[rescue] $35 50gig drives

Wes Will wwill at siu.edu
Wed May 4 14:49:13 CDT 2005

>They have 50GB SCSI for $35 each, and IBM 36GB for $30 each.

I keep sitting here, watching the goings on, chiming in once in awhile, and
it just smacked me in the face again, the strides we have taken in the
hardware world since I started mucking about in this stuff (since the IMSAI
and Altair 8800 days, burn marks on my mom's table from soldering together
processer and I/O boards for an S100 bus).  We keep going and coming back
around to storage.  Windable /dev/null indeed!

Yes, I remember using some tape drives - no, not DLT or even DAT tapes.
CASSETTES.   Audio cassettes, and boy were we glad to have them.  You could
store several dozen magazine-article BASIC programs on there.  Of course,
if you lost your cheat-sheet with the tape-length counter numbers on it
showing which program was where on what tape, you were -screwed-, but hey,
that was half the fun!  And you only had to type the thing in from the
magazine ONCE.

Then came floppy disks, mini-floppies to be exact, the 5.25 inchers.  WOW,
couple hundred K on each, if you either paid a few (hundred, early on)
bucks extra for the double-sided drives, or got a hole-punch and notched
the disks, then flipped them over and used the back side....

Next on the rise to storage heaven was my first hard disk.  It weighed
about a zillion pounds, an "Apple Sider" drive, and I had me a whopping 5
megabytes of storage.  When it arrived, I was the MAN!! Who could POSSIBLY
fill up 5 MEGS?! Oh yeah, I had a Winchester disk, the first one on the
block and was that ever cool.  Of course, you could braise beef on it, it
sounded like a hurricane, and was notorious for crashing and taking all of
your data along with it, but that was OK, it was still cooler than no hard
disk.  Until the other dude got a 10-megger..... INSTANT storage-envy!

Anybody else still have an ST225, Seagate 20-meg meat grinder laying around?  
All those cables, one flex too many and no data, and the sheer TORQUE of
the spindle motor kicking off while holding it in your hand!  MFM ruled.

Then came RLL controllers, and I tried all of my MFM 20's on there to see
if they could handle the thrashing that the controller gave them, to become
30's.  (About one in eight of my MFM drives could handle the demands placed
on them by an RLL controller, for more than a few minutes.  The other seven
became doorstops and boat anchors....)

How about the Seagates and Maxtor, and (shudder!) early Connor drives, or
the WD Caviar series of el-cheapo 100-meg, then 200's or so, then (ORGASM!)
OVER 500 Megs of STORAGE!  We've got the power now baby!!!   Freaking NASA
didn't have it better than this!  800??  Man, DOS can't handle it!
Multiple partitions!  Woohoo!  C:, D:, E:, F:, G:, hey will it do a
wrap-around, or do we go to AA:??  WHADDA YA MEAN?  You have a GIGABYTE in
your 486?????  WAY COOL, dude!  (Now we have single sticks of RAM bigger
than any of that, go figure.)

And on this list, and on some web sites I was just looking at, it's people
talking of having a major portion of a terabyte in their basement/living
room/apartment/whatever... I happen to have about 250 gigs total spinning
at the moment myself, and another almost-hundred worth of disks that I
don't even have anything to put them in.  And then I read about a dude
developing controls and software for FreeBSD, extensions to address up to
and eventually beyond 1.6 petabytes.  Open source.  Texas Tea.  Go get 'em,

Jerry Garcia, you shoulda hung around a little longer, because to us geeks
you had no idea about truckin'.

What   a    long    strange    trip    it's    been.

But it has been fun, I must admit.

wes will
feeling -truly- old right now.

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