For Christmas, my awesome brother (Donnie) got me a decently sized LaCie Iamakey [Amazon] along with a few other awesome items. He remembered it from a year or two ago on an old list! Total surprise, and a great one. I’ve been eye-ing one for a while since I’m in need of multiple backups of my research work and thesis writing.
I do do manual backups, and in particular have a drive mirrored using rsync in osX so that it’s bootable (old computers and poor grad-students tend to make for older hard-drives). However, I wanted something a bit faster and easier to use. I wanted an automatic (or semiautomatic) backup of critical writings or data.