At Home with Tech

It’s time to maximize the potential of all your gadgets.

Tag: G-Tech G Drive Mobile

Eight Ways to Face Your Digital Mess


Click on your computer’s hard drive and select ‘Get Info.’ If the percentage for remaining space shocks or worries you… (Other negative emotions also apply) Read on!

Is two terabytes enough space to house the digital contents of your family life? (That’s the size of my iMac’s hard drive.) Well, I certainly thought so. I mean… how much space do you really need to capture and archive the important moments?

The truth is your final archived files for posterity probably shouldn’t take up terabytes of space. (How much media do you really want to carry forward into future decades…?)

The real problem is housing all of your raw content that you’re regularly capturing… and then just letting it pile up, because other priorities tend to get in the way of your little personal archiving plan.

The Digital Math Doesn’t Lie
For me, that constant digital flow of incoming family-related media looks something like this:

  • Weekly family photos that document the day to day: 25 pics x 4MB each = 100MB
  • Three video clips a week averaging 90 seconds each: 3 x 400MB = 1.2GB
  • And let’s throw in one larger ‘event’ a month that generates 50 more pics (200MB)
  • Plus, four vacation zones each year that bring in 250 photos and 10 video clips each. (5GB)

Let’s tally that up…
Roughly, we’re talking about taking in 75GB of photos and videos each year… and that’s without even trying.

You can imagine if you add in a few more one-off events and other kinds of files that you’ll also acquire throughout a year, that number can easily jump to 100GB.

But even at that rate, it would take you twenty years to fill up a 2TB hard drive.

What Happened?
But last week, I realized my iMac was almost out of hard drive space.
(Yes, this disturbing moment shouldn’t come as a complete surprise to anyone ‘at home with tech,’ but that’s another story.)

So what was taking up all of that space?!

Before I allowed myself to descend into a ‘digi-tizzy,’ I realized that I am indeed working on my second decade of digital media collection.
(I’ve owned iMacs since 2004.)

Still, twelve years in should only have pushed me to about 60% of my current hard drive’s capacity.
(Also, photo and video file sizes weren’t nearly as large back then in our pre-HD days.)

But the truth is I’ve captured a whole lot more video than my above equation entirely accounts for.
(One example is a family history video project I’ve been doing with my dad over the past few years. He tells great stories, but he certainly takes his time.)

So now, I’ve got to finally deal with it!!!

Time to Help Out Your Computer’s Overstuffed Hard Drive
Sure, I can consider upgrading my computer and simply getting a bigger internal hard drive. But that’s not really the fix. That’s just ignoring the larger problem…

You can offload much of your media inventory to external drives.
(In fact, that’s a best practice anyway when editing video.)

But without an organized plan, that’s not going to be much help when you rediscover the drives a decade later, and you’re confronted with hundreds of unlabeled files.
(Assuming the drives even boots up)

Much like my philosophy when it comes to sharing your photos quickly, you should be regularly going through your video files to organize/edit/share.

But today it’s not about what you should be doing… it’s about what you must do! You may want to check… because much like me, your computer’s hard drive may already be just out of space…

It’s time to do some file organizing/deleting/moving…

Eight Ways to Reclaim Hard Drive Space

Review Your Biggest Files First
You’ll move the needle fastest if you can move/delete some really huge files. So begin your file search there. Addressing those offenders first will have the greatest impact on freeing up hard drive space.
(Obvious, though always worth mentioning!)

Don’t Ignore Your Videos. They Can Sink You!
Pay attention to all of those videos you’ve been capturing with your smartphone and camera. Video files are HUGE! You should label them and regularly move them to an external drive.
(Actually… two drives. Media always needs to live in at least two locations for back up.)

I’m especially partial to drives made by G-Technology.
I’m currently using the G-Drive Mobile USB 3.0 to house my raw family video files.

Clean Up Your Email
Your email can be sucking up a whole lot of space.
(How many messages from long ago are you still hanging on to? I’m embarrassed to reveal my number.)
And lose all of those damn unread marketing messages from companies you willingly gave your email address to.
(And to some you didn’t)

Find and Move Those Emailed Photos
Don’t forget your family and friends are sending you photos too. Don’t let those pics languish, lost in your hundreds of disorganized email messages.

Delete the Photos that aren’t ‘Great’
Face it. Most of your photos stink.
(All right… mine do.)

But that’s my secret to success. I take lots of photos and hope that one in a collection is ‘the one.’

So especially if you have a ‘best version’ of a photo sequence… you need to delete the rest!

Reorganize Your Folder Structure
Go back and review all of those folders you’ve created over the years. You’ll be surprised to discover what you left behind, forgotten and just don’t need anymore.

Delete Old Software
Enough said.

Make the Time
You may be asking yourself, “Who’s got time for all of this?”
(I certainly don’t.)

My response: “You don’t have a choice.”

I’m happy to report my computer is on its way to recovery. But it’s going to take some time to fully complete my hard drive review.

The trick is to keep going…every week.
A little at a time…

Clean Up Your Digital Sock Drawer
If these tips feel like I’m telling you to simply clean up your house… you’re right. It is, in fact… your digital house. And life is going to mess it up just like everywhere else.

