Gearing Up For NaNoWriMo with Canvio Slim II Portable External Hard Drive

It’s October now, and I have less than a month to prepare for NaNoWriMo. For those who are not familiar with NaNoWriMo, let me give you a lil bit of an intro. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-words) novel by midnight, November 30. But every year, I have a personal goal of hitting more than 100,000 words… so yea… I’ll be quite a monster every November each year.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved. Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

This year will be my 6th year attempting NaNo. One would say that it’s a waste of time, but I beg to differ. Participating in NaNoWriMo enables me to write without having to obsess over quality. It gives me confidence, and helps me to get organized in disciplined throughout the month of November. God knows that I lacked discipline and time management is not exactly my forte.

NaNo is always about fun, a pure literary abandon, but I could still remember the horror of losing my work in the middle of the month back in 2009 as my laptop decided to die on me, and I had no backup whatsoever. Imagine my horror, more than 40,000 words goes POOF, just like that, and it’s all because I rely too much on my laptop and thought it will not fail me. The fault was all mine, but lucky for me, I’m not the sort of person who gets demotivated easily, and I decided to write from scratch all over again. It was a close call, but I won that year’s challenge regardless, and I have learned my lesson since that unfortunate incident. I have learned to back up my work to my email and various online storage websites.

But backing up my work that way can be quite a hassle, and not exactly very safe as I tend to delete my emails and online storage hosting are not always reliable, so I decided to do it differently this year. 😀 I decided to go all out and spring clean my laptop in preparation for NaNoWriMo 2013.

This year, I’m armed with this:

Toshiba Canvio Slim II Portable External Hard Drive (HDTD210XS3E1)

This babe can do wonders to a writer’s and novelist’s life.

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Measuring 4.2 x 3 x 0.5 inches, the Canvio Slim II is is very compact.

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It’s not the slimmest drive on the market, however, but it is chic and portable, so that’s enough for me. Here’s the detailed specs for it:

Toshiba Slim II Specifications

  • Capacity: 500GB or 1TB
  • Interfaces: USB 3.0 (backwards compatible with USB 2.0)
  • Spindle Speed: 5400 RPM
  • Average Seek Time: 12 ms
  • Cache Buffer: 8MB
  • Dimensions of 1TB (LxWxH): 4.21″ X 2.95″ X 0.49″
  • Weight of 1TB: 5.47 oz Max
  • Free 10GB Cloud Storage

Canvio Slim II’s casing is made of aluminum instead of plastic. A big plus point here. It looks expensive and nice. Still, the drive is light, great for those on the go.

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On one side, it has a Micro-USB 3.0 port, which works with any standard Micro USB 3.0 cable (there’s one included in the box).

The drive is bus-powered, meaning it draws its electricity through the USB port to which it’s connected. The external hard drive worked with all USB 3.0 ports and USB 2.0 ports without problems. It has one interesting feature which I noted, which is its status light in one corner.

This light turns on when the external drive is plugged in, turns off when it’s not in use, and and flashes to indicate data activity. The color of the light changes to white if you use it with a USB 2.0 port and to blue when it’s plugged into a USB 3.0 port. This is very helpful for those who don’t know which type of USB port they’re using.

The Canvio Slim II lets you store your files in a centralized place next to your computer, giving you easy access to your files whenever you need them. It allows you to safeguard your valuable data and is preloaded easy-to-use backup software, o Schedule automatic backup File, folder and full system backup and recovery Password-Protected encryption for your backed up files (up to 256-bit).

You know what that means? That means no one could steal your work, your pictures, and whatever you decided to store in this external hard drive.

The Toshiba Canvio Slim II Portable External Hard Drive is PC and Mac Compatible. Toshiba Canvio Slim II Portable Drives are pre-formatted NTFS for Windows 8, 7, and Windows XP. Plus, the drive comes with a NTFS driver for Mac allowing you to store and access files from the PC and Mac without reformatting. It works okay on machine that’s running on Linux too (tested on Ubuntu), though the speed is rather mediocre on machines that’s running on that particular OS. This device is a 3.0 USB device, so it runs better on new laptops and high specs machines.

Other than that, it also comes with a few other software applications, including NTI Backup Now Ez, Pogoplug PC, and HDD Password Tool. The first two are available only for Windows and the last one is available for both Windows and Mac. You can clone and restore your computer easily with NTI Backup Now EZ full system backup in case of a PC crash.

It is also mobile friendly. Yups, you’re reading that right. This babe allows you secure access to content remotely from mobile devices. More and more users are storing their files on clouds like Dropbox and Google Drive, hard drive makers are increasingly adding some sort of mobile access to their devices to make it easier for users to access their files when they don’t have the physical drive with them, and Toshiba did exactly just that.

Pogoplug software (worth USD$29.95) for PC/Mac, enable access files in your hard drive anywhere from tablet or smartphone. Do note that if you want to use this function, Internet connection is required. (Requires installation of free Pogoplug app available at Apple App Store and Google Play Store.)

With this Toshiba Canvio Slim II Portable External Hard Drive, you can access and share content from any device anywhere via the Internet and can upload and download content from any device easily.  Pretty awesome, cuz this time around, I’ll probably attempt writing from my mobile. I could definitely benefit from this function, and I bet those who loves to take loads of photos with their mobile could benefit from this too. 😀

The Password HDD Tool software that guards the content of the Canvio Slim II with a password to prevent unauthorized access. And finally, NTI Backup Now Ez is an easy-to-use and effective backup software that can be set to work by itself once installed.

So ladies and gentlemen, if you’re looking for an external HDD with great performance and value for money, I think Canvio Slim II External HD is quite a safe bet. It cost only RM279 for 1TB and will be available in Malaysian market in October 2013.


Cleffairy: Love the fact that this thing will prevent unauthorized drive access. I always hated it when people snoop around my stuff at home.




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