Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Submission Summary: 0 pending, 2 declined, 1 accepted (3 total, 33.33% accepted)

Submission + - New Seagate Shingled hard drive teardown

Peter Desnoyers writes: Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) drives are starting to hit the market, promising larger drives without heroic (and expensive) measures such as helium fill, but at a cost — data can no longer be over-written in place, requiring SSD-like algorithms to handle random writes.

At the USENIX File and Storage Technologies conference in February, researchers from Northeastern University (disclaimer — I'm one of them)
dissected shingled drive performance both figuratively and literally, using both micro-benchmarks and a window cut in the drive to uncover the secrets of Seagate's first line of publicly-available
SMR drives.

TLDR: It's a pretty good desktop drive — with write cache enabled (the default for non-server setups) and an intermittent workload it performs quite well, handling bursts of random writes (up to a few tens of GB total) far faster than a conventional drive — but only if it has long powered-on idle periods for garbage collection. Reads and large writes run at about the same speed as on a conventional drive, and at $280 it costs less than a pair of decent 4TB drives. For heavily-loaded server applications, though, you might want to wait for the next generation.

Videos (in 16x slow motion) showing the drive in action — sequential read after deliberately fragmenting the drive, and a few thousand random writes.
Biotech

Submission + - Palin, science, and fruit flies

Peter Desnoyers writes: An excerpt from Palin's October 24th speech on special-needs children, quoted here:

"Where does a lot of that earmark money end up, anyway? [...] You've heard about, um, these — some of these pet projects they really don't make a whole lot of sense, and sometimes these dollars they go to projects having little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not!"

I can't put it better than the original article:

Watch the clip. Listen to the tone of her voice as she sneers the words "fruit fly research." Check out the disdain and incredulity on her face. How would science, basic or applied, fare under President Palin?

I would have thought that anyone who passed high school biology would have learned the role that Drosphilia play in biological research. Did she skip it to avoid being exposed to evolution or any mention of sex?

If it is a Miracle, any sort of evidence will answer, but if it is a Fact, proof is necessary. -- Samuel Clemens

Working...