Getting data from here to there.

I have a diskette in my shirt pocket almost all the time. And I use it quite frequently. Even though my method of choice for bringing a file home from work, or to work from home, or from one place to another, is e-mail, it's always good to know that the diskette is there for back-up purposes. The idea of a computer with a disk drive seems to me now, as it did over three and a half years ago, almost a contradiction in terms. If no other method is available, there's always a package of diskettes onto which a lecture can be copied.

But the diskette can be problematic. A lecture with lots of graphics can easily run to 4-5MB, meaning three or four disks. Many a late night has been made much later by copying a lecture to a number of disks and then testing whether everything is all there by copying them back onto the hard drive. So diskettes aren't a particularly viable solution.

Another rather logical solution is an external drive like a Zip drive. Quite frankly I like this solution, but it's not always as functional as it might seem. Many of the places to which I travel to lecture aren't always pleased with the idea of me (or anyone) fooling around behind their computers, hooking up additional hardware to their systems. I have a Zip drive that has a SCSI connection for a Macintosh. I'm quite sure that all I need to get it to work on my PC is the correct cable, but nobody has been able to tell me just what cable I need. A similar solution would be a Disk-on-Key or something similar. With one of these all that I'd have to do is copy my material to it, and then plug it into the USB socket of the computer from which I'm lecturing. I like this idea very much, and I'm seriously considering buying one, though if anyone wants to give me a present I'd be more than happy to accept it. A laptop would, of course, also be wonderful solution. I could network a laptop to our home computer and then transfer files from one to the other without difficulty. Still, I have to admit that if what I'm interested in doing is transferring my files from my hard drive so that I can present a lecture, an expensive laptop is a solution somewhat along the lines of shooting flies with an elephant gun. And of course each solution presents new problems.

Which brings me back to a CD burner. It's hard to find a computer today that doesn't have a CD player as part of the basic system, which means that any place that I get to will be able to copy my files. It may cost money on my side, but in the long run it solves lots of problems.

Go to: Burning memories.