Back when I was at university ~2001 someone in the archeology department decided on a lark to apply for a huge grant of money.
In a totally spur of the moment decision they decided it would be cool if the department had a 3d laser scanner. And since the total for the scanner didn’t amount to the total of the grant and this scanner was going to produce massive amounts of data the also threw in a 1TB file server (at a point when a 30GB hard drive was unbelievable) as joke to store the data from the scanner and maybe the compsci dept might be able to use it (in a totally incongruent example of inter department generosity).
Turns out they were the only ones to apply for this grant and won it by default.
So in a few weeks the department received a high quality 3d scanner and parts for a 1 TB file server. (had to show the people who gave the grant the receipts). As far as I know the scanner was used maybe twice.. and sat in a small room collecting dust….. The file server was a similarly sad tale.
Now put this piece of equipment in a place where us Comp. Sci students could have played with it and we might have had some cool stuff. Instead the scanner collected dust, and the file server well it languished.
It was a Dell raid system in a cabinet that went from the floor to the ceiling, with special raid controllers and some 40 250Gb drives.
And that’s when the politic-ing began. Eventually it was decided that this 1TB server array would be swapped with the current Account storage system, and the archiologists could use the current storage system from the account server, but due to politics and the fact that by this point the term had started and the network guys were a little cagey about it… it was too late to set it for that year. So for the whole year the whole system sat in boxes collecting dust in the server room ( which happend to be seperated from the regular comp sci labs by glass windows next to one of the most high traffic areas on the campus so everyone could see these boxes and boxes of dell equipment collecting dust.
Next year I came back to find the boxes emptied and the 1 TB file server assembled in the middle of the white server room that was in turn encased in glass. It looked like the Obelisk from 2001. Too bad it wasn’t working.
The certified Dell guy had come and assembled the system before term started, but hadn’t been able to configure it for the novel network…. My buddy in the network staff told me he could have done it, but under the Dell Service contract that the server had come with he wasn’t allowed to touch it.
So again the Server sat there collecting dust for another year.
When I eventually graduated they’d yet to hook it up to the network (but I understood the network guys used it as their local storage system).
It was a waste of gargantuan proportions. Computers like food should have a best before date, and this drool worthy piece of equipment had rotted on the vine.
Anyways I’ve now got a digital camera that takes 20Meg Picutres, and contains a 2Gb card. Between the camera and my Bit torrent collection of tv shows and movies from not having TV for 2 years I’ve come to fill the 300Gb drive i have in my desktop machine. At work I have a 500 GB external drive for my laptop that boggles the mind at how small it is…. now I see this: A 1 TB desktop portable drive.
And I’m thinking I might need one for my rapidly expanding collection of “Media”.
And there’s something that makes me feel very old when I look at a drive that’s the size of a large book, that used to stand taller than I was only a few very short years ago.
This shouldn’t surprise me… my first computer had a 20 Meg drive that weighed more than 20lbs. But the 1TB boundary seems like it should be more significant. My Comp. Sci prof from university had a funny story about a 5 MB drive that was the size of a washing machine… He now stores his work on a 1GB USB key chain drive.
Maybe I’m just getting old.