What’s the most awesome thing you’ve made in Minecraft? A castle? A pirate ship? How about a working hard-drive? That’s what Minecraft fan smellystring has made using glass blocks, redstone, and a lot of pistons. It’s a massive machine, but it really works: you can save data to this huge hard drive!
But how does it work? Well you need to know how a hard-drive works first. The disc inside you computer, phone, tablet, or any other device you can save things on works using lots of 1s and 0s. When you make a pattern of 1s and 0s, the computer reads that as a code and translates it into something than makes sense to us. For example, the code 01000001 actually means the letter ‘A’ in computer language, so if a computer reads this code on a hard drive it knows to show the letter A. But how does this work in Minecraft?
Well, smellystring (who is a computer scientist student and so very clever) found out that signals in Minecraft from redstone would pass through solid blocks, but not clear glass blocks. So he could use solid blocks as 1s, and glass blocks as 0s to make computer code! With lots of pistons and a control room to make it all work, smellystring’s hard-drive pushes blocks around to write data in the computer code. It can only store 1KB of data – which is even smaller than the smallest music track on your MP3 player – but it’s still amazing that he did it all in Minecraft without any mods at all.
To see some more amazing Minecraft creations, check out our Minecraft builds stories.