atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

Perfect Sound Effect

...watched another four eps of Chobits this morning. In one episode, a character who--until now--has been a background character tells the tale of his marriage (!) to a persocom.

Apparently his persocom/wife developed a hard drive failure which manifested as a kind of Alzheimer's--the persocom's memory grew worse and worse until the only thing it could say was its boot-up message: "Konnichiwa! Anata ga dare desu ka?" (Hello. Who are you?)

He has several shops look at the thing but the answer is the same: the hard drive is toast and none of the data in the persocom can be saved. The operating system and programs will remain, but the "post-startup" data (ie his entire relationship and marriage with the persocom) will be lost.

So he takes it home and starts it up, and you can hear the hard drive making an obvious (and bad) whining noise. This is the sound effect I meant in the title of this entry.


I built a PC out of obsolete components that my boss couldn't sell--I worked from 1990 through 1997 as a computer technician for various companies; this was in 1992--and one of those parts was a Seagate ST-251 which had been dropped onto asphalt. It was a 5.25" half-height hard drive and it could store 42 MB of data.

The video card on this computer has 64 MB of video RAM, and it's years obsolete....

In extensive read-write testing the drive never reported so much as a single read error, so I ended up using it in my computer--but it was a noisy bugger. The bad bearing howled like a banshee whenever the computer was on; I'd wear headphones and listen to music to protect my ears from that racket. I used that drive for months without it losing so much as a single bit of data. Certainly it was a lot more reliable than the Computer Memory Systems 20 MB full-height drive that it replaced....

So when the faulty persocom booted up, its hard drive making that death whine, I recognized the sound! It's a Seagate ST-251 with a bad spindle bearing!

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