Hacking and Philosophy: Crackdown Part III

h&pcrackdown3

“Law and Order” may be my favorite chapter of Hacker Crackdown: it covers the perspective of the early 90’s seizures and arrests from the perspective of law enforcement. While the chapter has its flaws, I highly recommend it; [Sterling] treats both sides with patience and understanding, revealing how similarly adrift everyone was (and to some extent, remains) in the uncertainty of cyberspace. I also recommend the [Gail Thackeray] / [Dead Addict] joint talk from DEFCON 20 as an accompanying piece to this chapter, as it bridges the twenty-year gap between Crackdown‘s publication and today—and [Thackeray] herself is the focus of this chapter.

As always, everyone is welcome in our weekly discussion, even if you haven’t been keeping up with our progress through Hacker Crackdown. You can download it for free as an audiobook, too! Onward for more!

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More Drive Bays, Cooling, and Power for a DIY Raid Box

raid-box-from-old-pc-case

We’ve actually been on the look-out for a Network Attached Storage solution for home use. We want an embedded option just for power saving, but have you seen what a commercially available embedded RAID systems costs? It might be better to find an energy friendly PSU and use it in a PC case RAID conversion like this one that [Samimy] pulled off. He started with an old computer case and modded it to house more hard drives.

The image above shows his mounting scheme. Most of us have defunct optical drives in the junk bin. Many times they end up as a way to play with CNC, but in this case [Samimy] got rid of the guts and used a couple of angle brackets to mount a hard disk inside of the enclosure. Now that he can bolt more drives to the case he needed to power them, as the PSU didn’t have enough SATA power connectors. He clipped off a daisy-chain of connectors from a broken supply and spliced it into this one. Finally he cut a hole in the top of the case to add a bit more cooling to the system.

He’s using Windows 7 to power a RAID0 and RAID1 array using four drives. To help increase performance of the system he also used USB thumb drives as cache. This is something we’re not familiar with and we’re glad he provided a link to ReadyBoost, the software which makes it possible.

[Read more...]

Making SATA drives work with a SCSI backplane

The problem of persistent and reliable storage plagues us all. There are a myriad of solutions, some more expensive than others, but a dedicated and redundant network attached storage solution is hands down the best choice for all problems except natural disaster (ie: fire, flood, locusts) and physical theft. That being said, the issue of price-tag rears its ugly head if you try to traverse this route.

[Phil's] had his mind stuck on a very large NAS solution for the last ten years and finally found an economical option. He picked up a powerful motherboard being sold as surplus and a server enclosure that would play nicely with it. It came with a backplane for multiple hard drives that utilized SCSI connections. The cost and availability of these drives can’t compare to the SATA drives that are on the market. Realizing this, [Phil] completely reworked the backplane to make SATA connections possible. It’s an intense amount of work, but there’s also an intense amount of documentation of the process (thank you!). If doing this again his number one tip would be to buy a rework station to make it easier to depopulate the connectors and extraneous parts from the PCB. Since he needs to keep using the board, the old blow-torch trick is out of the question.

90 TB drive array for home storage needs

Why store it in the cloud when you could have a 90 Terabyte hard drive (translated) array in your house? The drives are mostly Western Digital Caviar Green EARS 2TB models which are known for energy efficiency and quiet operation. It’s a little unclear as to whether this is using one or two motherboards, but the drives are connected using PCI RAID5 and RAID5+0 controller cards. There’s a total of 40 cooling fans built into the case, half on the bottom and the rest on the top. They move air up through the case, with plans to add a dust filter in the future. Heck, with that type of air movement you could throw on a standard furnace filter. Apparently it is quiet enough to talk in “almost a whisper” while next to the plywood monolith. But we’re a bit skeptical of that claim.

It’s not quite as fancy looking as the 67 TB storage from last year… but it does look pretty easy to build at home.

[Thanks Henrique via EnglishRussia]

How a storage company builds their own

blackblaze_storage_pods

Want 67 Terabytes of local storage? That’ll be $7,867 but only if you build it yourself. Blackblaze sells online storage, but when setting up their company they found the only economical way was to build their own storage pods. Lucky for us they followed the lead of other companies and decided to share how they built their own storage farm using some custom, some consumer, and some open source components. [Read more...]

UK raid seizes 1,800 flash cartridges

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South Wales Police raided a store in Cardiff seizing 1,800 Nintendo DS flash carts. The devices can be used for playing pirated games or running homebrew software. In the UK, the carts are illegal under the Trademarks and Copyright Acts. The 21-year-old suspect had imported the devices and was selling them both online and in-store. He had over 1,000 devices in his home. Many of them packed and ready to ship. Official statements by the Entertainment and Leisure Publishers Association claim that the hardware irreparably damages the DS handhelds.

[via Joystiq]

Raid your network file shares


[Motoma] sent in his take on the virtual RAID 5 post. He didn’t like the layered system requirements, so he put together a proof of concept that only requires a Linux box. For his proof, he used a NFS share, a SMB share and did everything from the command line. He didn’t cover FTP, but the Gentoo wiki has a nice cheat sheet for mounting FTP and folders over SSH if you want some alternatives. He uses some very interesting partition tricks to make things happen. If you need some help to get things rolling, the Ubuntu forums software raid how-to is a good place to start.

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