48 thoughts on “HDD Vending Machine Works Like A Vending Machine Should

      1. An intact hard drive would almost certainly be damaged by such a fall, but it would not fall apart spectacularly like the one in the video. (Don’t ask how I know that.) This was staged, and presumably used a drive that already was really most sincerely dead. As a video it’s amusing; as a concept for selling hard drives it’s horrifying.

        1. you know, i was kind of nonplussed by the joke of it until you explained it to me. at 25 cents, a couple shiny platters and a few insanely strong fixed magnets is a steal. this is a bargain!

  1. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I dont find this humorous. It’s very low effort and requires no thought. I like the absurd, but … This just doesn’t do it for me.

    Anyone else?

    1. Having done fun hackerspace things like this, these kind of jokes are made half-spontaneously, often as part of a group of fellow hackerspace members, and you start to “feel” them more if you’re a hackerspace member participating in creating such jokes occasionally. So, it’s fine – not every joke is supposed to be funny for everyone, after all, just like not every hack published on HaD will be interesting to every single HaD reader!

      1. I was told it was indeed broken! It’s not like broken HDDs are a rarity, after all =) I don’t think it’s hackerspace spirit to trash working HDDs like that, and wouldn’t condone it either.

        1. You’re buying an adventure. You get to take it apart and retrieve the magnets and platters for future projects.

          Or they are sold as “magnet kits”.

          Or maybe a surprise pack. “I got the board I need to try to fix my hard drive”!

    2. It’s hard to look at this as a joke when we have a vending machine at work that actually does vend computer accessories. It’s not loaded with hard drives, but it has keyboards, mice, power supplies, cables, and adapters. It’s even the same type of machine, using rotating coils to dispense items. The items are still in the original packaging, and there’s a foam pad at the bottom to help cushion the items.

      1. I’m guessing that you are talking about phone chargers or perhaps laptop chargers, not power supplies for desktop computers. Those would be rather large and heavy for a vending machine.

        Vending machines like that can certainly be used for electronic accessories. CVS has put vending machines in some high traffic locations, and those contain electronic items like earbuds, phone cases, USB cables, and USB chargers. If they thought there was enough demand for mice, USB sticks, or microSD cards, those would also be suitable items. (Their machines aren’t configured for items as large as a full size keyboard.) All of the electronic items are on the lowest shelves, so they don’t drop anywhere near as far as the hard drive in the video.

        More about the CVS vending machines here: https://cvshealth.com/news-and-insights/press-releases/cvs-pharmacy-thinks-outside-the-box-with-introduction-of-health The machine in the picture in the article doesn’t appear to contain any electronic items, but the ones I have seen in the real world do. The real ones don’t have the water bottles that appear to be in the picture; I think CVS found that beverages were already sufficiently available elsewhere that there was no point in stocking their machines with unrefrigerated water. (I have seen two of the three machines in the Boston area, in South Station and Alewife Station. There is a third in the Quincy Market area that I have not seen.)

  2. I once daydreamed about getting some of the old cigarette vending machines that I remember being in all the restaurant entrances when I was a kid. Boxes the same size as a cigarette pack could contain something less evil like an arduino clone, a display, assorted discrete component collections, tiny breadboards, 5V power supplies, etc… Such a vending machine could live in the foyers of the local hackerspaces.

    I remember them having lots of gratifying totally mechanical buttons for selecting one’s poison. Windows showed the packs within but also the buttons had colorful picture cards behind glass windows. They were great to look at for a young gadget loving child. This would be fun to set up and fun to use.

    In my daydream these machines were cheap since no one could legally use them for their original intended purpose anymore. Alas, somebody must be nostalgic for old cancer-for-quarters machines because they don’t sell at prices like unusable scrap, they sell like rare antique collectables.

    Too bad.

    1. That sounds like machines vending beverages in cups. The cup comes down, but no beverageto fill it. Or worse, no cup so the beverage comesdown, and intothe drain conveniently there.

  3. Actual usage suggestion (oriented towards a communal vending machine, not public): line the top row with dead hard drive, make them 5 cents each (avoids changing out tons of pennies, discourages abuse of ‘free’). Use them to drop down and hopefully push through any stuck items; put a bucket next to it for people to return them for reuse.

  4. I dunno, our hackerspace vending machine had USB sticks in it for a while. Because people always wanted to sneakernet their designs to the laser, but inevitably forgot a flash drive. I should restock that…

  5. I remember as a kid staying at a hotel with a vending machine full of sex stuff, so I feel like this isn’t that different. I’m all for bike tubes and patch kits in vending machines too

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