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  • another Traveling Terabyte hardware makeover

    So, i'm planning on getting a TTB over to the soldiers, sailors, and marines who are patients in Kaiserslautern, Germany. While i might try to rotate one of the existing cases over to them... i don't particularly want to shift any of the three TTBs off their current courses.

    that leaves me considering the construction of a new case. however, yet again we find ourselves with a goddamn hardware product that appears to be discontinued. the CoolGear enclosures that i had just switched us to are no longer produced and, despite saying "in stock" on their web site... the CoolGear company (a.k.a. USB Gear a.k.a. Cable Gear a.k.a. GCUSA a.k.a. fuck-knows what else) doesn't have any and doesn't expect more anytime soon.

    so we're left with the question of what to use now. the reason i had really fallen in love with the CoolGear enclosures was the fact that they didn't require power bricks / wall warts. the AC adapter was built into the enclosure case and the whole unit fed off an ISO cable of either 120 or 240 volts.

    i'd really love to keep with that "no major power adapters" model. part of me wants to search for more enclosures like this one, but another part of me wonders about laptop drives. 2.5" hard drives are always getting larger and coming down in price, but most of all they are blissfully uncomplicated to operate.

    i'm thinking about this model. not only would that allow for easy operation in all computers, but -- i fucking hope and pray -- that a company as big as WD with a product as well-known and loved as the Passport series would be able to actually keep a product line alive for more than 15 months.

    in full 3.5" size (let's assume for a moment that we could still get the CoolGear or something like it) we'd be looking at $95 for the enclosure and maybe $75 for the drive. toss in $10 for cables and such and it's a $180 package. the 2.5" WD Passport costs the same from Best Buy.

    i'm thinking that we'd also be able to realize some savings in the form of smaller Pelican cases for shipment. sadly, the really small cases aren't offered in OD Green. Arg. Is it better to paint or to just convert the project to black (i'm liking the green theme we had going)

    Heh... well... in the time it took to write this post, i was IM-ing so many folk that we wound up finding eBay auctions for the drive costing $170 with free shipping. Win!

    So there we have it... the new configuration of the TTB for the future (including this upcoming trip to Kaiserslautern) will be 2.5" drives. what a fascinating modern age we live in.
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor

  • #2
    Re: another Traveling Terabyte hardware makeover

    so, from what i'm seeing on the web... it looks like the Pelican 1020 would be a rather ideal size for this new way of making TTB cases. it allows for maybe a half inch of padding and foam, etc. to pack all around the drive and still accommodate the notepad and such that we include as a guest book.

    again, however, we're facing the issue of no OD green. that's a damn shame. Storm Case doesn't offer anything in that small a size. Anyone else have any suggestions?
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: another Traveling Terabyte hardware makeover

      Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
      so, from what i'm seeing on the web... it looks like the Pelican 1020 would be a rather ideal size for this new way of making TTB cases. it allows for maybe a half inch of padding and foam, etc. to pack all around the drive and still accommodate the notepad and such that we include as a guest book.

      again, however, we're facing the issue of no OD green. that's a damn shame. Storm Case doesn't offer anything in that small a size. Anyone else have any suggestions?
      I may sound like a broken record here, but have you tried contacting them? It never hurts to call up, say who you are, what you are doing, would you like to help, and or possibly help in this way.

      I would gladly do it for you, but I see no better spokes person, for this project, than you D.O.. Heck, you got me to contribute :-)

      xor

      The company is located in Texas for Petes sake. They gotta help, it's a rule.
      Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: another Traveling Terabyte hardware makeover

        Originally posted by xor View Post
        have you tried contacting them
        hah... it's funny you should ask. i was sending them an email at the very same time i was typing up my post on the forums here.

        i look forward to hearing a reply. of course, if any number of other people here were to shoot them an email (i used their web form here with an inquiry directed to "Sales") saying something to the effect of "hey, this TTB project is real and has widespread support can you help us pretty please kthanx!!1!" there's no telling how much it might help.
        "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
        - Trent Reznor

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: another Traveling Terabyte hardware makeover

          Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
          ... Anyone else have any suggestions?
          I stumbled upon these guys at CES last weekend. Their smaller cases (905/915) look like they'd be great for TTB 2.5. They come in OD green and From what I saw (and fondled) they are very good cases.
          "You have cubed asscheeks?"... "Do you not?"

