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  • Traveling Terabyte Changing Direction?

    Hey all,

    I'm posting this here because the DEFCON and hacker community was so instrumental in helping me get the Traveling Terabyte Project off the ground and has been a source of great advice and input as things have progressed.

    Lately, i've become rather upset (or at least, i would say i've become disillusioned) about some aspects of the TTB Project. In short, a number of the "cases" that contain the hard drives have gone slightly M.I.A... they're not stolen (and indeed may still be entertaining men and women in uniform) but they're out of my grasp and logistical control.

    Things in the field and within the APO/FPO system have become a considerable hurdle for managing the cases and the drives. Hand-offs, face-to-face transfers, and such have become the preferred method for getting the cases to new recipients. That's a great way of avoiding the slowness of the mail system, but it makes it nearly impossible to keep tabs on the drives.

    I'm thinking about shifting the form factor (yet again) and focusing on ways of producing optical media content for people who are deployed in the field, while keeping the "drive in a case" style TTBs predominantly in rear-echelon positions.

    I'd really like people's input on this. You can read the whole summary of how i'm feeling and what i'd like to do here on the TTB home page. Ultimately, the questions i ask as the end of my recent post are...
    Is Blu-Ray a good choice for the new discs?

    Should we be re-thinking the format in which the material is encoded, etc? (would MP4 be better, given the number of iPods, iPads, and mobile tech that play this style of file instead?)

    Who would like their friends or loved ones in uniform to receive a copy of the new disc when the project gets off the ground in this new direction?

    Have a look, give it some thought, and let's see where we are for the Traveling Terabyte Project in 2011. Thanks for all your support and thank you to all who keep men and women in uniform in their thoughts while they are away from home.
    "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: Traveling Terabyte Changing Direction?

    Something i'd really like to hear about is how prevalent people think that Blu-Ray compatible drives are, especially in the field. Single-Layer vs. Dual-Layer, etc.

    When i shipped out external USB hard drives, i at least knew that even folk with Pentium 233MHz Packard Bell laptops running Windows 98 could likely read data off them. If we make a switch to Blu-Ray, will most folk even be able to access the content??

    Would flash drives be a better option? And, if so, how large and how to keep THEM from getting lost or mislaid, etc?
    "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: Traveling Terabyte Changing Direction?

      Good luck getting videos on the new iPods, they are not as friendly as some older ones. My new Classic sucks compared to my old one.

      Forget Blu-Ray. DVD is the way to go. DL is fine, but then you end up with tons of discs that will get separated.

      Can you have a pop-up on the TTB? Put on a batch file or whatever and have a little disclaimer, ID, and property of box pop up. Include email and a contact by date. Or get a steel plate and engrave the data on it and mount it to the box, Pioneer 10 style.

      I'd request accountability. If you hand it to a serviceman that you can track, like with a photocopied ID card, he can end up standing in front of his commander explaining the loss of your property. When I traveled with it I would inform the receiver about the importance and made sure the same information moved along the line.

      Your form factor is correct. I've used it. I wish I had TTB01 right here for the memories. Maybe we need to expect some "shrinkage" but I think it best to hold the folks to their word and really impart on them the seriousness of your intent.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Traveling Terabyte Changing Direction?

        I wouldn't attempt to upgrade to Blu-Ray yet, give it a few years and it will be better integrated into affordable laptops for most people.

        DVDs are definitely the best way to go for optical media.
        "Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity."

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Traveling Terabyte Changing Direction?

          Note that Blu-Ray fares even worse when scratched than DVDs do. They really need to be taken care of. I can't tell you how many times I encountered playback issues with Blu-Rays rented via Netflix (before I got rid of the pesky "physical media" part of my plan)
          45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B0
          45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B1
          [ redacted ]

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Traveling Terabyte Changing Direction?

            Why not a service such as this: http://www.rfidc.com/ ?? some kind of gps+rfid system? I have not looked into the cost of such a thing, but there has to be some kind of gps solution that can be used.
            Vell, WiK's just zis guy

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Traveling Terabyte Changing Direction?

              Is this how you're distributing the traveling terabyte now?

              45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B0
              45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B1
              [ redacted ]

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Traveling Terabyte Changing Direction?

                The Traveling Terabyte Project site has a full update of what the latest plan is. I'm really excited for how it's shaping up and i hope to post more soon.

                Quite moving was the story of Jason Blackwell. Read the new posts. You won't believe it.
                "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: Traveling Terabyte Changing Direction?

