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Topic: OT: Hard Drive arrays and LCD TVs

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  1. #1
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    OT: Hard Drive arrays and LCD TVs

    I am reorganzining my computers and trying to organize things.

    Over the years I have collected many samples accumulated in many hard drives and a number of computers. There's a lot of information - the original recordings and each successive round of edits.

    What I would like to do is get rid of some of these computers which hold multiple drives (and keep the drives). I would still like to access the information without having to turn on a bunch of computers.

    One thing I can do is get 400 MB drives and just copy the information and reduce the number of drives. Another idea is to put them in firewire cases and daisychain them together. Another is to keep all the drives and put them in one case and link them together so that they can be readable (with some sort of multiple drive controller card). I was wondering if there is a case that could hold 15 hard drives - perhaps a RAID case. Does such a case exist or does anyone have any ideas? There's probably a simple solution.

    Also, I've been eyeing some of those large LCD TVs and plasma screens. I have rented plasmas for trade shows in the past. The prices have come down (they are almost the cost of buying as renting now). Plasma screens are very fragile and cannot be readily shipped. LCD TVs now come in large sizes and can readily be shipped. The sizes of LCD TVS are close to the plasmas and the prices are attractive, but can they accept a computer signal? Is there a difference between an LCD monitor and and LCD TV? And will the quality be acceptable for a trade show or viewing? Does anyone have an LCD TV or know if they can be hooked to a laptop?

    TIA for your advice.

    Gary Garritan

  2. #2

    Re: OT: Hard Drive arrays and LCD TVs

    Hey Gary - Save a lot of trouble and heartache. I just bought a Buffalo 1TB NAS (Network Attached Storage). It sits on the network with its own IP address and a 1GB NIC. It runs 4 250GB drives in a RAID 5 setup, so it's a net 750 GB, but it's fault-tolerant.

    Since it's used for storage only, there's no real concern about performance, though it isn't bad.

    Stevemitchell

    LATE EDIT: Gary, most LCD's can accept a CPU input. The most common connector I've seen is the D-15 type marked "VGA".

  3. #3

    Re: OT: Hard Drive arrays and LCD TVs

    A NAS array is a good solution. Problem is that this involves mass copying.

    What interface are the drives on? If it is IDE, this could be a problem since IDE chains can only hold 2 drives at a time. Most Mobos only support 2 chains.

    One solution for IDE drives is to build a computer (you've got the parts already ) and fill it's PCI slots with IDE expansion cards. (4 drives per card) Leave room for a NIC though. Fill all of the RAM bays. Share all of the drives and you're good to go! I suggest a gigabit network for this for optimal speed. Install your OS on a minimal install and you've just built your own simple IDE NAS array!

    In terms of cases, yes RAID cases do exsist! Large institutions have storage arrays multiple times the size of yours. The problem is that no one uses IDE for mass storage because of the before mentioned limitation on number of drives. Most of the stuff out there is pre-wired for SCSI.

    I did find this though:
    http://www.dealsonic.com/cods2atxserc.html It has 17 bays. Most are 5.25" so you may need to buy some adapters. It's a monster, hope you have room for it! It is an ATX case, so I suggest you pull the mobo and CPU out of the fasted comp of the ones you want to chunk and fill it's RAM slots. Put it in that beast and fill the PCI slots with 6 IDE controller cards. Hope your mobo will have 1 left for a NIC if it isn't built into the mobo.

    If they are SCSI drives, it will be easier. SCSI was built for this kind of stuff. I belive you can chain 15 or 16 drives together on a SCSI chain. Plus, you can find something that you only have to plug the HDDs into.

    But if money and time are no issue, than I'd suggest setting up a RAID-5 array. That way you get fault tolerance and the likelyhood of losing those samples is reduced. I would suggest investing in a backup medium as well. Keep in mind that this WILL involve moving things. Now, I'm not saying to get a 15 drive array. RAID-5 will work with as few as 3 drives. So you may want to get 3 of those 400 giggers. (I hope you meant GB, not MB ) Remember, though. Under RAID-5, 3 400 Giggers only gives you 400 gigs.

