iMac advice

I have an iMac, and am thinking about getting a disc drive for it, partly for back-up purposes.

Any suggestions on what type of drive? I want something that will take the old 1.4 floppies, but also the large capacity ones.

Also, any suggestions for back-up programs?

Any help would be appreciated.


Thanks for doing your bit to advance the cause of human knowledge.
 
  – Cecil Adams

Get one of them SuperDisk drives. They’ll take 1.4MB floppies, plus 120MB media. And they’re available in all the colors of the iMac, so you can get one that matches your system.

If you’re planning to back up massive amounts of data, though, you’ll need something larger. Your other choices, though, can’t take 1.4MB floppies, so start with the SuperDisk.

Agreed, the Super Disk drive, by Imation, is the answer. We needed a drive that would take floppies, because Mr. elelle still has to send in writing assignments in that format. So far, it’s worked great.

If money’s tight (and I assume it is, if you have an iMac… sorry, a little Mac-bashing there, couldn’t resist), then Superdisk would be the way to go. I’ve heard it’s a lot glitchier than Zip disks (but, then again, Zip drives can fall victim to the Click of Death), but as long as you’re just backing up stuff, it should be all right. But if you’re backing up large amounts of files, you’ll need a lot of disks, which can get pricey.

If you’ve got the money to spare, I think you’d want to invest in an external CD-RW (a decent one, 4X4X6, will go for around $299), but you save chunks of cash on the individual CDs (CD-Rs go for a few cents, depending on where you get 'em and if they’re on sale, etc. etc.).

If you’re just insanely loaded, then you could even buy an external hard drive. They’re expensive, and mostly intended for use with laptops, but iMac’s are notorious among high-end computer users for their miniscule upgradability.

Finally, if you’re really nuts and just won the lottery, you may even be able to find an external DVD-RAM drive (but I’m not sure if they exist… if they do, they’d be quite costly).

Anyway, I already typed too much for a relatively simple question, so I’ll shut up now and go back to my basket weaving.


-SPOOFE

thanks for the tips, everyone - I’ll likely go with the SuperDisk.

additional question - what about an automatic back-up program, that scans my harddrive and just backs up the documents that have changed? any thoughts?


Thanks for doing your bit to advance the cause of human knowledge.
 
  – Cecil Adams

‘additional question - what about an automatic back-up program, that scans my
harddrive and just backs up the documents that have changed? any thoughts?’

That can get huge. Most of them don’t know a Doc from a Com & can write huge files to backup. Unless you select certain directories, which might only have, say, doc files, or you know text files…

Silly PC users… there ain’t no .com files on a Mac!

Anyway, Retrospect is the de facto standard backup software for the Macintosh. It can indeed go through your files and update only those files which have changed. It allows you to exclude directories and schedule backups over any period you want.

If you’re going to be doing massive amounts of data backup (like, several gigabytes at a time), you may want to look into something along the lines of a 2GB Jaz drive in addition to the SuperDisk drive. A 2GB Jaz cartridge can hold as much data as almost 20 of those SuperDisks, which will reduce “disk-swappers’ elbow” quite a bit.

Tape drives can hold massive amounts of data too, but they’re slow, and you can’t use the files on tapes until you’ve restored them to a hard disk or similar media. Yet another option is a CD-RW drive, which, while not up to the capacity of the Jaz, uses very inexpensive media and carries the added functionality of letting you burn your own audio CDs (very fun and cool) and other CD-ROMs.

I’ll just say that I use Retrospect and it works very well for me, so I can second MaxTorque’s recommendation.

Personal PC’s have a neat thing now. A Raid card, about $275.00. Backs up everything in real time to a second HD. Neat.

To reply to SPOOFE Bo Diddly’s comment,
While you can not upgrade everything on an IMac like you can a PC, you certainly can upgrade the HD. All you need to do is buy an internal IDE HD and replace the old one with the new one. It is not that hard. The only reason I bring this up is because so many people like to bash IMacs because they think you can not upgrade them. What you can not do is ADD to them, but you can certainly UPGRADE the components. And a new HD is a little bit more expensive than a Suprdisk drive and a better value. A Western Digital 30 gig costs $189. That is 262 120MB Superdisks. At $60 for 5 disks that turns out to be $3144 dollars plus $150 for the drive. Just something to think about.

-N

turns out Retrospect is made by Dantz, who used to make “Disc Doubler,” the back-up program I used on my old Mac Classic (yeah, I’m a techno-fossil). I’d forgotten the company’s name - thanks.


Thanks for doing your bit to advance the cause of human knowledge.
 
  – Cecil Adams