                  Having been a recipient of the TTB before, nobody that I know of had a bluray drive unless they had a PS3. I know of only 1 or 2 from my unit that DID have that and being the comms guy I knew at least half the unit by name or face.

                  Sadly, I don't have a real solution to go with or offer up because the TTB was a great thing to get and be able to plug into any laptop and download the contents. An external hard drive, in my opinion, was definitely better to receive than a bluray disc.
                  Saving the world one computer at a time...

                  or possibly destroying, I haven't figured that out yet.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Traveling Terabyte Changing Direction?

                    yeah, given all of the feedback... we opted for USB drives as opposed to Blu-Ray discs. the 32 GB drives are a good middle-of-the-road between the 25GB and 50GB standards of Blu-Ray. and the fact that they're USB makes them infinitely more accessible.

                    also... enclosed flash drive versus optical disc media... no contest there for which is more rugged and can be transported more reliably in-theatre.
                    "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: Traveling Terabyte Changing Direction?

                      As someone in the know (god I hate myself) Blu-Ray is not viable in the field (unless you are providing the player). On the subject of codecs, yes mp4 will get you better compression. Dev I'll PM you some specs if you want them so you can get an idea of the HW available.
                      <Insert witty comment here>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Traveling Terabyte Changing Direction?

                        Originally posted by WiK View Post
                        Why not a service such as this: http://www.rfidc.com/ ?? some kind of gps+rfid system? I have not looked into the cost of such a thing, but there has to be some kind of gps solution that can be used.
                        Its a great solution for a portable trailered air compressor (If there's a crane onsite, the trailer is lifted 30 feet off the ground and blowing in the breeze), but really bad for a forward deployed unit that doesn't want anyone outside of their AOR to know where they are.

                        If you think I'm kidding, ask Geraldo Rivera how well that went over in 2003.
                        Nonnumquam cupido magnas partes Interretis vincendi me corripit

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Traveling Terabyte Changing Direction?

                          Just a quick update... i'm officially going to produce another large run of the flash drives. The last batch from a couple years ago was a huge hit and i've been completely out of them for a little while now. Unless people think there was anything particularly lacking with the old version (see here if you want a reminder of the original style) i'm going with them again.

                          32 GB still seems to be the max available from any custom flash drive house (promo and free giveaways never seem to be large, hence you won't see 64 GB options) and i've had to just live with that.

                          i'm thinking of just doing another word-of-mouth funding push, unless someone wants to preach the merits of IndieGoGo... which has apparently made a big impact on many folk in the hacker scene with their own side projects in the past.

                          for now, just follow me or the TTB Project on Twitter and help spread the word when announcements come around!

                          thanks for all the support.
                          "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


                          • #14
                            Re: Traveling Terabyte Changing Direction?

                            Get better hooks on the cords. Mine fell off at Defcon. And longer cords.

                            You know you can put me down for whatever support you need.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Traveling Terabyte Changing Direction?

                              Originally posted by astcell View Post
                              Get better hooks on the cords. Mine fell off at Defcon. And longer cords.
                              i don't know if it's possible for our manufacturer, a company called iPromo, to make the lanyards longer, but you can see their assortment of hooks here.


                              we used to have the "crab claw" but would perhaps the oval be better? i've never liked J-hooks whenever i've had them on other keychains and lanyards. or maybe just a simple round keyring would be best? these aren't made to come off of the lanyards, really.

                              if 5 people contributed $500 each, we'd be absolutely fully-funded... but i recognize that this is a particularly daunting number to reach for. the total of what we're looking at for costs is around $2100, plus some shipping and assembly fees, which don't get calculated until the order is underway...


                              ...the above funding goal also represents a small overage which gets put toward shipping out to APO and FPO addresses, as well as any shipping to stateside donors, etc. i'm thinking that anyone who donates at that level would also get 5 flash drives plus a good sized pack of the TTB contact cards (i'll do a reprint of them out of pocket since it's nothing, really) for the opportunity to give things out as they travel and interact with folk in uniform.

                              maybe that is actually a good ratio? for every $100 someone donates, they'd get one of the new flash drives... ideally so that they would hand it out at some point while meeting with a soldier or sailor or marine or airmen, etc. then folk could custom tailor their own level of participation.


                              P.S. - i realize that this conversation is treading closely to a solicitation style thread. i'm taking care to keep the discussion just about the topic of support without actually asking or support or mentioning the PayPal address of the TTB Project, etc. i'll have to do some back-scrolling to see how we handled this last time. any mods who want to help steer this in the right direction, please do so.
                              Last edited by Deviant Ollam; June 19, 2013, 12:59.
                              "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

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