A new NAS box (Network Attached Storage) with a couple of big hard disk drives arrived today. These will enable me to retire my most recent Windows Server, various incarnations of which have been keeping my data and backups since 2005. I can now order (and afford) a single hard drive that is small enough to hold in my hand yet which promises to store my photos, documents and media. That’s now several terabytes; each terabyte is 1000 gigabytes. The AA size battery is an indication of scale, not needed for the system.
Now the fun starts, setting it up and loading it up with my files, then working out how to get it to make backups automatically, and - more difficult - let the computers go back to sleep when it has finished.
It’s easy to remember when, in 1988, London Weekend Television’s Audiofile (sound editing work station) had just a couple of gigabytes of storage running on 8 inch Winchester hard disks, that made a lot of noise in the equipment bay room.
Less than fifteen years later, on a visit in summer 2001 to the BBC’s Research Department at Kingswood Warren whilst working on the BBC Ceefax television digital text service, we viewed with awe a terabyte all in one equipment bay. A terabyte is absolutely not a prehistoric bird, this was the up to the minute and constantly updated Master Content Server for the BBC News website.