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Building an SVN Repository First Step: Unboxing the FW800 Drobo.

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My home office has just about everything needed for a productive development environment. Its stocked with the essentials (test server, quality monitor, good lighting), a few "nice-to-haves" (Wacom tablet, comfy chair) and a some fluf (sound system, Betamax and VCR). It has at least one item I would rather do without (phone).

When Data Robotics announced the new Firewire800 Drobo, the time was right to fill a home office void: reliable versioning and backups.

The Drobo Store listed my order as "backorder" for weeks. It was eventually upgraded to "Allocated", were it remained for about another week. A user on the Drobo forums mentioned he ordered his from B&H Photo and it arrived a few days later. So I made a quick phone call to Drobo to cancel, headed to the B&H site, and a week later the Drobo was at the door.

Its worth mentioning, B&H Photo didn't charge taxes, and since I'm a NAPP member, they didn't charge shipping. This saved about $80 from the Drobo Store cost.

Now that the Drobo is here, let's unbox!

 

Drobo Unbox  - Shipping Box The box was sturdy and fit for purpose. Although it wasn't as thick, it had the feeling of the cardboard my Mac Pro arrived in.
Drobo Unbox - Apple-like first impressions Again it looks like Data Robotics is taking lessons from the packaging school at 1 Infinite Loop. The box lid opens to reveal another box lid, this time with the words "Welcome to the world of ..."
Drobo Unbox "drobo The Worlds First Storage Robot" I can almost hear trumpets in the background. Of course, this is the obligatory "parts" box.
Drobo Unbox Drobo Unbox The kit comes equipped with software, power brick, power cord, USB and Firewire connectors, and a manual.
Drobo Unbox - Drobo Foam Crate Inside the box, the drobo itself is protected in a foam crate. This is perfect for those bumpy UPS rides down our Texas country roads.
Drobo Unbox - In a Jacket This was interesting, rather than the typical clear electrostatic plastic bag that most components are shipped in, the drobo was crated in a carefully folded black cloth jacket. Click the image for a closer view.
Drobo Unbox - FrontAnd here's the drobo. It stands about the height of 4 standard hard drives.

The clear plastic covers both the front and back plastic housing to protect from scratches and fingerprints during construction. It peals right off.
Drobo Unbox - Front with Cover RemovedThe faceplate is held on magnetically and with a little effort, slips right off. The magnet won't pose a problem for your data. In fact, the magnets inside the drives to spin the platters are probably more powerful.

Underneath the faceplate, we find Data Robotics providing a readme card of important warnings such as don't handle hot hard drives, do not submerge, do not eat.

Ok, I made the last two up. But you get the point.
Drobo Unbox - Close-up of Bays This is a close-up of the front storage bay slots. It has a very nice fit-and-finish. No sloppy gaps here.
Drobo Unbox - BackThe drobo has one large fan in the back.
Drobo Unbox - Close-up of Connections The drobo has 2 FW800 ports (to chain), one USB2 and the power connection. It also has a security lock slot.
Drobo Unbox - Recycling the BoxThe drobo arrived from B&H Photography in a sturdy box that was quickly claimed by my wife's cat.

I have four SATAII drives ready to be installed once I clear off the data. Installing a drive in the drobo automatically wipes any existing data. I will detail my backup strategies in a later posting.

 

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