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Comment More platters please (Score 2) 122

I'm kind of surprised that the hard drive industry has not created bigger (i.e. size, not just capacity) drives. It seems that a large portion of hard drives these days are going into huge arrays in data centers. All the data that needs super-quick access times is moving to SSD. The multi-TB near line data is staying with HDD storage. It seems to me that the industry could put out a drive with something like 5 inch platters; 20 platters per drive; a really good motor; redundant heads per platter; and an extra, backup circuit board. They could fill it with Helium and get the cost down to below 1 cent/GB. No one would put one in their desktop, but data centers might really like it.

Comment Re:"Cents per gigabyte" (Score 1) 272

I wish I had hung on to the original machine too (AT&T 6300). I think it had a 4.77 MHz x86 processor in it. When you did a directory listing using DOS on a directory with a few hundred files in it (about all that would fit on the drive), you could actually read the file names as they scrolled up the screen. I wish I still had it to show my kids what life was like back then for computer programmers.

Comment Improvement certainly, but still a long ways to go (Score 1) 272

I just bought a 250 GB SSD for $75 because my 64 GB SSD filled up. I paid something like $100 for the old one about 2 years ago. That is a great improvement and I hope that I will be able to buy a 1TB SSD within a few years for less than $100. But I can buy a 4 TB HDD for less than $100 right now if you catch the right sale. By the time a 1 TB SSD becomes less than $100, you will probably be able to buy 8 TB of HDD space for the same price. On the bright side, decent sized SSDs are now affordable for consumers, but they have a long ways to go before they achieve 'parity' with HDD storage. I look forward to the day when some kind of solid state memory can completely replace the HDD (3D XPoint??), but the death of the hard drive has so far been greatly exaggerated.

Comment Working on similar feature (Score 1) 83

I am building an object store where some of my data objects can each be a key-value store that is used as a column in a relational table. Some queries against a table require a full scan (e.g. SELECT * from my_table where address like '%Main Street%';). If I had a table with a billion rows, it can take awhile to scan the whole address column looking for matches (I dedup the values in each column, but there can still be 100 million unique address values in such a table.) The solution is to break each column into multiple segments and let separate threads scan each segment looking for matches. The scan can occur in parallel on multi-core machines and complete in a much quicker manner than forcing a single thread to scan the whole thing. It sounds very similar to what they are trying to do with PostgreSQL (except that database is row based where the whole row is stored together, instead of a columnar database like mine). Here are two short demo videos of the system in action.

Comment On the Internet...nobody knows your a dog... (Score 1) 696

...or a woman...or a kid...or a grandma...or black...or gay...or whatever. Personally, I have never looked at code or used a library and thought...this looks like a woman wrote it. Code works or it doesn't. Who cares who wrote it? Some women may face discrimination in the workplace. Some may be hired and/or promoted simply because of their gender. I once had a woman on my team who wanted the company to lay her off for the severance package. She did just about everything she could do...come in late...leave games...etc.. The company instead let other men go at layoff time. They wanted her in their stats.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Is the gap between data access speeds widening or narrowing?

DidgetMaster writes: Everyone knows that CPU registers are much faster than level1, level2, and level3 caches. Likewise, those caches are much faster than RAM; and RAM in turn is much faster than disk (even SSD). But the past 30 years have seen tremendous improvements in data access speeds at all these levels. RAM today is much, much faster than RAM 10, 20, or 30 years ago. Disk accesses are also tremendously faster than previously as steady improvements in hard drive technology and the even more impressive gains in flash memory have occurred. Is the "gap" between the fastest RAM and the fastest disks bigger or smaller now than the gap was 10 or 20 years ago? Are the gaps between all the various levels getting bigger or smaller? Anyone know of a definitive source that tracks these gaps over time?

Comment Changing Requirements?? (Score 2) 203

Did the project fail because of incompetence on HP's part...or did the customer (the government in this case) keep changing the scope and requirements so often that it was impossible to actually do what they wanted? I know nothing about the details of this particular case, but either condition (or both) would not surprise me as the cause for the failure.

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