d332 110725 post space week 1


Well, this update really belongs in space week… it just didn’t actually happen during space week.

This is a painting of the ship I was doodling last week. It’s pretty shitty, but I hashed it out pretty quick and I don’t really have much of an idea of how the heck I should paint machines. The lineart is also kinda bleh… but pseudo intentional. I like the rear engine cluster, but that’s about it.

This should be the end of several out of order updates as well. This is d332, which should, if I recall correctly, should actually be the “latest” update. The following notes about storage were nonetheless originally written for d327, but they have moved around a lot since then.

A couple weeks ago, I talked about storage (there’s now a tag too) – mainly that I wasn’t sure what I was going to do about it. In that regard the desktop axing program was a little premature; I’ve had a hard time accessing data on the big drives for the past couple weeks without the desktop’s hot-swap doodads, but such won’t be the case for the much longer. Over the long weekend, I gave some thought to storage, came up with something with which I was satisfied, and bought some hardware from here and there.

When I first devised the hot-swap system that was in use until recently, the assumption was that there would always be desktops and that I would always buy desktop drives due to the significantly lower cost per GB. Well, both of these factors have changed in the past three or four years, and are likely to change more in the next three or four years. As such, the mantra this time around is a bit more flexibility such that the next time this system gets overhauled… well, such that next time there won’t have to be an overhaul.

My criteria for the system this time around is something like this: standardized, expandable, durable, and fast, though not necessarily in that order and not necessarily exclusive of other criteria. Standardization is such that I’m not buying different external hard drives of different sizes every time I need to add capacity. Expandability is such that the parts I need to maintain standardization will be available in the foreseeable future. Durability is something like not handling bare drives or moving desktop drives around. Fast is basically not transferring a hundred GB of data over USB2. This whole thing is, of course, very fuzzy, so I won’t elaborate too much more on it. A lot of it is OCPD, too.

So what am I actually doing this time around? The core infrastructure is laptop hard drives with USB3 to SATA adapters carrying power and data. Due to backwards compatibility, etc, this setup will let me use my drives with any device with a USB port without additional cables. Where USB3 support isn’t available, and I still need something faster than USB2, I’ll use the SATA bus with whatever hijinks that might entail (at the moment this is basically just with Colette Motoko).

At the moment I’m putting each laptop drive in a 2.5 to 3.5 adapter such that I don’t have to handle it directly. The USB3 SATA bridges I use are made such that they can connect to bare 2.5 drives or these. The new hot-swap things I’m using can also take both, in case I ultimately decide to ditch the adapters (maybe when big SSDs are cheap). The adapters are also hopefully more standard and will hopefully continue to be widely available, more so than the old proprietary bays and caddies I was using.

Having actually received the USB3 to SATA bridge, all I can say is that the software is rubbish. When the thing actually works I do get some 60MB/s in and out of a SATA device that isn’t the bottleneck, but it seems to be a real pain to make it work properly.