Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tech Column: Bus Powered Drives

by Bill Adler

Bear with me. This is going to be a short tech column, and not nearly as boring and technical as the article title might lead you to believe.

If you live your computer life properly, you have an in-cloud backup plus an external hard drive backup. Two backups because one is bound to fail when you need it. Murphy's law and all that.

The bad thing about most external hard drives is that they have two wires, one to connect the drive to the computer and the other to power the drive. The more wires the more tangling. The more wires, the dust collected. So why not get a bus powered external drive (also called a USB powered drive). A what? A drive that doesn't need a power adapter and cord. USB ports provide a small amount of power, enough juice for a low-power hard drive.

If fewer wires are something that tickles your fancy, then the next time you need an external hard drive, get a USB powered one, such as this 1 TB USB-powered drive: http://amzn.to/12Y1pM0. (The drive comes in 500 GB and 2 TB flavors, too.) Unless you like to stay up late at night and watch wires become alive and tangle themselves up.


Bill Adler is a writer. He is the author of "Boys and Their Toys: Understanding Men by Understanding Their Relationship with Gadgets," http://amzn.to/rspOft, "Outwitting Squirrels," http://amzn.to/VXuLBh, and a mess of other books. He tweets at @billadler. His tech column is published on Tuesdays.

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