I just lent two 80G IDE drives to a friend, and he re-paid me with 160G drives. Generally I don’t mind people repaying hardware loans with better gear (much better than repaying with the same gear after a long delay and depreciation), but this concerns me.
My friend gave me the 160G drives because he can’t purchase new 80G drives any more, his supplier has nothing smaller than 160G. I have some very reliable machines that I don’t want to discard which won’t support 160G drives – I’m not even sure that they would boot with them! Now I’m going to have to stock-pile 40G disks.
The machines I am most concerned about are my Cobalt machines. They are nice little servers that are quiet and use only 20W of electricity!
It’s a pity that there aren’t any cheap flash storage devices that connect to an IDE bus. If I could get my Cobalt machines running with flash storage they would be even more quiet and energy efficient while not being at risk of mechanical damage, and I doubt that flash storage will exceed 40G of capacity for a while.
Update: I’ve set a new personal record for rapid comments on a blog entry, all telling me that it is possible to get CF to IDE adapters. Thanks for the information, I appreciate it and will consider it for some machines. The problem however is that the price of a CF to IDE adapter plus the cost of a CF card of suitable size is moderately high (more than the cheaper hard drives), while CF capacity generally is only just usable for a mainstream Linux distribution.
These factors combine to make CF-IDE devices an option for only certain corner cases, not really an option to replace all the hard drives in machines that matter to me. I will probably use it for at least one of my Cobalt machines though.
Update2: Julien just informed me of the new Samsung flash-based laptop drives that will have capacities up to 16G (or 32G according to other web sites). I’m now trying to discover where to buy them.