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.