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Fun with hardware

I actually don’t have any new hardware… yet. But I’ve been eying a couple things to play with. Um, I mean work with.

Truth is, I’ve been pretty busy freelancing for the past couple weeks. That’s right, I made the leap and so far I’m really enjoying it. I have a profile site which I’m not incredibly proud of (I’m going for simplicity and an easy-to-remember URL) but since it’s going to get Googled up anyway, you can check it out here. I have to build it up, but for now, like I said — simplicity and stickiness factors are the focus. Feedback welcome in the comments, if you want.

Anyway, hardware. I’m down in Fredericksburg today wrapping up some storage space that we had (finally… we’re completely moved out of Virginia). I took a run through Best Buy, which I typically hate to do because all of the things I want have great prices that are dependent upon rebates, which I’m poor at filing. But today, I saw a couple cool things.

First up is Western Digital’s My Book series of external drives up to 1TB. Mmmm… terabytes. I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about good ways to get our files backed up at home, including offsite. I’d love to have two of these suckers running in the RAID1 mode. That would give me two drives of 500GB each (the capacity cuts in half when in RAID1, or mirrored, mode) but they each support USB 2, FireWire 400, and FireWire 800. I’d set them up in a way that gives us network access to one 500GB store and a way to have it mirror to the other 500GB every now and then overnight, then carry the duplicate drive offsite, like in a safe deposit box or something. So, maybe twice a month I’d backup everything that’s been backed up. My big fear is that we have a fire or something (and I hope I don’t jinx myself… we’ve had bad luck with acts of God in the past year) and then we lose everything. Initially, things like email and old websites would be pretty tragic, but now we’re talking about heirlooms like gigabytes of wedding photos. I really need to step it up.

Next up we have a Wacom tablet. I’ve been looking at the Graphire4 4×5 which works great with Inkwell. Inkwell! I bet you didn’t even know that existed. I’ve been itching to give it a shot for the pure fun factor, as well as (and here’s my real excuse) having better posture and exercising my hands and arms differently.

Now that I’m home all day, I need to mix it up a bit more and I think this could do the trick. I met Philippe Casgrain at C4 and he was working on some sweet graphics stuff but he also tended to use the tablet for basic navigation as well. I’d at least like to give it a shot.

Lastly, a hardware gripe. Since I got my MacBook Pro in the spring, I’ve noticed that I can no longer get online at Kinko’s with the LapNet service. T-Mobile Hotspot works fine (which is what I’m using now) but the Cocoa app behind LapNet doesn’t seem to work under Intel. It just sits and does nothing on start and the console shows errors like this.

So that sucks. I can’t seem to find anything about it on the internets. Kinko’s, tear down this wall!