

Thanks for the link… I’ll give it a try tonight. One problem, though, is that the “disk low” dialog often doesn’t even pop up… the machine just dies. I’ve never calibrated it (never knew you could), so maybe it’s just way out of whack. Before sleeping tonight, I’ll shut down all the applications and just let the battery run out. —Jeffrey

[Update] I tried it twice and there wasn’t the slightest change, but after trying a third time, it suddenly seemed better. Thanks! —Jeffrey

— comment by Kostas on August 6th, 2009 at 1:55am JST (14 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

>One problem, though, is that the “disk low” dialog often doesn’t even pop up… the machine just dies.

That is because your system doesn’t know the exact state of the battery charge.
For example it has the value 20% but in reality its 1%. In that case the OS doesn’t alert you that you are low on battery and/or put the system on sleep automatically…
It’s like the battery reports a wrong state to the OS.
After the calibration (or a couple of calibrations) your system will “know” and take the actions required.

btw, in case the problem is solved or in case you get a new battery, let us know about the performance with the 7200RPM HD.


— comment by Kostas on August 6th, 2009 at 2:46am JST (14 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Yes, those 7200 RPM drives are nice… but be very careful about using the USB port without an external power supply. I tell you this from personal experience (a badly corrupted drive).
USB ports don’t necessarily put out enough power to reliably run a drive of this type. On many laptops, the ‘side’ USB ports will be fine, while the ‘back’ USB ports just don’t put out enough juice, or viceversa. If it works, it is right on the edge of not working. And dropping power intermittently while trying to put data on a disk is a sure formula for doom.
Many drives of this type include a special USB cable with two laptop connectors and one drive connector. One laptop connector is for power and the other for power+data, so you are getting juice from two ports instead of one.
5200 RPM drives aren’t as power hungry as the 7200 RPM, and are pretty reliable on USB. When asked I suggest smaller slower yet much more reliable drives in the 2.5 inch form factor, using them only as a scratch disks until the data can be put on ‘real’ storage. I would rather spread my data across two smaller drives anyway… those things are very fragile, and splitting the data reduces the chance of losing everything to an accidentally dropped portable drive. (Same thing with camera cards… I would rather use 4GB cards and switch once in a while than risk losing everything in one large 16GB card.)

— comment by Awake on August 6th, 2009 at 2:47pm JST (14 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink
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