The Conversation

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‘Goddam it’ he whispered as his wrist action quickened and then slowed, rotating the fork like a pro, aiming one of the prongs onto the green skin of the pea. Now there was a delicate face off of either successfully pushing the prong into the pea or watching it defensively roll off his plate and bounce under the round wooden table for safety. He told himself the prong of the fork wasn’t sharp enough as the pea… actually a very talented life preserving ‘garden’ pea… ran for cover. ‘Dammit’ he says. He really wanted that last pea. The fish and chips had been excellent.

It was a holiday and whilst the sun was blazing outside, he was happy to have the security of the wooden tables and the bar in close proximity. His ‘other half’ as he frequently found himself describing her didn’t react. His fingers were constantly brushing over his thumbs as he weighed up his options. This sunny afternoon, the fish and chips were just delaying tactics. It was a holiday… But it was also a break… A long term one. This was a last foray before things started anew.

He starts with his opening gambit, ‘it’s like this.’ That sounded stilted and textbook teenager. He stops, tries to gather his thoughts in the uncomfortable silence.

‘Uh, I’ve made a decision.’

He keeps thinking about the lost pea.

‘It wasn’t easy. We’ve been together for a long time now.’

His eyes drop as he straightens the knife and fork laying on the empty plate.

‘How long has it been exactly?’ he says without really thinking about it. He knows it has been a long time. Good times too. Great times. But that wasn’t the point.

‘Too long’ he says flatly. As he looks away from the table, he suddenly realizes that the lost pea is lying on the floor just to the right of his boot. For a millisecond he considers bending down and grabbing it. That would be disgusting.

He repeats his previous line as if to re-assert himself, ‘too long’.

He shuffles in his seat, ‘It isn’t working and hasn’t been for a long time. It was all consuming. But there is more in life that I want to do and you… Don’t feature in that.’

He shakes his head as he feels like he is saying all the wrong things… And not getting his point across.

‘I need to free myself… I’m sorry… But it’s too much pain… ‘

His eyes fall on the pea again but this time the thought of eating it doesn’t cross his mind. Instead he sees that it represents this exact event in his life… He could kick it away or he could bend down and pick it up… It would then be his decision as to what happened to it.

He looks away and stares at his ‘other half’, ‘You are killing me. That’s what Doctor Morris says.’

He never thought he’d ever have this conversation.

‘I can’t continue down this road and… And… I’m giving you up… Not for January… Not for lent… For good… For my life.’

He stands up as he hovers on the slightly slurred flat ‘fe’ of ‘life’ his eyes falling on the emptiness of his other half… His pint glass. ‘No more… I am giving you… uppp.’ He slightly loses his balance slightly as he sways out of his local, ‘The Horns head.’

Davie, the barman waves bye as he bounces off the outer door, ‘see you tomorrow Jimmy.’

Backups – My Solution

It totally depends on your own system and how you use your devices. Some people are comfortable with other companies storing their private information. Some are not. Some people would rather one device and one service. Others are happy to make use of everything that is on offer (whether free or not). And some people are fanatical about one particular company or service.

After much deliberation and research (and on this occasion my research was extensive) I finally decided on my system and it was pretty much what I had before with one addition, albeit an important addition.

First, I replaced the ‘broken’ external HDD with a WD ‘Red’ 2 TB HDD. I’ve put it in an Icy Box enclosure (with on/off) and it’s plugged straight into the PC, exactly as it was before. In theory it’s the most robust HDD out there so it should be able to be on all the time. With an on/off it’s easy for me to switch it off if I’m away for prolonged periods. It contains all my key files and folders (which have been transferred over from the failing HDD).

The second aspect (and this is new) is the Western Digital My Cloud 4TB device. In essence it’s a NAS system with Cloud capability but at a fraction of the price. I’m using it as an additional backup device, which also allows me to access my files from any device (pc, Mac, iPhone, Tablet). Even Android. It also allows me to access my files at anytime and anywhere. Imagine Dropbox but you own it. The app for the iPhone and iPad is cool and makes it really easy to access everything.

I’m still testing the device so I’ll post a separate entry on my overall thoughts.

Buy a NEW HDD

Once I’ve completed my tests it may become clear that my existing 2TB HDD has errors on it that can’t be fixed. If this is to be the case, then obviously I need to replace it. I still think having my personal files on an external HDD is a better way to go than internally on a PC or Mac. On the simple basis that the external HDD can be plugged into any system without the need for opening up a computer and physically removing the internal HDD.

Having looked at HDD options the WD ‘Red’ HDDs seem to be highly recommended. As they are internal HDD ideal for NAS storage they are pretty robust and should be able to be ‘on all the time’ as it were. It would mean buying a case or enclosure so that it could sit outside the computer. It’s basically the same system I’ve previously run except with a new upgraded HDD. I may introduce another aspect however.

Next: Not quite NAS. Consumer Cloud Device.

Buy a NAS system

There doesn’t seem to be much excitement about NAS systems these days. I’ve considered them in the past but decided against it due to the fact that I like my personal files plugged straight into my pc rather than my router. However, I like the fact that the data on the NAS drive is accessible from anywhere within the house.

With my router in a different room from my main computer, I wonder whether the speed of access (writable and readable) will ultimately be too slow. That then leads to the problem of ‘cost.’ The ones I’ve looked at (with the best speeds) are between £400 and £700 and don’t have drives in them. That’s more than I want or need to spend on this project at the moment.

Additionally, and I found this surprising, the few techie friends that I’ve asked about this, said they would choose Cloud storage over NAS storage.

If you are thinking of a NAS drive however, look at the comments section on part 1 of this post topic here, as my friend Matt explains his NAS setup. By all accounts I think it works well.

Next: Buy a New HDD

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