OT? Ancient software archive systems (was Re: PDP CDROMS)

From: Aaron Christopher Finney <af-list_at_lafleur.wfi-inc.com>
Date: Thu Jul 29 12:58:13 1999

Media lifespan...

After just 10,000 or so days on earth, I've learned not to *rely* on any
media and to backup anything that is hard to replace. My kids have
scratched CD's in a nanosecond, I've dropped floppies and accidentally
rolled over them with the chair trying to retrieve them, whatever. I
am just really bad with stuff like that, almost never seeing the
natural end of the media's lifespan. So I think Zane is right, storage is
just too cheap and the technology is too available not to invest a little
in safeguarding as much of the software as you can.

I've got around 6 gigs of "classic" computer-related data archived, with
everything from applications, emulators, and schematics to scanned
magazines and video files of 80's TV commercials. Considering that an 18
gig EIDE drive is under $200 and Linux (free) has built-in RAID support,
you can absolutely guarantee the safety of your data for almost nothing. I
also picked up a Sony 8gig tape drive for $250 a while back and keep a
backup set in a drawer in my office. Ala Jessee Jackson, the nicest thing
about a Linux setup is the Connectivity Flexibility, where you can
transfer between almost any machines with combinations of serial
connections, networking, and writing native-format disks/tapes with the
gaggle of free utilities available. Heaven.

As far as finding a case, combing the scrapyards for a stripped Mini or PC
server chassis is a great source. A little creative cutting and
metal-epoxy work and you can mate a cheap ATX case to it (for the card
cage) without much hassle...and have all the room you ever dreamed of. The
old AST server case I scrounged has enough room for all of the tubing/etc
of my cooling system as well as an 8-slot scsi backplane with sliding
drive trays! Almost free!

Just my 119 Rubles,


On Thu, 29 Jul 1999, Zane H. Healy wrote:

> Considering how amazingly cheap EIDE hard drives are getting, I'm
> thinking about building an archive server with some form of RAID using EIDE
> disks for my Home network at the moment. From what I hear there is an
> add-on board that will let you have a max of 8 EIDE hard drives on a PC, and
> apparently Maxtor now has 27.2Gb EIDE HD's that you can find for under $300.
> Since Linux supports kernel based RAID, it should be fairly easy to set up a
> simple disk mirroring system, on something cheap like a Celeron system. The
> hardest part might be finding a big enough case :^)
> Zane
Received on Thu Jul 29 1999 - 12:58:13 BST

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