playboy-hdBoingboing has a field day with the “hard” part, but reports that Playboy has released a portable 250GB USB hard drive (do I even need to warn you that link is probably not work-safe?) containing all 650+ issues of Playboy from December 1953 to December 2009 for $299.95.

The page points to the benefits of being able to search through all 56 years of articles using e-magazine software from Bondi Digital Publishing, and the ability to use it at home or on the road without needing a power cord—the drive draws all its power from the USB bus.

Of course, Playboy is not just a pornography magazine; the old cliché of “just reading it for the articles” has truth behind it, though the often-excellent journalism and fiction (including some James Bond stories by Ian Fleming) were usually eclipsed by the more prominent pin-up elements. From the point of view of researching the last half-century of popular culture, the magazine archive could be valuable for reasons beyond titillation.

At any rate, it is probably a better method for reading digital magazines than downloading issues to an iPad. (Especially since the iPad edition of Playboy actually leaves out the pin-ups!)


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