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Thread: Prometheus

  1. #1
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Prometheus

    I have had a desire for a long time to build a sort of "universal media reader" machine with the intention of reading any legacy media I might run across. This is one of those project ideas that has been sitting in the back of my head for a long, long, time. Recently, I looked around at hardware lying around, and realized that I had most of the parts to build the thing (or, at least, a good start on it).

    ...we'll just ignore the part where I ended up buying ~80% of the parts over again because of PSU/case/etc incompatibilities, shall we?

    So, after an ebay shopping spree and a couple false starts, I have the initial hardware platform built. I changed cases after buying the motherboard, so actually have an ATX board on order that should be shipping out on Monday, so there is still going to be change, but here's where we are right now.





    There wasn't really any modding involved, so no build pictures. The interesting part is the components themselves.

    So what are those components?

    The CPU/etc are fairly boring: Athlon II x2, 1GB of RAM (soon to be 4GB), and a 430W Corsair PSU. What is really interesting is the media/readers.

    So what are in all those bays?

    Stepping down from the top:

    Storage Drawer (currently contains USB-SATA/IDE/miniIDE adapter, USB-IR adapter, and PCMCIA-PocketZip drive...more on that later)
    500GB HDD
    2x 60GB Corsair Force LS SSD + universal media card reader (USB2.0, M2, T-Flash, XD, SD, CF, MS)
    ODD#1 (BD-ROM, BD-DL, HD-DVD-ROM, DVD-ROM, CD-ROM)
    ODD#2 (DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, CD-ROM)
    5.25" Floppy
    Zip 750 (750, 250, and 100MB Zip)
    LS-120 SuperDisk (3.5" floppy, 120MB SuperDisk)
    [Empty]
    Storage Drawer (currently empty)

    Moving around to the back, we have PCMCIA, ExpressCard 34/54, eSATA, and USB2.0 (new MBB will provide FireWire400 as well).

    With the possible exception of the PocketZip (haven't figured it out yet), I can confirm that everything works.

    On the docket for this projects:

    Automate new media detection.
    Automate media data scraping.
    Automated upload of scraped media to cloud storage (will be starting with S3/Glacier).
    Web front-end to control and monitor the system.
    Audio and Video media ingestion (cassette tape, 8-track, LP, VHS, BetaMax, LaserDisc).
    SIM card reader.
    RS232
    Flatbed scanner with doc-reader (printed/written media, punch cards)
    That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
    --Benjamin Franklin
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  2. #2
    Undead Pirate d_stilgar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prometheus

    Awesome build so far. There may not be any "real modding" going on, but this is way more in the spirit of "real modding" than most the stuff I see done today.

  3. #3
    Why must hard drives fail together? TheMainMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prometheus

    What case is that? It's got a Cooler Master-esque vibe to it, but it's hard to identify with so many drives in it. I'm keeping an eye out for something that will fit a larger than standard mobo without being a full-tower and from the side shot, it looks like that might be my ticket.
    TheMainMan

  4. #4
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prometheus

    Haha, thanks, D.

    @TMM:
    It's a Zalman MS800[1]. The specs are a little misleading though. It's listed as 6x 5.25" external, 1x3.5" external, 3x3.5" internal, but all of the 3.5" are just adapters on 5.35" bays so it's actually 10x5.25" bays with 4x adapters and 1x cut-out faceplate.

    As for fitting a "larger than standard" mobo, I don't think it would. The PSU is right under the MBB, and it's a pretty hard line at the seventh expansion slot (that's a uATX in there now).


    Maybe a Cosmos II would suite your needs? Those support XL-ATC, SSI CEB, and SSI EEB, and aren't that big. I mean, they're not small, but the old Cosmos I have isn't much bigger than this MS800.
    That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
    --Benjamin Franklin
    TBCS 5TB Club :: coilgun :: bench PSU :: mightyMite :: Zeus :: E15 Magna EV

  5. #5
    Anodized. Again. Konrad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prometheus

    A SIM-card reader might be a welcome addition, great little things and they're pretty cheap (mine's paid for itself a few times over, since I no longer actually purchase SIM cards from my carrier, lol). I've got some busted ancient (circa Win9x era) laptops if you need hard-to-find things like old school Type 2/3 CF card readers, etc. And don't forget your RS232 port, can never have too many of those!

    But ... you call that thing "universal media"? Hmphf. Where's your 8.5" floppy drive and punch-card slots?
    My mind says Technic, but my body says Duplo.

  6. #6
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prometheus

    Quote Originally Posted by Konrad View Post
    A SIM-card reader might be a welcome addition, great little things and they're pretty cheap (mine's paid for itself a few times over, since I no longer actually purchase SIM cards from my carrier, lol). I've got some busted ancient (circa Win9x era) laptops if you need hard-to-find things like old school Type 2/3 CF card readers, etc. And don't forget your RS232 port, can never have too many of those!
    Got the CF card covered with the universal card reader, but the others are a good point! I think I have a USB-RS232 adapter around here somewhere, so that can just go in one of the drawers (at least for now). I'll add the SIM reader to the list!

    Quote Originally Posted by Konrad View Post
    But ... you call that thing "universal media"? Hmphf. Where's your 8.5" floppy drive and punch-card slots?
    You say that...

    I am actively looking for an 8" floppy drive, but they tend to run at least ~$300 at the low end, so no promises. For the punch-cards, I will likely be adding a flatbed scanner (with document feed) to this setup at some point, and I have seen some good work being done with reading punch cards through image analysis.
    That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
    --Benjamin Franklin
    TBCS 5TB Club :: coilgun :: bench PSU :: mightyMite :: Zeus :: E15 Magna EV

  7. #7
    Anodized. Again. Konrad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prometheus

    Alright, you seem to have universal media compatibility covered, lol.

    Why "Prometheus"?

    I humbly nominate "OMNI" aka "Old Media, New Interface". Kind of a lame acronym, best I could devise on short notice.
    My mind says Technic, but my body says Duplo.

  8. #8
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prometheus

    Quote Originally Posted by Konrad View Post
    Why "Prometheus"?
    Prometheus is a character from Greek mythology; a Titan who gave mankind the gift of fire. This is the commonly known part of the story, but the full story is more interesting. In Greek mythology, Prometheus was the Titan god of forethought, and not only assisted mankind many times throughout time, but actually created mankind in the first place.

    The reason I chose that as the name for this project is because the idea of the project is to create a bridge between the old and the new, much as Prometheus served as a bridge between the gods and mankind.




    Recent parts adding to the capabilities of the system:

    • Magnetic-stripe card reader (3 track)
    • Smart card reader


    On order:
    • SIM card reader
    That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
    --Benjamin Franklin
    TBCS 5TB Club :: coilgun :: bench PSU :: mightyMite :: Zeus :: E15 Magna EV

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