Friday, January 05, 2007

Needless things I might need (had I the coin)

Of all the needless things I've needed in my time -- a blimp, a submarine, a steam locomotive and a railroad to run it on, a semi-tractor trailer, a thirteenth century castle in Great Britain, a suit of armor, an antiquarian bookshop, a golf course or two -- I think I've found the pinnacle of nerdly conspicuous consumption for the 21st century. It's not a Segway Human Transporter, not the $100K Tesla electric roadster, not the iPhone or the latest gaming console -- nothing so banal as all that.

No, for a mere $1.5M you can own a one-of-a-kind InfraStruXure Express On-demand Mobile Data Center. Built by APC, it's a computing facility built into a white 18-wheeler truck, and it's been around since 2005, though I've never heard of it before today. According to APC, "The trailer is a complete data center system. It has an onboard generator, uninterruptible power supply, cooling, network operation center, and its own satellite feed. You could park it in a cornfield in Kansas and operate a data center autonomously, as long as you had fuel in the fuel tank."

Imagine hosting your blog and email server from this rig as you travel the country, talking to people, writing, taking photographs. Think William Least Heat-Moon's "Blue Highways" on a ridiculously grander scale. Needless, to be sure.


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