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IBM 75G Hard Drive Ready 275

Thomas Holme writes, "The Deskstar 75GXP sets a new standard in disk drive performance with a maximum media data rate of 444 megabits per second (Mb/s) and 8.5 milliseconds (ms) average seek time, delivering optimal multimedia performance and video playback." You can read more about it at IBM's hard drive page. I can't believe I bought a 40g just two weeks ago! Bah. Course 75 gigs is like 1500 hours worth of MP3s, but for some reason going two months without listening to the same song twice seems like an admirable goal.
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IBM 75G Hard Drive Ready

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  • by Anonymous Coward, I hear that IBM has their lates and greates 75Ghd already out in the market, this is all fine and dandy, but, what they are failing to inform the public is, if they do go out and purchase a large capacity hard drive will their Bios be able to support it??? I do know about certain programs out on the market that will just fool the Bios so the larger hard drive would work with customers unit...however, the full capacity of the drive will not be, what's the sense of the larger hard drive? when the Bios doesn't support it... I think it is very cretical that consumers should be made aware of this, before they go out and purchase a larger capacity hard drive. then again this is just my opinion. A concern consumer.
  • it's safe to say that it will not get bigger than that.


    Has it occurred to you that that's the same argument the BIOS designers made, way back when?

    And remember, too, Gates' Law: "640K ought to be enough for anybody."

    If you want to flame me, do so here [].
  • Count in hours of film, then.

    DVDs are max 10Mb/s, usually arounf 6Mb/s. So these 75GB, that's ~28H of film. Not _that_ much if you think computerized VCR.

  • Right equation, but I think the dimensions may have tricked you.

    I'm getting 580 g -- if I'm remembering the dimensional stuff correctly -- gotta convert w to radians and r to meters, right?:

    (7200 rev/min)

    * (1 min/60 sec) = 120 rev/sec
    * (2pi) = 753.98 /sec (or rad/sec, if you prefer)
    squared = 568489 /sec^2
    * (0.01 m) = 5684.89 m/sec^2
    / (9.8 m/sec^2) = 580.1 g
  • Silly me. Shows why I'm not an engineer...I guess I'll go away, now! ;)
  • Lets make it a combination box and put whichever intel/amd chip is currently on top of the pissing war.
  • Hm. I figure it would take over 4 days to back it up on a 100Mbit link (which was actually going 100Mbit). Even gigabit links would only do that 3 or 4 times faster probably. I'd say a network back-up isn't very practical.
  • by mikpos ( 2397 )
    I'm on glue. It would only take like 2 hours.
  • They may have meant MPEG I Layer 3.
  • Check out this link for a very good "yes and no" debunking of the glass-is-liquid myth:

    The quick answer is that glass isn't a liquid, or even a solid, it's a distinct type of matter in it's own right. If you want to find out why then follow the link...

  • Just send the second disk to a friend across the
    country who has DSL or a cable modem.
  • You don't want one of *those* solid state drives...
  • I ran into this problem a year ago, and it was cheaper to mirror the hard drive on a second hard drive (second 10GB last year was about $200) then a DAT drive($1000) that could store close to 10GB. Of course you could burn CDs, but who wants a stack of 20cds as static backup of your machine?


    David E. Weekly []

  • "999TB should be enough for everybody"? ;-P
  • I record my music at 128 kbps and it is...well mp3, but does anyone else record at a higher speed and get surprisingly better results?

    I have some jazz cd's that I had to do at 190 ... the piano would sound like shit at 128kbs.

    Most all of my rock cds sound just fine at 128 .

  • I agree. :)

  • Good point, I had read this before but couldn't remember the link. I hate listening to popular but wrong scientific refrenences like that.


  • IBM's new drive doesn't let the heads ever touch the surface (if it's working properly). [..] This
    is new, and should be posted under the 'why didn't they think of that earlier' topic.
    They did think of it earlier. Notebook hard drives have done it for a while, but it's new on the desktop.
  • >75 gigs is like 1500 hours worth of MP3s

    Yeah, and how many hours of downloading and ripping to get the content onto the disk? It's one thing to have the content available on a preloaded media (like a CD/DVD) but it's totally another to spend the amount of time needed to load all that music (and verify it) so you can not hear the same song for 10 weeks. Not to mention the backup and single failure issues.
  • A 75 Gigabyte TiVo/Replay box would be sweet - if I could hand-upgrade a TiVo to 75 Gig storage I would consider getting one. I just have a real problem with the monthly fees.

    Note to parents with young children - can you imagine how many childrens movies you could dump into a TiVo/Replay box and never have to worry about getting a peanut butter sandwich inside the VCR!?

