I recently interviewed Ed from the YouTube channel Space Invader One. While we discussed Ed’s background and his channel, the focus of the interview is on the main topic Ed covers: Instructional videos about the software UnRAID that allows you to turn any PC into a Network Attached Storage, or “NAS” device. While at first, that might seem like something only IT people would use for backups, the retro gaming world is on the cusp of adopting NAS methods for rom storage and streaming – We’re not quite there yet, but if you’d like to get ahead of the curve, definitely check this video out and start experimenting with an old PC and an old set of hard drives. More info after the links:
Space Invader One YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/SpaceinvaderOne
Latest UnRAID Guide: https://youtu.be/CcRwT7iHIcc
USB HDD in a Famicom Cart (just for fun!): https://youtu.be/8jAgCUewV6c
First and foremost, neither Ed’s content or this interview is sponsored by UnRAID, we’re just both fans of the software. While it’s reasonably priced, you’re welcome to try it out for free and it runs off a USB stick. Those are two important facts, as that means you can take any existing PC you own, unplug the current drives (just to be safe), stick in one spare drive and mess around with UnRAID with zero obligation. And once you’re done, you can simply put it back the way it was, if you decide it’s not for you.
I wanted to share another few things I learned over the past six months of testing UnRAID and watching Ed’s videos; We go over them in the interview, but here’s some thoughts:
Linux knowledge is handy, but NOT NEEDED to run UnRAID. If you’re just looking for a very cheap way to build a “RAID-like” storage device, you can follow Ed’s guides and pretty easily get started.
…and the number one reason a non-IT person would want UnRAID over other basic NAS boxes: You can use any combination of drives. Unlike a RAID 5 box, you can just throw all your old drives into one machine, erase them and add them to the UnRAID array. That means you can combine a 2TB, 6TB and 8TB drive in one box, to make a single 16TB “drive” that’s available on your network.
Check out the interview for more info, but I really think this will catch on with more of the retro gaming world, as it provides a way for people to use whatever parts they have lying around to create a network attached storage array!