When asked what I’d consider “dead-finger tech” (the one computing device, peripheral, gadget, or software that they'd have to pry from my cold, dead fingers), my first inclination was to pick a great camera, of course. And though I do have my favorites, the honest truth is that if I had to replace any of my current digital cameras, I could probably find another that I’d be fairly happy with.
What’s irreplaceable to me is not the actual cameras, but the photos that I take with them. So my dead-finger tech is the Apple Time Capsule up in my home office that automatically backs up all the photos in our household. We have an unusually photo-centric household: Between me (a digital camera blogger, of course) and my husband (a professional photographer), we generally have at least five cameras in active use at any given time. But whether it’s snapshots from our five-year-old’s pink plastic V-Tech Kidizoom or the occasional family photo from my husband’s Canon EOS 5D Mark II (he has his own back-up system for work-related images), they all get backed up to the Time Capsule.
Now you might say, so what? You could replace that with any back-up drive, right? Wrong. The beauty of the Time Capsule is not only that it works seamlessly with the fantastic Time Machine backup software on our three Macs (hubby’s MacBook Pro and Mac Pro desktop, plus the iMac in the kitchen) but it also works -- though not quite as seamlessly -- with our multiple PCs (my office desktop and two notebook PCs—I’ve been a tech journalist for 20 years…we have a lot of gear). But best of all, since the Time Capsule is not only a terabyte drive, but also a dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi router, it does all this automated backup over our Wi-Fi network.
Did I tell you I love my Time Capsule? For so many reasons, not the least of which is because it replaced the crap Wi-Fi router that came with our Verizon FIOS installation. Its support for both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands means that it connects over the most efficient band for various devices we have. Plus, since the iMac in the kitchen is the furthest (but newest) of our computers, the greater range of the 802.11n connection (vs. the range of the aforementioned crappy Verizon router) has improved our performance vastly.
Oh and did I mention that alongside its Gigabit Ethernet ports it has a USB 2.0 port so we can wirelessly share our photo printer across all the computers? Yup. You’ll have to pry it out of my cold, dead fingers if you want to get it from me.