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Re: [ARSCLIST] Hard disk drives and DAT

Hi Karl:

Look back on my previous posts. I'm a big advocate for selectivity and definitely understand limited resources need to be applied wisely. Interesting musings though.

McLaughlin Group yesterday, discussion turned to unregulated Internet political media like the anti-Hilary "ad" spoofing the "1984" Apple ad. McLaughlin, who is not dumb and not a Luddite even if he is a bit long in the tooth, piped up "don't we all agree the Internet is quickly becoming an utter sewer"? I thought, "quickly becoming"? How about was from day 1 of AOL and even before. The downside to a "democracy" of ideas and content is that most are far south of useful or extraordinary and thus just serve as fog and pollution blocking the truly great ideas and content from rising to their proper place. The growing problem is that the sludge is so thick that it even blocks that way-out-of-left-field great idea or content that is supposed to be the golden fruit of the "democracy."

OK, that's my musing for the night.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- From: "Karl Miller" <karl.miller@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2007 8:29 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Hard disk drives and DAT


http://uw.physics.wisc.edu/~himpsel/memory.html is interesting reading. I was musing in something of a science fiction mode, but we do have some practical limits and economics to consider. I am also fond of reminding folks of the Jonas Palm article, The Digital Black Hole.

I just wonder about the need for selectivity and how many bits we can effectively manage. I also think about the links that we all create and how information begets information...just musing...


Tom Fine <tflists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote: Hi Karl:

Won't happen. There are now 1 terrabyte drive units. Density per drive unit will keep increasing,
which keep management, well, manageable. However, as density increases, the need for redundancy and
active management becomes all the more important and obvious.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- From: "Karl Miller"
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2007 7:47 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Hard disk drives and DAT

When I think of the current state of things (as per Tom's note below) I am reminded of an act that
appeared with some frequency on the old Ed Sullivan show. One of the "tricks" was to keep a number
of plates spinning at the end of a stick. You were always kept in suspense thinking that one of
the plates would slow down and eventually fall off the stick. Somehow I see that as a great
representation of the job of those would manage (preserve) large data files.
The problem is, that we keep adding more plates to the trick...Just as we have a formula for the
theoretical limits of storage, I wonder if there is some equation which will describe the point in
time when we no longer have the resources to keep the plates spinning and one by one they all fall


Tom Fine wrote: I hope Richard and/or Parker and/or Spec Bros. jump
in here. The ONLY answer is managed and
constantly migrated storage. You simply cannot live by the old "put it on a shelf in a clean, cool
room" idea anymore. Digital storage must be in constant motion -- literally since hard drives have
been known to fail or never start up again if left idle on a shelf (ask around Hollywood, everyone
has a horror story or two). You have to plan to have a "living" hard drive array that is
preferably with a constantly mirrored clone at a different location, and plan on swapping out
every XX hours of use or at worst when they inevitably fail. There are firms that do this on an
out-source basis, I think. I believe the 90's dot-bomb term was "storage farms." Some of them are
actually located in old bomb shelters and missle bunkers.

-- Tom Fine

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