Dismantling hard drives

Dismantled hard driveHard drives are the main storage medium inside laptops, PCs and servers (although Solid State Drives (SSDs) are increasingly popular, much faster, and increasingly affordable).

Hard drives consist of a stack of spinning “platters”, with a set of “read heads” on an arm that flies over the surface of the disk to find the data that’s being read or written.

Describing this is all well and good, but really you get a much better feel for this if you actually see it for yourself. So, this morning we took an 8-year-old 500GB drive that died recently and took it apart. DOING THIS KILLS THE DRIVE! Ours was already dead so we had nothing to lose 🙂

For this job we needed a screwdriver with a six-pointer star shaped head, known as a Torx head. Everything inside used the same screwdriver, specifically size T8.

Minecraft on the Raspberry Pi

For our last week we had a little taste of programming in Python, by working with the Minecraft API for the Raspberry Pi.

With a single Pi acting as a server, we had groups surrounding the screen logging in by SSH from their laptops, all starting to use the Minecraft Python API to move, build things and chat. For many it was their first taste of text-based programming. We’ll be looking forward to trying this again in the new year!