  • Glass will indeed flow. For typical window glass held in a vertical position, it will gain a 5% increase in width at the bottom after 10 million years. This is a *very* slow flow.

    The reason that old glass looks funky has to do with the manufacturing process. Old glass used to be made by hand. The glass blower would blow a ball of glass into a cylindrical mold. After the glass was cold, it would be removed from the mold, and scored lengthwise. After another heating, the cylinder of glass would be broken along the score line and unrolled to form a flat sheet. That flat sheet would be "ironed" smooth, and you could get an acceptable window pane that way.

    New glass is made by floating a layer of glass on top of molten tin. The glass solidifies on top of the tin and is very very flat.

    There are companies that still make glass the old way, because some people like the flawed appearance. They expect to have windows like that on their old victorian houses. The White House made a large order recently to one of those companies. They replaced a large number of their old windows with glass that looks antique.
  • Not only is Windows bloated but it also doesn't manage the space very well.
    I edit digial videos at home ( I need this hard drive now !) and a real pain for me is that Win98 has a 4 Gig file size limit that doesn't let me record more than 18 minutes of DV !!!

    I wish Linux had good DV + firewire support :(
  • I'm currently doing backup to 2 daily sets of 4 36GB hard drives for just that reason. I looked at realtime (bitlevel) backup to tape autoloader libraries, but that's 10 GRAND, for like 40GIG! F-THAT, I went out and bought 288 GB of hard drive space for about 1/5 that, and it's so smooth. Hard drives are outpacing tapes 3/1 in capacity over time at LEAST, even the latest AIT2 is nowhere near close enough to handle backups at even a small design/hosting shop. what's 40GB uncompressed get me?
  • Buy another disk.
  • Why would anyone put glass in something that is supposed to be resistant to damage?

    Because it's resistant to damage -- compared to aluminum, the alternative.

    I will never buy something like this with the potential to store massive ammounts of my previous data when the next passing small earthquake,large truck, or thunder storm could destory it.

    Check the shock rating: 6000g. Then put all of your most important data on the drive and destroy the original copies. Then mount this drive in a decently strong aluminum box -- without shock protection. Then smash the aluminum box for 60 seconds straight as hard as you can with a large sledgehammer. Remove the drive and check to see that your data is all right. It will be.

  • I always wondered why RedHat and friends put the kernel in the /boot partition until I realized it offered a way to get your kernel early enough on your hard disk to be bootable without forcing you to cramp your root partition.

    You partition your disk in this manner:

    1. /boot - 15MB
    2. / - 4GB (or whatever)
    3. /home - whatever looks good
    4. etc...
    Now your kernel will be bootable and you don't need a small root partition.

    Maybe you already new that, but I thought I would pass along the tip to anyone who didn't.

  • (In addition to what the AC said about the quality of old glass) When they made those old cathedrals they put the widest edge down.

    So, yes glass flows (I think anouther person estimated it at 200 microns for some large quanity of time), but the quality of glass back then was not that great therefore any measurments made to old glass are inconclusive.

  • by dew ( 3680 )
    I just talked on the phone with those guys. WHOA are they weird. Apparently it has parrafin (candle wax) and silver alkane in it, which is easily damaged by heat. Their experiments with putting the chip into desktops haven't done well since the chip gets damaged when the ambient temperature tops 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Perhaps it might be happier with a Transmeta chip? Tests of "small" 8Gb versions with low-temperature laptops have apparently been successful...but MAN they claim that their underlying technology comes from 1940's documents supplied to them by the Government, who likely (their words, not mine) got it from aliens.

    How many serious companies do you know claim that their base technologies came from aliens?

    They also claim that the fabrication plants are refusing to manufacture their chips or couch for their technology because it would make their other clients obsolete! Smells a bit fishy to me, really...

    David E. Weekly []

  • A very simple question: when and where can I get this hard drive? IBM has actually been announcing its existance for some time now, but you'll notice that neither IBM nor its associates are actually selling the thing. Apparently, making interesting press releases about not-yet-released products is good enough to get us excited. (Which is true; I'm a sucker for this sort of thing.)

    All the same, it would be nice if they actually said when and where we could buy these and how much they will cost. I mean, if it's going to be $1000 for a 75Gb HDD, and they're going to be on sale in Korea in five months, then it's not such an exciting announcment, neh? On the other hand if they're on sale later today at Fry's, Egghead, and for $150 each, this is one of the most kickass revolutions in storage history. I'm guessing that the truth is somewhere inbetween those two extremes; I'd just like to know where.

