Looks great, don't you think?
Shortly after Carolin got her Mac Mini, I noticed the need of a central storage solution in our home, both for Time Machine backups and shared files. I shopped around a bit and purchased the Buffalo LinkStation Live with a 1 TB disk. It was inexpensive and offered nice functions like auto-wakeup: the NAS (Network Attached Storage) only goes out of standby mode when there's a computer active on the network.
But the honeymoon was over when I upgraded to Snow Leopard. That's when the NAS Navigator Software coming with the LinkStation stopped working — and with it the auto-wakeup function. My support request was answered in the way of "Apple broke it with their OS upgrade, so pester them instead of us". Take the "inexpensive" and put in "cheap" instead.
The straw that finally broke the camel's back was when, two weeks ago, the status LED on the LinkStation started blinking frantically and I couldn't switch the device off any more without yanking out the power cable. Trying to log into the administration interface didn't work any more either. Looking through the support forum, I found that it's a common problem that the LinkStation forgets its administrator account! And it seems the support staff couldn't come up with something other than "Pull the cable out a few times, which will enable emergency mode, then you can do a firmware rewrite". Well, I value my data. And I value my time as well, so I spent it instead on ordering a Drobo.
First, I have to admit that the Drobo plays in a different league than the LinkStation Live. Since it houses up to four disks, it's a good deal larger and, of course, more expensive. But you get back a lot more value, too.
Data stored on the Drobo gets replicated across disks (obviously you need at least two then), so if one disk fails, you can replace it without losing any data. What makes Drobo different from the usual RAID storages is that the disks don't have to be of equal size. If an old 250 GB disk fails, you don't have to look for a used one on eBay. You just replace it with a 1 TB disk and Drobo uses the additional space. Also, if you run out of space, you simply pull out a disk and put in a bigger one.
After the first week, I can say that it's working very well. The only thing the storage is missing is a proper standby mode, because the heat generated by the disks is pushed out by a not so quiet fan and the Drobo sits right outside of our bedroom.
But with the good reputation the Drobo has in the tech community and the data security it provides, I might now sleep even better than before.
Videoconferences tend to be not very productive.
The media hype around Google Wave seems to fade a bit, and since invitations to the service spread, people start looking for practical applications.
What's getting clear is that Wave isn't a replacement for email as the Google I/O premiere presentation suggested. Because Wave's more of a mix between web chat and collaborative document editing, it's more likely to replace my team chat on Campfire some day than it's going to replace Google's own GMail.
Will Kelly tried Wave for a bit of client collaboration and posted his findings on 6 Tips For Using Google Wave On Your First Project. To the people that want to try Google Wave with a client, he suggests:
- Set suitable expectations.
- Do a dry run with a Wave.
- Take control of your Waves.
- Use folders and tags.
- Consider whether to use live editing or attachments.
- Have a Plan B.
Since Google Wave still is a preview version, I'd be careful using it for serious project work. The service still has got many rough edges and misses some extensions and gadgets to add useful functionality. But if your team or some of your clients are open for some early adopting, give it a try! It's fun!
(BTW, if you've been sitting under a rock over the last days and/or noone shared an invitation with you so far, I've got some left. Just leave a comment with your email address if you'd like one.)