This post is only for Mac users. Sorry, rest of the world.
If you have a Mac with a Firewire 800 port (see pic), you can save some of that frustrating “spin-up” time when your external hard drive awakens.
This applies if you are using Time Machine. (If you are not, please start right away! It may save your day — as it has for me, many times.)
Anyhow, do not use a USB 2.0 external drive for your Time Machine disk. Instead, buy a Firewire 800 drive, like the Iomega* I recently bought. It will save you maybe 2 minutes a day of waiting on your hard drive. That’s 8 hours a year.
If your Time Machine backup drive is not plugged in all the time, this post won’t apply to you. But the benefits of having access to lost data makes always-on Time Machine worth it for me. Particularly with a FW 800 drive.
* Not an affiliate link.