    David E. Weekly []

  • 75 gigs of porn is much more impressive.

    I'd be hard pressed to find *2* gigs of DECENT porn.

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • Patient: "Doctor, it hurts when I bend my arm this way."

    Doctor: "Don't bend your arm that way."


    Consumer: "Whenever I drop my hard drive, the glass platter breaks."

    Corporation: "Don't drop the hard drive."

    Seriously, I've never dropped a hard drive (save the one that I threw across the driveway), so what kind of conditions do you have that this would actually be a problem? Are you actually that clumsy that you have to buy ruggedized equipment just to make sure it survives? ;P

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • Only OEMs for now. As far as I could dig out the drive is not to be sold on the open market for a while. Dell, IBMs own PC division, etc have backlogged it quite a long way up the production queue.

    Note 1: this drive despite the antishock stuff uses a glass plate so dragging it around is very unwise.
    Note 2: most bioses will choke on such a beast for quite a while anyway. So unless you have a hardware IDE raid with recent firmware it does not worth using in selfassembled stuff at least for now.
  • Even in parody it's funny how people complain about the paperclip. It isn't that hard to turn off, just call Cthulhu.
  • Supposedly the same exponential growth of the exponential growth (exponent**exponent) also applies to the power/cost of computing devices (although I don't have any data to support that). This is according to some MIT professor who wrote some book (of course I can't remember either -- if you're reading this and really interested, email me and I'll try and find the author/book).

    Of course if it's true that either storage or CPU power is growing exponentially, and the groth is also growing exponentially, what happens when the groth is a straight vertical line? Infinate storage and CPU power? Do we hit a glass ceiling defined by such laws as the speed of light? Hummm...

  • Hmm... Don't know about system noise per se. If I do listen with headphones for sound editing and such, it's a pair of Denon D750s. I've never noticed anything, except for glaring skips and wooshy encodes.
    But then again, I'm not expecting quality in an MP3, so I don't mind hearing them through my cheap $15 speakers.
    Plus, I don't listen to CD's on the computer, because I have a stereo and Mission 701s sitting in the same room: why eat bread when you can have steak?

    I think a lot of the problems stems from over-expectations of a generation that grew up listening only to tapes and CDs. You wouldn't have believed the bitching on when her "Post" album came out: one of the tracks had added vinyl surface noise and "skipped" at the end, and people were angry that their CD wasn't 100% noise-free and perfect! Some people... ;)

  • a) I WANT SCSI! Give me this drive in Ultra2 Wide SCSI, and then we'll talk :)
    b) you comment on sound cards introducing too much noise into a system; score +1 for a Mac: built in 4 channel 44.1KHz/16 bit audio since the 68040 days. Nowadays, you can mix even more channels, it is only dependant on how much memory is free for the System.
    I've often heard PC folk complain that one reason against getting a Mac is that "you can't upgrade the soundcard." "Upgrade" to what?

    As for MP3, come join the bitrate discussions/flame wars in alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.d on Mondays. You wouldn't believe the crap that gets posted in the name of "Quality," the most amusing I can recall was Nine Inch Nails albums encoded in 320kbs in Joint Stereo! Jeez, talk about shooting yourself in the foot! :)
    If you're after quality, don't use MP3. But if you do it *correctly* 128 VBR/HQ or 160 VBR/HQ will do for 99% of the music out there. Anything higher is a waste of drive/NNTP server space.

  • But if you take your fingers and snap the very tip of the tail off, the entire structure will instantly POP and disentigrate into a pile of sand!

    Have you seen this done/done it yourself, or merely read about it? I've read about this phenomenon (National Geographic had an article on glass a while back), and I understood that it would actually shatter. Based on that, I don't think that holding it in your hand would be a good idea...

    And that, my son, is why you would never want to live in a world without glass.
    Glass is SiO2. Life without SiO2 means a shortage of either Si or O2. Shortage of O2 => death. Shortage of Si => no computers. That horible decision is why I would never want to live in a world without glass.
  • I'm no material scientist, but I believe that you can make glass very strong, especially if you don't need it to be transparent. The article claims that the glass platters are quieter and are more stable at high speeds. If that's the case, then why is IBM only making 5400 and 7200 RPM drives with them? Seagate just showed off a 15k RPM drive that aparently used aluminum. Also, why are they bringing this new technology right to the desktop market? Wouldn't a higher capacity, more stable hard drive be ideal for a server? Even worse than that, I only saw an IDE version of these drives. The hard core home user that would want this kind of insane capacity would almost certainly have a SCSI setup. Anyway, it probably pisses off the MPAA to see "The number of DVDs you can store" as a de facto measure of hard drive capactiy...and that makes me happy.


