Ask Max: Do I need an external backup hard drive?
I have a one-year-old Mac Mini, maxed out with RAM, plus a 20-inch Flatron pivot screen. I am planning to use these tools to write a 300-page book, using QuarkXpress. I have been told I should get a separate plug-in hard drive to back the pages and pictures up to. Is that necessary?
Practically any FireWire or USB drive would work for you. You could go with a stackable drive and hub combo that looks like it is part of your Mini, like this NewerTech 160 GB MiniStack Hub. Or you could get a slickly styled one (I own this one) like this LaCie 500GB Hi Speed USB 2.0 Drive.
I would also recommend that you upgrade to Leopard, if you have not done so already. Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard's Time Machine feature is the perfect background backup utility for you. Every hour your Book will be backed up and you could go back to a previous version to recover deleted chapters.