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Tech For Everyone #17: Let's talk about your hard drives

Tech For Everyone
Tech For Everyone #17: Let's talk about your hard drives
By Jason Evangelho • Issue #17 • View online
Happy weekend to my wonderful Waddle! Right off the top, I apologize for not sending any words your way on Thursday. I needed a mental break, so I took one! It’s a luxury I acknowledge not everyone has, but I urge YOU to take one if you’re feeling run down, stressed out, or looking down the barrel of existential dread – potentially caused by way too much time indoors and a severe lack of live music.
Anyway, I promised you a subscriber-only experience and I’m still working on implementing that. See, I assumed there’d be an easy way to embed a poll for you, but that’s the case.
A poll for what? Something I wanted to do at Voice (before it announced its transformation to an NFT marketplace) is put purchasing power in your hands. I’ll find a few relatively affordable but undeniably absurd devices at AliExpress.com, and let you choose which one I buy and review!
As soon as I figure out how you can easily vote without having to click out somewhere and register for a service, I’ll make it happen. Here’s a hint though…
Ok, now let us ROCK. Then we need to talk about your hard drives…

MUSIC FOR EVERYONE | By Paul Muldoon
Hello, Paul here, and I am back with another Music for Everyone recommendation.
Today’s band I discovered way back in the early 2010s called Black Spiders from Sheffield, England. I heard their debut album Sons of the North, then I supported their album This Savage Land on Pledge Music when that was still around. That album was released in 2013 and until now there hadn’t been any new music; with the band going on hiatus in 2017.
Well, it is now 2021 and they are back with a new drummer and a new self-titled album. It was recorded in 2020 (a lot of it remotely), and released in March.
The infectious choruses, big riffs and great vocal delivery are all still present but it feels like they have grown a lot since the last album 8 years ago.
Crank this up and smile:
Black Spiders - ‘Good Times' taken from the EP Deaf Proof and Self-Titled New Album.
Black Spiders - ‘Good Times' taken from the EP Deaf Proof and Self-Titled New Album.
Stand-out tracks for me are the heavy blues stoner vibe on Wizard shall not kill Wizard, the Easybeats cover Good Times and the Black Sabbath/Ozzy sounding Death Comes Creepin.
Here’s some link love:
Ch-Ch-Ch-CHIA!
Remember when we used to build our own PCs? It was a beautiful time for DIYers, back in the “before times.” Before COVID-19. Before the perfect storm of profitable cryptocurrency mining, silicon shortages and scalpers catapulted graphics card prices to stratospheric new heights – if you can even find one to begin with.
Don’t look now, but that perfect storm might be on a reunion tour, and this time it’s coming for your hard drives.
Chia is a new blockchain and crypto transaction platform that promises to be wayyyy more efficient than power-hungry, stuff like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Why? Because it uses free hard drive space.
Also? It might become ridiculously popular thanks to the person behind it: Bram Cohen, the inventor of BitTorrent.
Using the Chia Blockchain software (which is open-source and available on GitHub), users create “plots” of roughly 108GB on their storage drives. Then transactions are solved (farmed?) with a “Proof of space and time” algorithm designed to be significantly more environmentally friendly.
Considering you can have enterprise-class hard drives or, basically, any storage drive attached to something energy-efficient like a Raspberry Pi, it certainly seems like less of an electricity hog.
But while you can have a low-powered system farming away once your plots are created, first you have to create those plots.
High-performance NVMe SSDs are recommended for the fairly intensive task of creating the plots. Then, ideally, you move those plots to roomy external drives (the software allows you to do this automatically by designating temporary locations for the plotting process, and permanent locations for your finished plots).
Chia farmers earn block rewards and transaction fees by committing spare space to the network to help secure transactions. 
Lots and lots of spare space.
So let’s add all this up: a nice-looking GUI interface for Windows, macOS and Linux. The pedigree of Bram Cohen behind it. And both SSDs and roomier, slower hard drives needed for the perfect farm.
Folks, if you need storage drives, buy then now. Buy then right now.
I’m hearing that China is already selling out of various models, and manufacturers are already producing (not talking about, but actually producing) drives designed with Chia farming in mind. Probably with ultra-high endurance targets in mind…
THIS NEWSLETTER IS 100% FREE...
… and it always will be. If you want to support it financially, you’re welcome to buy me a coffee – or join 81 other awesome people on Patreon. Patrons get my exclusive “CarCast” show and many other nifty perks!
Or just forward this newsletter to a friend who might enjoy it!
One more thing: remember that sharing your opinion is as easy as hitting the reply button.
Until we chat again, take care. And take care of each other!
~Jason
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Jason Evangelho

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