Or, how I learned to hack things.

We at the Lab had a Segate DockStar kicking around, taking up space. I had been looking for a tiny NAS to run some home storage things, so a donation to the kitty later and away I go. However, I couldn’t put my 2.5″ PATA adapter onto it stock, so it needed a new home. That home happens to be sandwiched between some slabs of Inventables plexiglass. I’m kicking myself for not taking more pictures, but the overall design is pretty simple: Two sheets of plexiglass.

First, a short primer on Poly(methyl methacrylate), AKA “Plexiglas”. Technically, there are many names for the (usually) transparent, shatter-proof material, including lexan, perspex, lucite, and oroglas. the material itself is a lightweight, usually thin layer of a synthetic polymer intended to be both heat resistant and shock resistant. One of its first uses was in World War II, on the front of bombers which needed to have impact-resistant noses (so you could see out of them. More useful if you’re the guy in the bubble below the plane.)

Anyway, my design process essentially boiled down to:

  • Mock the whole thing up in cardboard (this is an important step)
  • Replicate the design overall onto a hunk of Plexiglas
  • Drill holes for the bolts
  • Drill holes for the zip-ties holding the ripped-out beating heart of the DockStar
  • Zip tie the Dockstar in place
  • Add hard drive/adapter
  • Cable it up
  • Admire work

The last part is the hard part.

On the slightly different side, I have ArchLinux ARM running on it. The device itself is supported quite well and has most, if not all, the Arch base packages available to it. Cool stuff. Installation wise, its a matter of following the instructions. I’ll summarize:

  1. Disconnect it from your PogoPlug account
  2. SSH into the device
  3. Pull down the alternative U-boot script installer
  4. Partition the disk. There needs to be at least one partition with at least 5..6GB of space available for ArchLinux. I personally gave Arch 10GB of space on a 250GB hdd. More data for meeee!
  5. Make sure the first partition is formatted ext2, has the ArchLinux arm5te root tarball extracted.
  6. Reboot!

Nothing can beat the official documentation on the ArchLinux ARM website.

One of the things I have is a real biggie for statistics. I like statistics. I happen to also like pretty graphs. Combine them and you get the results of tinkering around with the kernel diskstats file:

I put the script on Gist. Go hack on it.

Tagged with:
 

One Response to Giving new life to a Segate DockStar

  1. Here is a list of the materials Inventables was nice enough to send us!  Does any of it inspire you?
    (10) 6×24 assorted Acrylic Sheets
    (3) 18×24 assorted Acrylic Sheets
    (15) 8×12 assorted Acrylic Sheets
    (8) 8×12 assorted Wood Veneer
    (1) 12×12 3/4 in thick 
    (1) 18×24 3/4 in thick 
    (10) sheets of natural coco fiber composite
    (1) 11.5×5 3/4 in thick Walnut Sheet
    (1) 12×12 3/4 in thick Bamboo Sheet 
    (2-3) yrds of Green to Yellow thermochromic Color Change Fabric
    (2-3) yrds of Turquoise to Yellow thermochromic Color Change Fabric
    (2 feet) of  blue metal mesh fabric(2 feet) of black mesh material
    (2 feet) of silver mesh material 
    (2 yards) of clear Vinyl with adhesive