The device in the photo above is an impromptu “external hard drive” storage device I put together several years ago. I remember that it was owing to the fact that my family’s data collection was growing and we needed more digital storage space for them. My parents were not willing to buy an actual portable hard drive for me due to the higher prices then.
The point that I want to bring across is that sometimes, the solution or answers to the challenges we face might already be around us or an idea lurking in our heads. Sure, when you want to solve a problem, you think up all kinds of ideas and solutions. Dream big and wild. Don’t consider them silly, because they are unique and may actually work out well. I learned through doing my own research, as well as trial and error, and you can too. Although since everyone has different learning styles, I’ll leave that portion to you.
To continue on with the photo above, I pulled together my impromptu “external hard drive” together using a power adapter, USB to PATA* and SATA* adapter, and a couple of old hard drives I had previously salvaged. I linked it by USB to my home broadband router, effectively turning it into a Network Attached Storage (NAS), which turned out to be more convenient and accessible than using an external hard drive.
(*PATA and SATA are 2 types of hard drive interface connectors.)
I still hold on to the notion of, “If you don’t have it, make it, or at least try to.” Allow me to share one more story with you. My parents only allowed me to get, and stick to, a basic handphone when I entered into secondary school. As I started my journey in polytechnic, I soon realized that I would need a smartphone to be productive. Eventually I found myself in a situation where I needed to use Whatsapp to communicate, but I did not have a smartphone back then.
With help from my friends in Singapore Polytechnic, and lots of reading up, I managed to create a “virtual smartphone” using an android ISO container file and program Virtualbox. I installed Whatsapp in it and I used that to communicate with my lecturers for a while, to ask for some help with our homework back then.
It came as a big surprise to me that doing something like that was even possible. This achievement inspired me as to what could possibly be achieved through virtualization, alongside computer networking and security. I do regret not taking any photos of this virtual smartphone back then. I stopped using it a couple of years ago due to a growing number of compatibility issues.
To carry on with the message behind this story, it’s all about exploring the possibilities that can be achieved around us. It’s about not giving up when an idea seems too difficult to pursue. I hope to continue inspiring people to pursue what is in their best interest for themselves and others.
Just spend a moment pondering about it, how many problems do you think you can solve for yourself and others by just observing the challenges in your surroundings and applying your knowledge and learning skills?