Will Rockwell has taken computer technology back 150 years with his new Steam Powered Computer Hard Drive. Rumor has it Charles Babbage used this device as the external storage on his Difference Engine. This device has received considerable attention in the gadget blogs, and I happily reprint a bit of it here:
There’s good steampunk, mediocre steampunk, and pointless steampunk. There there is Will Rockwell steampunk which is a level above your run-of-the-mill steampunkary; and this awesome looking hard drive enclosure is a perfect example of his excellent attention to detail.
Actually a case which holds your choice of external hard drive, Rockwell’s machine simulates a steam driven powerhouse, complete with drive wheel and shaft, service light, and best of all, it generates smoke as it works. If you need extra RAM, simply pull the brass SURGE lever for a burst of overdrive, as a dense puff of smoke belches from the brass stack.
Rockwell’s hard drive is covered with walnut veneer and brass edging, with elaborate plumbing and controls crowding the surface. The blinking service light rises like a periscope, as the drive wheel relentlessly churns forward. The device is actually a case for your own external hard drive. It has a hinged door on the rear with access for power and connection cables, and is designed to hold any size drive up to a Lacie Big Drive.
For a video of the drive in action, go here