Chris Eastwood , Jan 30, 2008; 12:46 a.m.
I'm mainly out and away from "home" ... often for a few years at a time. I use a laptop for most of my imaging. Personally, after using CD's and then DVD's as my backup for some time, I've been seduced by the drop in prices of large external USB hard disks. I've been gradually expanding mine from 160gig a few years ago to a new 500 gig just the other day. Always seems to be costing about a hundred bucks. (quick note, in Europe I call a 100 euro a 100 bucks, in Japan 1man yen, in Australia $100...)
Beware of hard disk failure, so as a 'just in case' I back them up to DVD's too. One can get a spindle of 50 DVD's for not much more than 15 bucks (which amounts to over 200Gig) This is cheaper than a second hard disk (for justin case your new hard disk is instead wallaby teds bigger bigger brother "roo ted" and you loose your images)
My rule of thumb on HDD's is that they'll kick the bucket in short order or last for 2 or 3 years. I've kept my older 160 in a drawer for justin case
The cost of the USB 2.0 powered external drives is low now at 20c a gig, add to this the speed of access its hard to ignore them.
Just make sure you don't fluff the disk up with accidental formatting or access with a program which wipes it (that's were those $20 worth of DVD's will come in handy to restore from)