Archives » September, 2008

September 30, 2008

Joe. Douglass and the DS&CV Railroad

Crossposted from Around Carson.

Dennis Cassinelli published an article this weekend in his Chronicles of the Comstock blog titled The Joe. Douglass and other small Comstock railroads. It’s a look at the smaller railroads that used to run in the Dayton area, and that usually get forgotten in the shadow of the V&T and the Carson and Colorado. Reading this prompted me to look again into the history of these small railroads, particularly the Dayton, Sutro & Carson Valley Railroad, which only lasted about fifteen years and at its height ran six miles. The DS&CV is mostly remarkable because there was only ever one tiny locomotive than ran on it back in the 1800s, and however improbably, that engine still exists today. It’s named the Joe. Douglass, after the railroad’s owner, and its 100-year journey took it to California and back before it returned home about 14 years ago.

I was also moved to write up Carsonpedia articles for the railroad and its tiny locomotive. Working on Carsonpedia always seems like such a daunting task, because the number of things I want to write about is so big I can barely wrap my head around it all. But here, here was a topic I could tackle in a short amount of time and write something up fairly quickly. I pulled all the info I could find on the railroad, including Dennis’s article, the NSRM page on the Joe. Douglass, and a few pages in Google’s Book Search that proved invaluable. It turned into a day-long project, but thankfully it was only one day. And I kept leaving it and coming back to it, so who knows how long it would have taken if I had been able to just keep at it. And my research led me in new and exciting directions that I wasn’t expecting to go, especially to these two wonderful pictures of the Joe. Douglass sitting abandoned in California that I only found through very serendipitous Google searches.

Anyway, on to those Carsonpedia articles. I like these articles because they’re very representative of what I think a Carsonpedia article should be. In-depth, but not too wordy, with a good grasp of the subject. And even though I probably could have combined them into one article, I kept them as two separate articles because there are two separate subjects here, the railroad and the locomotive. There is some overlap, of course, but I think each of them stands well on their own while also complementing each other nicely. Check them out!

Carsonpedia: Dayton, Sutro & Carson Valley Railroad

Carsonpedia: DS&CV Locomotive No 1: Joe. Douglass

September 28, 2008

SyQuest EZFlyer

SyQuest EZFlyer

It’s amazing what you can find when you dig through some old closets. Someone at work dropped this onto my desk last week, a three-pack of SyQuest EZFlyer discs. SyQuest was one of the many “removable storage” solutions that popped up during the 80s and 90s, trying to solve the problem that sometimes you needed to sneakernet more data than what a floppy disk could hold. They had sold removable hard drives during the 80s, but in the 90s started to catch the wave of small disks, that were close in size to floppies but could hold a lot more data. This was about the same time the Iomega ZIP came out, as well as the LS120 “SuperDisk” that was backwards-compatible with 3.5″ floppies.

SyQuest EZFlyer

SyQuest never caught on the way ZIP did, and always trailed in the market. That didn’t stop them from trying to launch a lot of products, and in the space of a few short years they released the EZ135, the EZFlyer, the SyJet and the SparQ. All with increasing amounts of storage, but all ultimately forgotten. SparQ in particular had a nasty bug where a bad drive would damage a disk, then that disk would damage any other drive it was placed in. This could cause a chain where every SparQ drive in an office could be destroyed in a matter of hours. So that technology became obsolete faster than most.

SyQuest EZFlyer

It was around this same time that recordable CDs first hit big, and the price of a complex cartridge with moving parts and spinning disks could never drop at low as that of a piece of plastic. Disks gave way to discs. Then along came recordable DVDs, pushing capacity to new records, and now flash thumb drives have almost completely replaced disks entirely in this space.

SyQuest EZFlyer

SyQuest declared bankruptcy in 1998 and was bought by Iomega. All the SyQuest drives we had in the office broke soon after, and were thrown in the trash. But someone held onto these disks in a dusty part of their office until 10 years later, and then anonymously handed them off to me. These disks were PC formatted, and held 230 megabytes. They came wih McAfee Web Scan 2.0 and Folio Web Retriever 2.1.

SyQuest EZFlyer

SyQuest EZFlyer

SyQuest EZFlyer

SyQuest EZFlyer

September 25, 2008

links for 2008-09-25

September 24, 2008

Kids make the funniest poses when they’re frozen in time.

The Brothers

This one is my new desktop.

Ormsby House Update

It’s just a small update this time, but crews have been working a little bit on the outside of the Ormsby House. This is your update for the end of summer, 2008.

links for 2008-09-24

September 23, 2008

links for 2008-09-23

September 21, 2008

links for 2008-09-21

September 20, 2008

links for 2008-09-20

September 18, 2008

Hard Rock Cafe Tahoe