Storage space

I found myself waiting alone outside a meeting room at work the other day, while the people in there wrapped up and packed away and the person I was meeting with was fetching a laptop. Looking around me, I noticed a somewhat unexpected label on one of the cupboards over the printer:


I thought that maybe the labels hadn’t been updated for a while, but lo and behold:


I think it’s great that a next-generation sequencing centre with petabytes of storage on site is keeping its options open when it comes to data backup. I just wonder how long it’ll be before we have trainees in the building who have no idea what these things are for…

About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
This entry was posted in photos, technology, the wonders of technology. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Storage space

  1. cromercrox says:

    “The only things one really needs in life are gaffer tape, electrician’s cable ties, and superglue. All else is commentary” – Maimonides.

    Wow. That’s profound enough for twitter.

  2. Crystal Voodoo says:

    We have a couple instruments that still run on Windows 95. Floppies are the only way to get data off of them. I gave one to my undergrad and he looked at me like my head was pulling 360s while spewing pea soup.

  3. nina says:

    well, here is someone from the new generation who doesn’t know what “masking tape” is for? Is that when you mask mistakes on the stuff you typed on the screen?

    • Cath@VWXYNot? says:

      No, it’s what we cover our faces in when we want to rob the coffee shop next door

      • nina says:

        but why do you keep it with the floppy disks?

        • Cath@VWXYNot? says:

          No idea. Maybe the person who organised and labelled the cupboards is from Saskatchewan, and wanted to keep all items with an SK in the middle of their names together? (The cupboard is mostly empty, which fits this hypothesis quite nicely).

  4. Steve Caplan says:

    How about the floppy disks that we had when I was a student. Or the ‘punchcards’ that we used when I was in high school? Antiques!

  5. Heh. The first postdoc I worked with, supervising me as a fourth-year undergraduate project student, suggested I could do radioactively labeled PCR by using three waterbaths, rather than by putting the hot stuff in a proper thermocycler.

    I didn’t. He left the lab a few months later, and I ended up completing my PhD there.

    Our department also had an older investigator in it who would tell tales of (a) purifying his own EcoRI from bulk cultures of E. coli, and mouth-pipetting P-32 solutions with a can of Coke nearby to buffer out any accidentally-ingested hot phosphates. That last story sounds a little sketchy to me, though.

    As for floppies – I just threw out our last few a couple of weekends ago. I still have a piece of 80’s-vintage musical gear that uses 2.8-inch Quick Disks, though (amusingly described in this discussion forum as “quite possibly the biggest technology turd of the 80’s`).

    • Cath@VWXYNot? says:

      My PhD thesis is on a zip drive.

      2001 FAIL.

      I can’t quite bring myself to throw it out. At least I have a hard copy…

Comments are closed.