  • There's quite a lot of information at /glass .flow/ [] that suggests glass flow is indeed a myth.
  • Actually, glass has been described as a "liquid", as it tends to "flow" over millenia. I can't confirm where I heard this, but yes, my guess would be that the glass in a HD platter would "droop" over time (lots of it) unless sufficiently reinforced.

    My guess would be that it is sufficiently reinforced, probably a plexiglass of some sort, but I honestly couldn't say for sure. But over the period of time in which such structural failure would happen it is likely that you could back up the 75 GB on a disk the size of a pin head.

  • Serial ATA [], which is the next evolutionary step for consumer and desktop computers, will not suffer from this hardware limitation.

    The spec includes a four-wire interface, meaning we can finally say goodbye to filling our cases with cables, lower voltages (= less power drain since ATA requires 5V while SerialATA doesn't.) Plus, of course, plenty of transfer oomph. The first version is 1.5Gbps, scaling up to 6Gbps. Of course, it still doesn't try to replace SCSI. It never will.

    (This has been discussed [] on slashdot before.)

  • I mean come on, this is getting about as cliche as saying, "Let's see them make a Beowulf cluster out of them!"

    Can we not just admire the wonderful size of the drive without resorting to the same ol', same ol' cheese factor of X hours of MP3s. You know what? I don't honestly think I could find 1500 hours of MP3s that I all like. Hell, I'm surprised when the 15k RPM drives came out there wasn't a post about how fast you could copy your MP3s. Let's get a more useful benchmark.
  • I seem to remember an article in Sci-Am a few years ago about the strength of glass. Glass is in itslef extremely strong and durable, but tiny quatities of water make it vulerable to fracture. This is why when you use a glass cuttter to cut a window pane, you score it, rub a bit of spit into the scoring and tap.

    Even a single molecule of water sitting in a microfracture can sit in the leading edge of the crack and help "catalyze" the development of a macroscopic crack. Work is going on to develop self-healing coatings that will flow into nicks and scrapes and displace water, which will eventually allow the use of glass in applications requiring high structural strength.

    Since the inside of the hard disk is probably pretty dry, the glass platters probably highly polished (few places for cracks to start) and coated, I suppose that glass is plenty strong enough.
  • 400-600TB?

    We would need some type of distributed computing client to do the defrag. It would take the time of the universes existence to defrag that thing with a 7th generation x86 CISC CPU.
  • Ah, I wasn't considering the radiation angle... I'd hope that the metal casing around the drive and the system case would be sufficient for most of this... most background radiation should be defeated by these, especially if you consider the additional metal surrounding it for mounting... three layers of metal. Not too bad.
  • I use my Denon D350's at work (with the RS/6k CD drive), and a set of Grado SR-120s at home... (as we go further and further off topic)... I listen to all my CDs through my stereo also (Rotel CD, amp - still waiting for my Vandersteen 2ce's). The amount of noise is a lot better with the better filtering on newer sound cards and newer motherboards (not to mention smoother supplies), which does help a lot. But again, you get used to the 'steak' pretty quickly (I just moved, and I haven't found the right position for my speakers yet - it's driving me a little insane), so computer world audio is a good step down... and you can't even blame it on road noise 8^D

    Gotta say that sound cards have come a long way from my Pro-Audio Spectrum and Gravis Ultrasound... and the PC Speaker on my XT running Civilization 8^)
  • The listed info says the following:

    7,200 rpm, six capacities: 75/60/45/30/20/15 GB, 1 to 5 glass diskplatters, 11.2 billion bits areal density, 8.5 ms average seek time, 444 Mb/s maximum media data rate, up to 100 MB/s host data rate, 2 MB buffer, 3.0 to 3.6 Bels, giant magnetoresistive (GMR) recording heads, load/unload technology.
  • Note the debunking of the glass flow issue below, and on many urban myth pages. It may be a liquid, but the flow rate isn't visible within a lifetime. Old windows are thicker at the bottom than at the top because they made them that way (poorer methods) and installed them with the thicker ends down (for support). Considering the drive will probably have a 5 year warantee and a 7-10 lifespan, I wouldn'd worry about it too much.
  • True, but off-site backups are the real issue, with father->grandfather rotations. If your office goes up in smoke, both hard drives are melted... not good. Unless of course, you intend to get three or four drives, and ship them offsite every night/week, like with tapes...
  • Well, there *is* a such thing as lossless compresion, where the original wav data is perfectly reconstructed, so there's no need to store the whole wav.

