Pros 1. It's shiny.
2. It's black.
3. It has pretty lights.
4. It was on sale.
Cons 1. It starts out slow.
2. It gets slower.
3. It stops.
4. Did I mention it's slow?
Summary Saturday mornings are good for me. I like to get up before the rest of the family, make a little toast and marmelade, and brew up a big pot of bosun's mate coffee. You know the kind; strong enough to double as paint stripper when it's time to re-do the hull. That done, I crack open the iPad and scan my inbox to see who's vying for my attention. Lo and behold; there's a notice from my local tank supplier that there's a sale on 20,000 gallon fuel tanks. "Wow," I exclaim to the dog, "I gots ta hab me wonna dose!" You see, we have three cars, two ATV's, a snowcat and a gas-powered blender at our house and how convenient would it be to have a huge backup of fuel that they all could share?"
So, two phone calls and a trip to the tank store later, the tank is installed. And is it beautiful! Black and shiny, with pretty green and blue lights that flash in a secret code to tell you what's happening. As the fuel truck arrives to fill my tank I notice the neighbors peeking out their windows. "That's right," I mutter, "eat your hearts out."
And that's when it all goes to hell.
"Ayup," says the driver when he sees the tank, "you got yourself one of them Irate No-Flex jobbies. I hope you got it cheap."
He chuckles and gives me a wink. "You'll see. Shall we hook up the filler hose?"
"It doesn't use one," I say, puffing up with pride. "It uses our Hoseless Distribution Network."
That smile spreads wider across his face. "Okay, then. Let's tie into it, shall we? There's twenty thousand gallons waiting to be moved."
So, we hook up to the network and begin the transfer. I have a few reservations when I see that we're connecting a four-inch diameter output to a half-inch rubber hose, but I figure that must be normal. My reservations deepen as the driver hangs up his celphone. "Taxi be here for me in about ten minutes."
"Taxi? What for?"
"I'm going home. Transfer's gonna take a while."
When I ask what he means by "a while" he just smiles an points to the pump readout on his truck.
I peer at the tiny screen. "GPM is gallons per minute, right?"
"Ayup," comes the muffled reply, his upper torso buried in the cab of his truck.
"Is two point six good?"
He comes back out of the cab, an old leather satchel in his grip, and hands me a calculator. "Do the math."
I do. And stare at the numbers. I do it again. And stare at the numbers again.
He stands there smiling. "About seventy-seven hundred, right?"
I just look at him.
"Divided by sixty, right?"
I don't respond.
"And that divided by twenty-four?"
"So I should be back here about noon Friday to pick up my truck." He takes a seat on the low stone wall around my garden and pulls a sandwich out of his satchel. There's a distinct odor of sardines.
I try to appeal to his good nature. "There must be a quicker way to do this."
"You could buy the Underflow Subversion Bus connection kit. Allows you to bypass the network and connect directly to the truck."
"What does that cost?"
He tells me. "And it's coming from Atlanta, so you'll have to either allow a week for it to get here or pay the overnight charge."
I'm stunned. "But that's almost half what I paid for the tank itself."
"Ayup. But it will cut your fill time by half."
"But that's still more than two days to fill it."
I stare back down at the calculator in my hand as possible solutions enter my mind and fall apart half-formed.
I look up to the driver as he finishes his sandwich, crumples the wax paper wrapping and drops it into his satchel. I appreciate his reluctance to litter but I need a little something more to buoy my sinking spirits. "Well, once it's full it'll be great to be able to access all that fuel anytime I want."
He's not smiling anymore. I suppose I'm now less amusing and more pathetic. "Whenever IT wants, you mean."
"Well, these tanks are finnicky. Sometimes you can get the fuel, sometimes you can't. And sometimes you'll get half the fuel and the other half will disappear out of the network for a day or two and then show up again. It all depends on the position of the stars or the flow of the electrons or some such thing. I been doing this twenty-two years now and I still don't understand it."
The taxi pulls up to the bottom of the driveway and he turns to go. I tug on his sleeve. "So what can I do?"
His face relaxes into an expression of pity. "This time? Not much. Once the tank's been delivered they won't take it back. You could use it as a door stop."
I look in his eyes, a feeling of despair creeping over me.
"And next time?"
He climbs into the back of the taxi and hands me a card through the window.
"Read the reviews first."
The taxi pulls away and I'm left standing there in a cloud of car fumes, the counter on the truck's fuel pump clicking slowly behind me. I look down at the card in my hand.
Scrawled across it and surrounded by greasy fingerprints is a web address: www.CNet.com
And that's when I hear the transfer pump shut down.
Pros NONE NONE NONE
Cons WONT LOAD ON MAC
Pros Makes a good paperweight.
Cons unstable, drive does not mount all the time. my PS3 only sees the drive half the time the other half it will only see half the files. The software allways asks me to upgrade. The list can go on and on.
Summary I was allways happy with Seagate products until now. Seagate just lost a good custumer. Save youself some money and buy something else.
Pros Set up was easy. It's nice that you can share a printer across the network. Neat that it can back up three PCs and five users.
Cons I bought this because I wanted a backup hard drive but found that the backup is performed through Memeo software - not through regular Windows backup. The Memeo software won't backup my external hard drives, it only backs up files on the C: drive.
Summary If you're looking for a backup hard drive, don't buy this! Do your research. This GoFlex drive is more for media sharing across a network than for backups. I learned my lesson and will now go buy a regular external hard drive that will work with Windows backup to make an image backup. The printer sharing feature is good. Setup is easy. The product's interface tries to sell you more software and subscriptions as it's being installed and even after it's installed, which is annoying.
Pros Fast, easy, compact setup. Works great with Mac computers.
Cons Took a couple of tries to get it working properly.
Summary At first the drive wouldn't show up. The dock worked perfectly but in the web interface it said "No storage device installed." This was a bit frustrating until I removed and re-inserted the drive into the dock a couple more times. On the third try, the drive spun up, both green and white lights came on, and everything has been great ever since. I didn't have to install ANYTHING on any of my Mac computers (all running Snow Leopard) in order for the drive to show up and work--and work it does. I get 50MB/s download from the drive and 30MB/s upload over a gigabit ethernet connection. This is what tells me they've made a few changes since all of these disparaging reviews were written; my speeds are significantly faster (write especially) than what the CNET testers got.
I have also loaded the app on to my iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch and can happily stream any of my content at full resolution from anywhere I get a signal (wi-fi or 3G/4G). It's a great way to have your own Cloud at home. Overall I am very satisfied with the product and have found it to be one of the most cost effective NAS solutions available ($150 for 2TB). Admittedly I can't speak for how well it may or may not work with any Windows machines, so keep that in mind if you're running Windows.