After hearing about friends having their computers stolen and losing precious data I finally got around and purchased a new external backup disk, settling on a Lacie Rugged All-Terrain 80GB. DVD backups worked fine until last year when I purchased a Canon EOS 20D and decided to shoot in raw format. Now, instead of having a few GB of data per year to backup I find myself with some 50GB.
I have tried a large number of bus powered USB drives but none of them seemed to work without extra power via a second USB cable. I was happy to notice that the Lacie Rugged All-Terrain 80GB could do with just the power supplied from the USB port on my Shuttle SN95G5v3. It is worth noticing that I also have a Lacie Mobile hard drive from late 2004 which does require extra power when connecting it to the same Shuttle PC. It seems, thus, that this rugged drive requires less power than the older drive but it is uncertain whether newer drives of the Porsche designed series require as much power.
On the negative side I was a little surprised to note the flimsy orange protection around the edges. Contrary to what I thought after having seen images on the Internet, the protective cover is just slipped over the drive. It would feel more solid if Lacie were to at least glue it together.
As would be expected, the drive is quite silent and the sound is barely noticeable. When making an initial backup of 50GB of data I saw a sustained throughput of 12 MB/s.
In short, this external USB drive does what it says. But I would like it better if the orange protector was attached more firmly to the drive itself.