One of the drawbacks to having old equipment around is keeping it running and finding parts when things break. The hard drive went out on one of my old Tandy 1000's. It's amazing how much hard drives cost for older PCs, especially compared to what storage costs today. Read on.
The hard drive blew out on my Tandy 1000 at home not too long ago. Seeing as how it's an XT-class machine, that means that replacement hard drive options are limited. I can either use an MFM hard drive or an RLL hard drive. There are some XT-IDE drives available, but the Tandys use a special hard drive controller that doesn't support all XT-IDE drives, which are rare to begin with.
Naturally, it's not easy to find a hard drive that works in a 25 year old computer. You can try eBay, but you never know whether or not what you buy will actually work when you get it. Sometimes you can find refurbished or newer units. What's surprising is how much reliable old drives are when you do find them. For example, at Calhoun Technologies, they sell a 50MB ST250-R hard drive for $100.50. I found another one at Discount Computer Peripherals for $150.
I dunno... $150 doesn't sound like much of a discount... But, even so, when the drives were new they cost even more than that - at a time when the dollar could buy more!
Nowadays, you can get a 2GB drive for under $50. <shameless plug> Unless of course, you get the TechRepublic 2-Go drive which comes with that much space and TechRepublic content to go with it! </shameless plug> That's 40 times more storage for one-third the price. Plus you can put it in your pocket.
Alternatively, you can take that same $100 to Newegg and get a 500GB Seagate hard drive for the same price as the 50MB Seagate. 10,000 times more space and in a smaller form factor. Plus you have 50 cents left over. It boggles the mind.
Unfortunately my old drive is dead, so if I want to get the computer back up and running, I'll have to invest in another drive. To see what the guts of an old drive looks like, check out our Seagate 50MB RLL Hard Drive Cracking Open gallery. I should have gotten that one and given the contributor my old dead drive!