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View Full Version : And I present to you all, a USB floppy drive RAID!


vniow
Apr 2, 2003, 04:58 PM
This has got to be the most useless application of floppies I've ever seen.

http://ohlssonvox.8k.com/fdd_raid.htm

mac15
Apr 2, 2003, 05:05 PM
ahaha, who even touches a floppy anymore (have fun with that one) :)

conceptdev
Apr 2, 2003, 05:12 PM
I think its brilliant. At first it sounds incredibly stupid, but really its a testament to the versatility of OSX.

Thanks for the link.

crazzyeddie
Apr 2, 2003, 05:43 PM
I think thats very awesome!! Good luck finding hubs... i only have one and need it, or else i would send it to you =)

Independence
Apr 2, 2003, 06:15 PM
Originally posted by mac15
ahaha, who even touches a floppy anymore (have fun with that one) :)
i still use floppies to take projects to school. with the way the morons screw around with the cdrom drives and considering their age (i dont know if they can read cdrw discs) i'd rather take my chances with floppies.

Apple][Forever
Apr 2, 2003, 06:56 PM
Not only is this a cool project, he used a great song to test it out.

RandomDeadHead
Apr 2, 2003, 07:04 PM
That is the coolist thing I have ever seen. (Well almost);)


Does this guy's boss know about this?:eek:

NavyIntel007
Apr 2, 2003, 07:12 PM
Someone should try it with Zip drives.

bousozoku
Apr 2, 2003, 08:17 PM
Hey, my old Atari 8-bit has 4 5.25 inch floppy drives with almost 1MB total storage. Maybe I could do something like that. :)

amnesiac1984
Apr 2, 2003, 08:49 PM
i emailed him and suggest he try blending all his devices in one RAID. If this works imagine how cool a RAID array woul dbe comprising of, several floppy drives, some zip drives, a few USB "butt plugs" some media card readers of different types, even some digital cameras that mount their memory in OS X, anyone ever tried this? Then he could try RAIDing an internal 40gb hard disk with a signle floppy disk, to see if there is an increase in performance, man the possibilities are endless.

FattyMembrane
Apr 2, 2003, 09:09 PM
apple should take note and use a 4096 floppy-drive system in the next xraid. i'd finally be able to put all of those ancient "try aol" disks to a good use (other than coasters).

amnesiac1984
Apr 3, 2003, 06:53 AM
Got a reply from him, its quite a good read.

Will, thanks for the awesome ideas! I actually have been dinking around with all sorts of stuff. OS X is so awesome. It is totaly forgiving, it will let you RAID ANYTHING!! Part of the reason I did this project was just becasue it had to be done, but I also wanted to show off how kick ass OS X's RAID software is. I hope it has inspired others to go out and make some cool RAIDS of their own.

I was surprised at the amount of coverage my RAID has receieved. I checked my WEB LOG and I am up to 35,000 hits just today! I used to get like 14 hits a day.

It was posted on slashdot.org too, I am glad it made it to the Mac boards too. It is funny, a lot of people are such nerds they do not even realize that I am not really serious about it. They get all defensive about it. I took a look at the Mac Boards, and it looks like EVERYONE "gets" it. Which just proves Mac people are more awesome!

Thanks for the feedback! Keep Rockin!

blade ohlsson ( www.ohlssonvox.com )

evoluzione
Apr 3, 2003, 08:17 AM
hahaha, that's the sort of stupid thing i'd do, just to see if i can make it work. props to the guy for doing it though. sweet.

maybe i should commandeer everyone's iPod at work and RAID them.

Eniregnat
Apr 3, 2003, 12:58 PM
This is the sort of thing that usually results in the response, “You have way to much time on your hands.”- But hey, I once modified an electric Pez dispenser so that it could shoot a single Pez 35 feet. It also nearly killed me. But I digress.

This is brilliant. There is a really good use for this- encryption.
Please correct me if I am wrong, but a RAID drive is a series of drives connected together so that they appear and work as one logical drive.
If this is so, you could encrypt large file and store it on the single RAID disk, which consists of multiple single floppies in this case. After your done, you could remove one or all of the disks and use it(them) as a physical key. Decryption of the material would be impossible (more nearly so) with out each of the disks. Coke could do this with their formula, Knight Rider with the molecular formula for its super paint, and anybody else with their sensitive information. You could disperse information across several sources and no single one could reconstruct the entire bit of information with out having the other.

It’s just the right size to be useful, concealable, and portable.

patrick0brien
Apr 3, 2003, 01:49 PM
-Couldn't someone do it with those 9" [truly]floppies from the late '70's?

