There is a collector of celebrations in each of us. Look at me… the moment I get an idea to write on, it is time to celebrate with a smile and get down to dress it in words and sentences and save it. Photography is a celebratory moment for some as is downloading movies or simply have an enviably massive collection of YouTube video clips. A friend has a collection of ebooks and audio books that is reason enough for him to be in a perpetual state of a celebratory mood. Many of us go beyond harmless celebration and get into the dark and ominous catacombs of hoarding. So we have collectors of celebrations and hoarders of digital data.
Both the ones who celebrate and the ones who hoard have one thing in common and that is the need for space. Well, even if your celebrations are low key, there are times when space could become a cause for worry. I’ll take my iPhone, for instance, that gives me 8 GB of storage space and with the number of apps that I patronise, I’m always having to keep transferring my photo data from the phone to my laptop and vice versa… and I can assure you this can be quite difficult at times.
I remember asking Specky, my wife, if she ever felt the necessity for storage space. ‘Storage?’ she said, ‘Of course we need more almirahs. But then I think it is better we go for a bigger house now.’
I hurriedly sent out a verbal corrigendum, ‘No, I don’t mean that sort of space. I meant space on your laptop or your smartphone.’
‘Ah! We’re all short of space,’ she said with a twinkle in her eyes, ‘always.’
‘Well, what do you think of an external drive?’
‘I have an OTG for my android smartphone and use my pen drives quite often,’ she replied, and then added, ‘but then I’ve lost 5 OTGs in the past six months and I’m always forgetting to carry one with me. So if this is the solution you’re offering, I’m already fed-up of it.’
For those who are unaware, an OTG is an On-the-Go gadget that connects your smartphone to any USB pen-drive. But then these pen-drives come with limitations of space and so if you’re like Specky who loves to carry all her official files all the time with her… or like me who loves to have all my previous year’s photographs always with me and ready to be included in some post or article… or like the innumerable others who love to carry a videos and songs because entertainment choices is what they love… or you’re always losing your OTG device and misplacing your pen-drives – what you need is something that is compact and streams your stuff to you without your having to bother about wires.
We have another major technical issue at home… I have an iPhone and Specky has the Galaxy Note. So there is the iOS and the Android OS glaring at us from behind their devices. To make things worse, we have an iPad, two laptops with Windows and a Mac that we’re planning to buy. We really need a genie that can connect all of these and give the collector in us all the streaming pleasure that the human heart can yearn for.
So we just got together and surfed the tech world that existed online and tried to find some device that would match our needs. Before I tell you the device we finally zeroed in to, let me take a few more lines to tell you about our needs. We wanted a magical device that would…
…bring the diverse nature of the gadgets at home on one platform where transfer and access of audio, video, and other text and photo files would be possible.
…make iOS, android, and Windows behave like friends for our gadgets.
…give us enough storage space outside of our devices – and I’m talking in terms of terabytes now.
…makes our file transfer and access actions free of unnecessary wires.
…bring in wifi access if possible.
…integrate us to our cloud storage too and bring our Dropbox and Google drive in a single storage loop.
…have enough battery life so that the device doesn’t remain tethered to one spot.
…connects us all at the same time without us having to queue for access.
Specky reviewed our joint list of needs and sighed, ‘This looks to be an impossible one.’
I smiled and told her that in technology things were improving faster than we could come up with newer needs and wants. And a search did lead us to the Seagate Wireless Plus 1TB Portable Hard Drive with Built-in WiFi. This one gave us all the features we were looking for and a few more advantages that we could not have thought about, but liked nevertheless.
Specky was happy because the Seagate Wireless Plus did not necessarily need an internet connection to activate its wifi… and as she put it, ‘We can let the broadband connection rest for a few hours as we use the wifi in this device and stream a downloaded movie on to the TV screen.’
Well, I was relieved to read that now I could click a picture on my DSLR, transfer it to my laptop and from there use this device to bring it to my iPAD, use aaps there to create a new artwork and then send it to my iPhone which I used for instagramming. The transfers were my biggest source of irritation earlier. Moreover, we were happy that this wireless storage device could be charged in our car as well as it just needed a 12 volt charge. The details on the website of Seagate mentioned a 10 hour battery life and this was sufficient for the virtual walks that our files were going to take.
By this time we were thinking harder to come up with reasons that would make this device seem less powerful. Specky said, ‘Well, we do have virtual space, don’t we? So why don’t we just use that space completely? Why go for the Seagate Wireless Plus?’ I thought for a while and then answered, ‘Online space could be good enough for smaller files but if we were to upload and then download bigger files, our problems would be surrounded by both cost and time issues. Right?’ I then reminded her of the time when we were visiting London and I had to sit down every night uploading hundreds of GBs to my Flickr premium account. I had to upload full resolution pictures as I was planning to download them all once we reached India.
The features of the Seagate Wireless Plus that we had read on the company website seemed good enough. Even the reviews of people who have bought this device are satisfactory… there are a few who have written about the somewhat larger size and the weight of the device. One has even mentioned that the drive was a conventional one and would demand that it be treated without jerks without being thrown around. ‘Well,’ I said to myself, ‘even humans in a truck and off-roading would feel the same and would be prone to damages.’ The truth is that the device seems quite appropriate and reasonable even from the cost point-of-view, though I would agree with everyone else that costs must go down. Don’t we love it when costs go down or we get offers that are irresistible?
The collector of celebrations that resides within me is happy and the one that stays in the heart of Specky, my wife, is also chortling joyously at our discovery of this solution for our storage problem.
17 April 2015