What to do with 36TB on my Mac?

(Back of) Western Digital's Thunderbolt Duo (from their website)
(Back of) Western Digital's Thunderbolt Duo (from their website)

Western Digital (WD) just released their new Digital MyBook Thunderbold Duo the other day and it features 2-2TB or -3TB disks and of course you can daisy chain up to 6 of these together just in case, for up to 36TB on a Mac.

I have been happy with my desktop storage which has been running about 80% full.  Plus I have a 1TB time machine external drive for online backups which I use more than I care to admit.  But what the heck am I going to do with 36TB.

Enter Apple TV

Well, now that the new Apple TV is out and it supports 1080p video that problem might be solved.   I am starting to think of transfering my entire DVD/BlueRay collection to digital format and loading it all on iTunes. That way I could use Airplay and Apple TV to play it to a TV.

This is where the 6 to 36TB of storage could come in handy.  Especially if I wasn’t interested in streaming everything off of iCloud and having a local iTunes repository onsite for all my videos.

Digital video for the iPad

Today, I don’t have a lot of videos on my desktop, mostly ones I wanted to view on my  iPad so, they are highly compressed and only take up about 1GB per video (Handbrake encoded from DVDs).

I am thinking the new 1080p iTunes encoded videos would take up more space at least 4-5GB per video but would still be considerably better than 9GB for DVD and ~36GB for BluRay, high definition videos.

Given current storage I could probably handle converting my current iPad videos over to the 1080p version (if I actually owned them in hi-def) but if I wanted to put the rest of my video library on my desktop I don’t have enough space.

Bulk storage meet the Mac

Then WD came out with their new Thunderbolt Duo drives.  It seems to have it all, Thunderbolt I/O at 10Gbps, with all the storage I could possibly need.  Presumably the 2 or 3TB drives are 5400 or 7200 SATA 3.0 drives.  But they are user swappable, so could concievably be changed out to whatever comes out next but probably in pairs.

Of course with SATA 3.0 they can only go 6Gbps to the disks, but it’s not a bad match to have 2 drives per single bi-directional Thunderbolt channel.  Although whether 6 of these  daisy chained on a single Thunderbolt cable would generate decent performance is another question.  Then again, how much performance can one Mac use?

I suppose my next steps are to upgrade my Mac to hardware that supports Thunderbolt, get Apple TV, buy a Duo drive or two and then start encoding my DVD/BluRay library.

But that’s too logical, instead maybe I’ll just get Apple TV and give iCloud a try, at least for awhile and save the WD Duo for the next evolution.  Maybe by then WD have come out with their 4TB drives, providing 8TB per Duo.


64GB iPad is not enough

Apple iPad (wi-fi) (from apple.com)
Apple iPad (wi-fi) (from apple.com)

I currently don’t have an iPad but I have seen the videos and played with one at the local BestBuy but IMHO, 64GB is not enough for a laptop killer.  My current desktop TAR file backup of documents, pictures and music is ~61.5GB and shows signs of cracking the 64GB barrier sometime next quarter alone.  Of course that’s compressed and doesn’t count the myriad of applications and O/S that’s needed for a desktop/laptop replacement.

I have a similar problem on my 8GB iPhone.  I occasionally tweak the photos and music iTunes sync parameters to be able to get the latest photos or genius mix I want.  But the iPhone (bless its heart) is not a laptop killer.

The iPad has both streaming video and non-streaming video available from iTunes.  A quick look at download sizes for video’s on iTunes shows that the relatively recent “Blind Side” takes up about 1.8GB.  Download a dozen movies and your over one third full without any photos, music or O/S & applications.  Start loading up your vast photo library and music collection and you’ll be running out of iPad storage quickly.

But that’s just for fun.  What about adding all the other Pages|Numbers|Keynote|PDF|Office documents you need just to work and it  just can’t hold it all.  I would say this doesn’t take up as much storage as the media stuff but maybe 10% of my backup data is office work.

Not sure how you even move data to the iPad on a project basis but I assume there is a way to download these files (iTunes Pages|Numbers|Keynote sync option page?)  I suppose worst case they could be emailed.  In any event, the iPad laptop killer needs to be able to work with data that’s created elsewhere.

If one runs out of iPad storage, what’s can one do?

Put your self on a [media&work] information diet and cut back.  Maybe only the top 100 genius playlists, the 3-4-5 stars photos, the latest half dozen movie purchases and only load data for the most current/active projects to the iPad. Whatever you do, how much iPad storage to devote to fun (media) versus office (work) could be flexible, managed in real time on a daily/trip sync basis.

Now if your only using your iPad only for fun this may not be as much of a problem.  But keep in mind, all those videos add up quickly.  Given all this, I guess I’m waiting for a 256GB iPad before I get one.