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: another Traveling Terabyte hardware makeover

            Originally posted by sintax_error View Post
            I stumbled upon these guys at CES last weekend. Their smaller cases (905/915) look like they'd be great for TTB 2.5. They come in OD green and From what I saw (and fondled) they are very good cases.
            they do look to be pretty nice products, but it seems they're pretty large for our purposes. i'm looking for something that ideally has inside dimensions not much larger than 3" x 5" x 1"
            "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
            - Trent Reznor

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: another Traveling Terabyte hardware makeover

              The dimensions of their cases are a little odd, for a lot of purposes (i bought one for 4 pistols, turns out 6 will fit in it). They do lean more towards SLR's and other electronics when they make their stuff. I'll keep the dimensions you're looking for in mind and pass along anything I find.
              "You have cubed asscheeks?"... "Do you not?"

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: another Traveling Terabyte hardware makeover

                It's a saturday afternoon and i'm meeting up with my father shortly... so i'll have to keep this brief. I am so very, very upset. My beloved Western Digital, maker of the Passport external drive, is dangerously close to going into my own personal Fucktard Hall of Fame.

                Why, you ask? Two reasons...

                1. Their drives now use micro USB instead of mini USB. I know that's the way the world is trending, but holy hell... i feel this is nothing more than a change for change's sake. The beauty of the Passport was that they were ALL the same cable. If you lost it or had it somewhere else in your bag, it didn't matter... everyone has a mini USB cable laying around their desk now. So much for that feature.

                2. Even worse, however... WD appears to have gone the way of SanDisk. Their drives now come pre-loaded with some hidden partitions and virtual CD-ROM devices full of software about which no one cares and which no one has the power to remove. As you know, i bought this drive from eBay. The LAST thing i goddamn want when i open a package (that has clearly already been opened once) and plug in a drive is for it to start attempting to RUN things on my system. Thankfully i have things locked down enough that nothing launched. But even the control software from the WD web site clearly gives the user only two options...
                * Enable (display) the virtual CD device
                * Disable (hide) the virtual CD device

                ... that's correct. You can't remove it (it's embedded in the firmware) but you can "hide" it. Fuck you. Fuck all this. Damn it, what the hell is wrong with companies today?

                I'm out of time here, so i'll simply paste the message i just sent to WD moments ago. Then you can all either laugh or cry or respond saying i'm making too much out of this or respond saying "gee, i feel the same way. fuck"

                For the love of fucking Christ in a canoe, what the hell are you people thinking? You had the absolute FLAGSHIP product in the entire industry when it came to external storage. The WD Passport was THE NAME in pocket drives. It was simple, perfect, worked everywhere, and (most of all) was a CONSISTENT product.

                In a world where manufacturers come and go, when product lines shift and change... your hardware was blissfully the SAME always. Same mini USB cable, same drive configuration, same application suite (which everyone goddamn ignored and didn't use).

                Now... dear holy hell, what have you done??!? What on earth was in your heads with the change to micro USB? Other than just trying to look "forward-thinking"... it accomplishes NOTHING besides the introduction of frustration to users everywhere. We can all count on a mini-USB cable to be present at every single office, in every associate's bag, hell... just laying around every single spare parts bin. Here's a tip for you, though... NO ONE has spare MICRO USB cables just laying around. They're not new enough. So now, i am routinely forced to dig through my bag and find the ONE stupid cable that will work with this drive when i need to use it.

                However, the issue of mini vs micro USB absolutely PALES in comparison to your utterly ASININE inclusion of a virtual CD device on the new Passport drives. Are you crazy?? NEWS FLASH - Customers don't want their drives to "do things" other than just goddamn STORE DATA. We don't like seeing additional software features that try to auto-execute when we plug something in. We don't like seeing disk space (ANY disk space, even on a 1TB drive) being occupied by something from the factory. We don't like being given the choice between "showing" and "hiding" software... the only choice i and ALL of my associates would wish for on the Passport is REMOVING the software.

