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Ask Max: Mac mini RAM is maxed, do I need an external hard drive?

Asked on 11/25/2008:

I have a one-year old Mac Mini with maxed out RAM and a Flatron pivot 20-inch screen. I am planning to write a 300-page book using these tools. I've been told I should get an external hard drive. Any comments and/or suggestions?


Well practically any FireWire or USB drive would work for you with new or used Mac minis. You could go with a stackable drive and hub combo that looks like it is part of your Mini, like this NewerTech 160GB miniStack or you could get a slick styled one like this LaCie 500GB hard disk drive.

I would also recommend that you upgrade your Mac computer OS to Leopard, if you have not done so already. Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard's Time Machine feature is a perfect background backup utility for you. Every hour, your iBook will be backed up and you could go back to a version days previous in order to recover deleted chapters.

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