You’ve got take some time to tidy up every so often.
(And it’s really much bigger than just organizing your sock drawer!)

People don’t move to a bigger house simply because they’ve got too much stuff.
(Do they?)

So you’re left with living in the boundaries of the digital space you’ve got…
…Or one day, you’ll discover that you won’t be able to open the front door.

You can avoid that day if you start right now…

Six Boring Tech Gifts They’ll Love Getting

This could very possibly be the worst list of gift ideas you’ll ever read. But I believe these five ugly ducklings will bring a smile to anyone’s face.

This could very possibly be the worst list of gift ideas you’ll ever read. But I believe these five ugly ducklings will bring a smile to anyone’s face.

While everyone looks for the latest and greatest tech gifts to buy, I’m thinking you should take a few moments and consider the opposite side of that equation.

Don’t give your friends and loved ones what they want.
Get them what they really need… even if they don’t know it!
And sometimes, it might be a duplicate of what they’ve already got!
But get this… they’ll still thank you for it!

Worried that your gifts are boring?
I say stop worrying!
These could be the six-best uninspired tech gifts you’ll ever give…

Smartphone Wall Charger
How many times a week does someone run up to you in a panic and ask if you’ve got a smartphone charger to use for a few minutes?


I’m not sure what that says about our high-tech society, but apparently much of our tech-enabled planet is always about eleven minutes away from running out of juice…

I’m sure most of your friends would be very pleased to have an extra smartphone wall charger to leave at work.
(So their device doesn’t have to take a mid-afternoon siesta)

Anker can sweeten the deal with a 2-port USB wall charger…








Portable Power
Or perhaps consider a portable battery charger to get for that someone special.
They can carry it around whenever their mobile tech needs a little pick me up.
(I know… how romantic)







Extra Memory for Your Camera
How about a spare SD card for a camera?
(Don’t you always need one of these at exactly the wrong time?)








  • I just picked up an extra SanDisk Extreme 32GB SDHC UHS-1 Card.
    $10.62 on Amazon

When Martians land in your backyard, your family should be ready to capture the moment!

Portable Storage
Some people can never have enough shoes.
Others like to collect memorabilia.
I prefer lots of storage opportunities for my media. Remember, if a digital photo file or home video doesn’t live in at least two or three separate devices/locations, it essentially doesn’t exist.
(I know… that’s deep Tech-Zen to consider)

So I say there’s always a use for another portable drive.








Sure, that may seem a little pricey spending almost $200 on a portable drive.
But wait a minute…
That’s less than two Franklins for three whopping terabytes!

After that, I think you’re done.
It’s a no brainer when it comes to having enough storage in one device.

Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush
I recently had to retire my old Oral-B electric toothbrush, because its non-replaceable battery couldn’t hold a charge anymore.

When I reviewed the newer Oral-B options online, I was overwhelmed with all of the choices. After a little research, I focused on these two models:

The reviews I read zeroed in on the ‘3000’ model as offering the best Oral-B brushing experience without all of the frills and cost of higher-end models.

That said, the ‘5000’ model is actually about the same price on Amazon.
(It was originally more expensive…)

And it’s got a longer-lasting battery and a battery indicator that gives you a better sense how much energy is left…

(Note… I’m not specifically interested in its Bluetooth functionality that can connect to an app on your smartphone… I just want to brush my teeth… not make it a big fitness-tracking project!)

So I bought the Oral-B Pro 5000, and it’s been great.








Yeah, I know it’s just a toothbrush… and who would ever think of buying someone a electric toothbrush as a present?

Just offering ideas.
Trying to be helpful.
Let’s move on…

Seltzer Maker
I have a confession to make…
I am officially overwhelmed by all of the empty seltzer bottles and cans at home. My family just loves seltzer!
(Especially our six-year-old son)

The by-product of all of this consumption is all of the recycling of plastic bottles and metal cans. And that requires ongoing trips to the supermarket to visit the picky recycling machines… Which may… or may not… accept your offerings.
(Sometimes you’ve got the wrong ‘brands.’ Other times, the labels are damaged beyond recognition. Occasionally, the machines just say “NO”… for no good reason.)

I say it’s time to stop the madness and just make your own seltzer.
(No more seltzer can/bottle-recycling hassle… Plus it’s good for the environment. And it’s cheaper in the long run.)

When I checked out SodaStream, there were seemingly a zillion models to choose from.
(I hate that.)

But the SodaStream ‘Fizzi’ appears to be the go-to model. It’s sold with a CO2 carbonator, which you can replace with a new one when it runs out of gas. And it comes with a reusable BPA-free plastic bottle…








Make someone happy with some bubbly water.
There are worse things you could do!

The Secret to Good Gift Giving

Whether you’ve got twenty bucks to spend or two hundred, there’s a boring tech gift you can give that shows how much you care.

It’s not about the razzle-dazzle.
It’s about supporting the day-to-day.

‘Cause a lot of life is about getting through the day… hopefully with a little smile on your face.

And tech is supposed to make that a little easier.

If you can support that simple equation, however uninspired, you’re going to be a rock star.

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