Today’s Gift Guide installment is inspired by the last, oh, week or so of my life, in which my most-beloved laptop decided that it might not like to work quite so hard and reliably any more, and so began misbehaving. With a scant month left before I submit my MA dissertation, I was a little, shall I say, displeased? with its behavior. Four years of my life obviously matter immensely to me (and represent the entirety of my post-graduate academic career) but at the moment my primary concern are the 1000+ bibliographic references and citations that would be lost from my present project — a loss the likes of which would make it very, very difficult for me to finish, if only for lack of motivation and will.
So you’ve figured out where this Gift Guide is going, right? Because before the weekend, I was a person who did not back up. Judge me if you will (and go on and say that I’d have deserved to lose it all), but I’m not even ashamed to say it — I just never quite got round to it. It was always something that I would do . . . later. Until later came, and I completely freaked out. And of course it’s always the worst of everything at once, so of course my computer refused to burn data disks and we didn’t have enough memory sticks to store it all and — and — and. You know how it goes (or, if you’re lucky you don’t, and trust me when I say, You don’t want to).
Enter the external hard drive. I’m recommending the Western Digital Passport (which is what I bought, with 500GB) because it was the easiest to format to my Mac (this may have been a function of my own idiocy, but let’s aim for ease here, shall we?) and because it matched my computer (Mom & Dad, you read that right). It’s also smaller than my first iPod, with 100x the capacity. It came with a a dock and a cute neoprene carrying case to protect it from the elements (and hopefully also the cats). And most of all, I am now officially a person who backs up. I’m still getting used to the feeling, but I do highly recommend it.
Thankfully, though, not all — and certainly not the best — memories can be counted in bytes, which is why I’m pairing the Western Digital hard drive with the wonderfully analog Japanese Album from Moleskine. The entire contents of the book folds out (as seen above) creating a different scale and space for images and stories (but it still has the famous pocket, perfect for stashing things-to-be-pasted in). I gave a pocket-sized one to P for our 5-year anniversary that chronicled the history of our relationship up to that point, complete with drawings, collages, and photos. Despite his chiding I still haven’t finished it, and corny as it sounds, I rather enjoy the process of *watching* our relationship unfold, page by page.