  4. #4

    Re: OT: Hard Drive arrays and LCD TVs

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    ...Also, I've been eyeing some of those large LCD TVs and plasma screens. I have rented plasmas for trade shows in the past. The prices have come down (they are almost the cost of buying as renting now). Plasma screens are very fragile and cannot be readily shipped. LCD TVs now come in large sizes and can readily be shipped. The sizes of LCD TVS are close to the plasmas and the prices are attractive, but can they accept a computer signal? Is there a difference between an LCD monitor and and LCD TV? And will the quality be acceptable for a trade show or viewing? Does anyone have an LCD TV or know if they can be hooked to a laptop?
    Hi Gary,

    Any LCTV with a DVI, HDMI or 15-pin DIN (VGA) connector can accept a computer singal. Go for DVI or HDMI and keep the signal digital to keep things really crisp. With CRTs digital doesn't matter much - you either D/A in the set or outside of the set, but you always D/A. For an LCTV you can keep it digital just about up until the transistor that twists the pixel.

    All of the larger screens are 16x9, and most are 720P displays that have 768 x 1280 pixel displays. You just need to make sure that you have 768 x 1280 drivers. Some of the larger displays handle 1080P. These sets have 1920 x 1080 resolution. I work for Sharp, and the pixels on our 45" 1080P set are actually smaller than the pixels on our 37" 720P set. Or you could wait and get our 65" set(!), but it's not shipping yet, and the initial price will be about $15k(!). It's also 1080P. I've seen computer signals on both the 37" and the 45" sets. The 37" is nice, but the 45" is stunning.

    The main difference between an LCD TV set and an LCD monitor is that the TV is made to be much brighter, and the overall picture performance is better. People don't tolerate dead pixels on their TVs, so the quality assurance is higher. The TVs also often have bigger pixels (all the more reason to not want dead ones - and more reason that they're not as often dead). They are also made to have wider viewing angles. The Sharp 20" sets used dedicated 640x480 screens for years while much of the competition was using PC screens. The larger Sharp TV pixels were much brighter, and required less processing to get standard TV signals to the display.

    LCDs are much better than plasmas for the tradeshow thing. Plasmas are nice in low light environments and have somewhat wider viewing angles, but LCDs are brighter, are less reflective and have more saturated colors.

    I hope that helps!

    -Jon "disclaimer, I work for Sharp" Fairhurst

  5. #5

    Re: OT: Hard Drive arrays and LCD TVs

    .......If it is IDE, this could be a problem since IDE chains can only hold 2 drives at a time. Most Mobos only support 2 chains...........
    My NAS is a "standalone" device with a GIG interface appearing as another node on the network, so such a concern is not relevant in this case. The interface for the drives is SATA, and there are 4 250GB drives running RAID 5 w/parity for 750 GB.

    That's plenty for me for now, if I start filling that up, I'll archive off to DVD by age, until Blu-Ray is out.

    Under RAID-5, 3 400 Giggers only gives you 400 gigs
    Actually, 3 400's running RAID5 w/parity will give you 800GB

    Stevemitchell

  6. #6

    Thumbs up Re: OT: Hard Drive arrays and LCD TVs

    Another idea that would work great, unless you need to have all drives accessible at the same instant. Get one of these combo docks, and a simple little cover plate for each hard drive (the plates protect the electronics from accidental finger pokes):

    http://www.wiebetech.com/products/ComboDock.php.

    Or get more of them, you can daisy chain firewire together.

    Trond

  7. #7

    Re: OT: Hard Drive arrays and LCD TVs

    I have a friend with FW drives daisy chained on G5 with all of sample libs just disappearing. So I'd avoid that FW solution if you're on a Mac G5 tower.

    It happened to him multiple times.
    Steve Hanlon, guitarist/composer
    Logic 7, PowerMac DP 2.0 (8- RAM slot model), 4GB RAM, OS 10.4.11
    UAD-1 Ultra Pak
    Lots of V.I. and sound effects
    Apogee Rosetta 200
    Great River ME-1NV
    Blue Sky Monitors

  8. #8
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Question Re: OT: Hard Drive arrays and LCD TVs

    Have you looked into "Glyph'?
    Styxx

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