Today I decided to take an inventory, and it was an interesting-but-dusty trip through the last 13 years of building and destroying the computers that live in this house. I have no fewer than 19 decommissioned hard drives that I know of. Here are a few of the more dramatic highlights:
- There are two 250GB Western Digitals that I pulled out of the LaCie BigDisk external USB drive enclosure after it died. I bought those back in the halcyon days of Mad Dog Software as a backup solution, because I could fit the contents of all the computers in my house on just one of them. The intention was to get two of those enclosures and keep one off-site. That fizzled, but it did give me an excuse to write a trickle-transfer utility to run on Linux and send backup files to Dan's house for storage. That was my first serious Linux project.
- There are three 60GB Maxtors of which I have no guess the purpose... but one of them has a post-it note that reads "noisy" in Diane's handwriting. I can only imagine how all this came about.
- There are four 60GB IBM Deskstars dating back from the dead-drive catastrophe of 2001 (or was it 2000? not sure now). I decided to build the Mother of All Machines, so I bought four of these hot-running high-failure-rate data bombs and put them in RAID 0+1. Maximum PC rated them Kick-Ass at the time, so they seemed like the best choice. Little did I know I had just purchased drives that would be the subject of a class-action lawsuit a few years later. The thing about RAID 0+1 is that, in theory, it has the speed of RAID 0 (striping) with the data safety of RAID 1 (mirroring). But in practice, it isn't that fast and it isn't that safe. Especially when you have two drives fail simultaneously, like I did. The four I have now include two warranty replacement drives, so I think they all work.
- Last spring I built my grandmother a new PC from leftover parts I had lying around, replacing one that was refusing to boot. I took the dead hardware with the plan of figuring out what the problem was, but didn't even crack the case until today. Inside I found three hard drives. They proved to be resistant to my charms and I was in a hurry because I was expecting a phone call. Can't wait to get back to them and see what sort of complicated storage scheme was dreamed up on those.
- Buried deeply in the random-hardware boxes and covered in dust, I found a 6GB (yes, six gigabytes) Western Digital from 1998, and a circa-1997 Fujitsu that gave no size nor cylinder information whatsoever. Wow.
Diane suggested I look at FreeCycle as a way to give away stuff to people who want it... I can't wait to see who wants a 10GB IBM OEM hard drive from 1998.