                Of course, a FAR better option would be to NOT INCLUDE it at all. Let the 1% of customers who would want to encumber themselves with this shit download it from your web site themselves.

                I cannot know if these comments will reach anyone of substance at Western Digital. I don't even know if the person who first read this message even got as far as these last lines. Still... what has been said had to be said. I am utterly disgusted. I may actually never purchase another one of your products ever again if you keep up this nonsense.
                "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                - Trent Reznor

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: another Traveling Terabyte hardware makeover

                  Tell us how you really feel!
                  "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: another Traveling Terabyte hardware makeover

                    Originally posted by theprez98 View Post
                    Tell us how you really feel!
                    heh... you have my perspective rather laid out, i'd say. what i really wanted from this thread was not to vent as much as it was to hear others' thoughts either in parallel or in contrast to my own.

                    upon reflection, it is clear that some of my comments were a bit impassioned... to the point of being a bit irrational. i do see that micro USB will be the way of things eventually... my anger at it becoming the standard will have all the effect of trying to kick water uphill.

                    but my feelings concerning the embedded software remain. i simply have NO idea what bloody marketing study or focus group EVER gave these companies the notion that people want features like this.
                    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                    - Trent Reznor

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: another Traveling Terabyte hardware makeover

                      I also do not appreciate software being pre-installed on external drives. If I buy something for storage/backups, I want to be able to use the full amount of space. Likewise, I do not like for things to automatically run without my consent.
                      "Why is it drug addicts and computer afficionados are both called users? " - Clifford Stoll

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: another Traveling Terabyte hardware makeover

                        Sounds as if one could put any of the Hacksaw tools on these drives now, too.
                        "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: another Traveling Terabyte hardware makeover

                          Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                          but my feelings concerning the embedded software remain. i simply have NO idea what bloody marketing study or focus group EVER gave these companies the notion that people want features like this.
                          Originally posted by AgentDarkApple View Post
                          I also do not appreciate software being pre-installed on external drives. If I buy something for storage/backups, I want to be able to use the full amount of space. Likewise, I do not like for things to automatically run without my consent.
                          Clearly, we're in the minority on this. Most of the technically illiterate people I know LOVE the fact that software "just runs" when they load a CD or plug in a drive. When I mention that it's a major security problem, they look at me like I have two heads.

                          Originally posted by theprez98 View Post
                          Sounds as if one could put any of the Hacksaw tools on these drives now, too.
                          <rubs hands together> Muhahahahaha!

                          Uh... I mean "Yes, it's a security problem."
                          Thorn
                          "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: another Traveling Terabyte hardware makeover

                            All of the hardware and software distributors out there doing this kind of thing have one idea in mind as far as marketing, in my opinion anyhow... Remind the consumer bloody constantly what company they bought the product from, and what software developer made it possible for them to have all the neat features. "Hey! Look! It just does some stuff... brought to you by <Company x and developer y>". But Thorn is absolutely right, we are in the minority. Your average bleating Joe Dipshit absolutely loves the fact that they can plug in a storage device and have something flashy happen.
                            "You have cubed asscheeks?"... "Do you not?"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: another Traveling Terabyte hardware makeover

                              I've dealt with these kind of drives a bunch over the last couple years.

                              Much of it extends back to the days when U3 drives were big. The logic was that you could load apps on the external drive and take them anywhere with you. This extended to backup (albeit crappy) software on said drives for 'one touch' backups and such.

                              I've run into others that allow for crypto and even one korean chop shop one that had a media player front end.

                              Most if not all of these drives can be re-partitioned and that function wiped. The passports I doubt have anything actually embedded in the thing outside a CDrom partition. I tend to avoid WD myself so I can't confirm.

                              So, yes, on many of these you can load hacksaw tools easily, however they are not as discreet as a thumbdrive
                              Never drink anything larger than your head!





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