I'd pay money to see that.

Eniregnat
Apr 3, 2003, 02:40 PM
Gosh, I even remember what they sounded like.
It technically would be possible, though I don't think that anybody is going to create a soft-controller, codeing, and hardware conversion specific to the old 9" drives. Also, in this context, Apple never had a public 9" floppy drive, they used 5.5 and 3.25. You might find some Linux x86 guru who would be willing to code it. If you’re going to go as far as 9” floppies, what about a series of old VAX tape drives. How cool would that be?

For practicality, the floppy idea is still very cool and I think useful for sensitive information. It would be doggedly slow, though ultra secure. It hypothetically could also be done with several similar solid-state storage cards, like flash or Smartmedia.

Greenlightboi
Apr 3, 2003, 03:50 PM
Hmmm

He used stripping.... which does offer a form of security. That raid is actually in case of the event that one drive fails (or is removed), another drive or disk could be subsituted in it's place, the the data reconstructed from the parity bit on the other four (that is the reason you need 3 drives or a RAID setup like that). So, just removing one wouldn't work. I'm not sure if the data would have the integrity to survive if two drives are removed even *if* they are replaced. I'm sorta tired right now so the name for the RAID that is for pure performance is escaping me.

Also, I wouldn't bet on that speed gettting much faster, since no matter how fast the data is being accessed and retrived, USB 1.1 can only send info @ 1.2 Megabytes a second. I do know for a fact that there is FireWire Floppy Drives and ZIP drives, and RAIDng either of them might actually have some use.

heh, thats my take ;)

Briguy

bousozoku
Apr 3, 2003, 03:50 PM
Originally posted by Eniregnat
Gosh, I even remember what they sounded like.
It technically would be possible, though I don't think that anybody is going to create a soft-controller, codeing, and hardware conversion specific to the old 9" drives. Also, in this context, Apple never had a public 9" floppy drive, they used 5.5 and 3.25. You might find some Linux x86 guru who would be willing to code it. If you’re going to go as far as 9” floppies, what about a series of old VAX tape drives. How cool would that be?

For practicality, the floppy idea is still very cool and I think useful for sensitive information. It would be doggedly slow, though ultra secure. It hypothetically could also be done with several similar solid-state storage cards, like flash or Smartmedia.

Umm, there were no 9 inch or 5.5 inch drives. There were 3.25 inch drives, but I'm surprised that you would know about that, as they didn't make it big.

Try 8, 5.25, and 3.5. :)

Hitachi made 3.0 inch drives with auto-shutters. Sony copied the auto-shutters later. Dysan released 3.25 inch drives which were similar to the 5.25 (very) floppy technology.

Eniregnat
Apr 3, 2003, 03:55 PM
A bit of a switch in the nubers. I ment 5.25 and 3.5. In any case the jist of my previous post was really about a unique use for the floppy RAID that could be very useful.

Eniregnat
Apr 3, 2003, 06:00 PM
We have helped generate over 100k hits for his site.

As I figure it, using PGP, a 128-bit public and private key are generated. In addition, using a floppy RAID hard key (as I described) would virtually make it impossible for anybody with out the disk or a copy of it to even attempt decryption. My numbers may be off, but a computer would have to properly generate a key (for the missing floppy) that is at the least 11744051 bits long !
Given:
a full floppy contains ~1.4mB
1 mB = 1,048,576 bytes
1 byte = 8 bits (you do the conversion factors)

That’s even before the computer could start to decrypt the message.Ruffly thats key encryption with 1503238553 bit depth if the disk is not present.(128*the flopy key bits)
If nothing were known, a computer would have to generate a 128-bit key as well as every random combination of missing information on the disk. I don't think many would wait for the answer. Brute force is not going to work on this problem.

Somebody help me with the math if I am wrong.

szark
Apr 3, 2003, 06:14 PM
Originally posted by bousozoku
Umm, there were no 9 inch or 5.5 inch drives. There were 3.25 inch drives, but I'm surprised that you would know about that, as they didn't make it big.

Try 8, 5.25, and 3.5. :)

Hitachi made 3.0 inch drives with auto-shutters. Sony copied the auto-shutters later. Dysan released 3.25 inch drives which were similar to the 5.25 (very) floppy technology.

Do you remember the Amdek 3" floppy drives? I still have one with four boxes of floppies. :D

bousozoku
Apr 3, 2003, 06:56 PM
Originally posted by szark
Do you remember the Amdek 3" floppy drives? I still have one with four boxes of floppies. :D

Yes, if you want, I could probably find some pictures from an old magazine. :)