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Computer Crap Scanning

Tape drive, cloud storage, Brother scanners & workstation PC updates

Thought I’d give anyone following this blog some closure on a few older posts. You didn’t think I’d leave you hanging would ya?

Tape drives can go to hell

I really couldn’t be fucked figuring out how to use the LTO3 drive properly so gave in to daddy Bezos and am currently uploading 2.4TB of compressed scans up to Amazon’s Deep Glacier service using rclone. Deep Glacier integrates seamlessly into my processing workflow as well, I just add aws s3 cp "${PWD##*/}.tar.bz2" s3://decryptionscans/ --storage-class DEEP_ARCHIVE to the end of my bastard script and it’ll back it all up to Amazon’s safe and secure cloud.

As I said in the original article where I evaluated a few off-site backup options, cost wise it’s fuck all to store crap in Deep Glacier at only 0.00099 USD per GB. Even restoring the data to an S3 bucket is cheap at only 0.0025 USD per GB. It’s the cost to get the data out of Amazon’s data centre that stings, at a whopping 0.09 USD per GB. To store 3TB is just ~A$5/m, to restore it is only ~A$11, but to download that 3TB is $388.49. That said, I’d hope I’d never have to restore it (there’s a copy on the Internet Archive as well as my file server) and if I did, I don’t think I’d need to restore the lot, just select files which wouldn’t cost as much.

Why is data so expensive out of Amazon? Isn’t it all peered to the hilt?

I looked in to upgrading my tape drive to an LTO-5 or LTO-6 unit, as they support LTFS and theoretically should be a piece of piss to use. Unfortunately the cost of a drive and tapes ($1500 for LTO-6, $700 for LTO-5, $300 for 10TB of tapes) pays for a lot of cloud storage ($1000 = 6-8 years of Deep Glacier) so the tape pipe dream is dead. I also have a pile of old HDDs that work fine but the capacities (1TB, 500GB) basically worthless for resale that I might dump data on to and store at my parents place as a 4th ice-cold backup so the chances of needing to restore from AWS are slim to none.

The Brother ADS-2200 scanner is a shitshow

To further add to the shitshow, both these scanners developed a fault with the imaging sensor. A permanent white line developed in one scanner then the other a few weeks later. They also started to struggle feeding paper, dragging it instead of pulling it which resulted in a smeared scanned image. I can’t believe how shit they are.

Luckily the person I bought them from was able to give me the original receipt. I took them back to Officeworks and got a gift card refund on the spot once they tested them out and saw the obvious fault. The Officeworks staff were more tech savvy than I expected – they knew exactly what I was talking about and were able to set the scanners up in just a few minutes to verify the fault.

I made out pretty sweetly from this, as I purchased the scanners second hand for $250 each but got refunded $398 each. Why the dude I bought them from didn’t just return them to Officeworks for a full refund is beyond me. I was going to wait for the Epson DS-530 to come back in stock and use the gift cards to buy two of those, but some sweet deals on eBay popped up for heavy duty Canon scanners so I got those instead. Anyone want $798 of Officeworks gift cards?

A fast computer is a good computer

I got sick of hanging back for a few weeks to see if any sweet dual CPU workstation deals showed up (I’m blaming the rona for the lack of cheap PC parts), I scored a cheap Ryzen 7 2700 8-core CPU off Facebook marketplace and built a PC around that.

No bling here, just a black rectangle that lives under a table. Might get an old tile or something to place it on so there’s some proper bottom airflow.
  • Ryzen 7 2700 CPU – $240 (used)
  • 32GB DDR4 3200 RAM – $208
  • Asus PRIME B550M-K mainboard – $189
  • Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB SSD – $275 after cashback
  • 8GB AMD RX580 GPU – $200 (used)
  • Silverstone 600W PSU – $75
  • Nocuta 140mm PWM case fan – $35
  • Coolermaster Hyper T4 CPU cooler – $45
  • Antec VSK10 case – $55

It was $1300 all up, but I was going to find a Dell/Lenovo/HP workstation with dual modern-ish CPUs and loads cores for close to that and this way I’ve got a modern system that I can upgrade eventually with a 3rd-gen Zen CPU (i.e: Ryzen 4000-series, which will have at least 16-cores) whenever the current CPU in there feels tired. Not only is it great for ingesting all these scans from multiple scanners at once (CPU barely moves and 32GB is a nice amount of RAM, but I could upgrade to 64GB soon depending how the new scanners go), it’s a sweet Civ6 box as well with the RX580.

My scanning station. Not pictured the pile of magazines and half a dozen scanners.

There you go, you’re all updated! I hope you can sleep soundly now that these crushing dilemmas have been resolved.

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