    And speaking from an audiophile perspective, the quality of computer soundcards / speakers (even the *nice* ones) causes far more loss than the mp3 compression (the best codecs, anyway). If you want halfway decent sound from your computer, you need an outboard DAC - computer sound cards are all very noisy, even the SB Live Value/X-Gamer/Platinum/Dilithium (which so many seem to love). You have to get the data stream out of the box with the noisy power supply and the millions upon millions of switching transistors (and especially hard drives - you can hear most drives seeking in most sound cards without even trying too hard).

    Of course, with all of the crap background noise in Quake, etc you hardly notice it, but somehow a quality recording just doesn't come across as well...
  • Mmm, lets just send all of the company's vital data across the internet from "a friend". I'll keep mine with a data vault, who has all sorts of legally binding contracts. That and a few hundred gigs is going to take far too long over DSL/cable. The point was that in most cases, you aren't going to remove the drive you are backing up to, so it isn't an adequate solution. I suppose you could use a hot swap bay, but then you would probably rather use a DLT or DAT autoloader (24GB dat * 6 isn't too bad), and the transfer rates *far* exceed that of a WAN link, assuming you want to grind your entire network to a halt to restore one server (robbing Peter to pay Paul sorta thing).
  • Yup, I want SCSI, too - and (see some other post somewhere on this story) I'm sure that there will be an Ulrastar U2W coming out soon enough (well, not soon *enough*, but soonish).

    My C-64 had/s three channel sound - I thought that was pretty killer compared to the Apple ][s of the day...

    The real problem (as I see it) is having the sound card running on the same power supply as the rest of the system - not always the sound card introducing noise itself. The Macs fall into the same camp here, there's still a lot of switchin noise...

    I suppose the 1337 d00dz have to have the newest, best, most artifical multi-channel setup available for games (I do like 4-channel for some games, myself), but I've still got my Ensoniq Soundscape (from 1995) in my box, and it still has as good/better MIDI than the SB Live Value I have... not a lot of improvement in this area by most cards (see similar rant on 2D graphic speeds on hte Matrox G400 story).

    I agree, people go a little crazy on the MP3s (high bitrate + joint stereo = why?), and I think that most people don't/can't hear (don't care about) the differences in a lot of the higher bitrate stuff. Compare 44.1/16 to 96/24, and most people can't tell much of a difference (especially on cheap equipment) for home audio stuff, and the higher encoding rates on MP3s get lost on the crappy equipment. If you are running an outboard Mark Levinson (or NAD, Rotel, Parasound, Adcom, etc) DAC hooked to a nice amp (maybe not quite a Krell or McIntosh) running to a decent set of speakers (Vandersteen, Theil, B&W, etc.), then you might hear a difference, but Joe Blow with a soundcard output driver runing into the speaker that "came with my computer" or an Aiwa bookshelf unit is going to lose all of the better information anyway, so yes, it is pointless...

    NIN does have a lot of high frequency stuff (random noisy clanks and such) that don't sound quite the same in lower bitrates, but I won't argure your point on that 8^)
  • "Ah yes", he says while looking at his own Mat Sci book... The cold flow rate is much higher for older, non-tempered glass, this is true. However, it's not quite to the point of whole inches, it's still far less. The crystal structure of normal soda glass (SiO2) isn't nearly as intertwined as some polymer chains, and is rather layered in many cases (especially with older windows). I haven't seen many 400 year old windows lately, but the 100 year old ones certainly do not show large signs of flow. The flow constant changes with glass composition (including doping - like Pyrex), heat, stress, etc, but is several orders of magnitude below obvious change during a lifespan. If I could see some glass that is 'dripping' over a sill, then I'd be worried ;-)
  • In addition, the new products are the first IBM desktop drives to use load/unload technology. This feature parks the recording heads off the disk surface when not in use, dramatically increasing the amount of shock the drive can handle when not in use.
    This is kind of a minor issue, but on my old 286, there is a command that does the same thing
    Not quite... You used to have to issue a command to park the heads on a hard drive, but this is done automatically now. When a hard drive spins down, the read/write heads actually touch the disk surface (they don't actually touch the surface when in use - they 'fly' over it). 'Parking' put the heads on an area of the disk that isn't used for data, since if the heads bounce on a data area it could damage the surface.

    IBM's new drive doesn't let the heads ever touch the surface (if it's working properly). This should help it's shock resistance since nothing should ever be bumping into the platters. This is new, and should be posted under the 'why didn't they think of that earlier' topic. :)

  • Oh. You mean hard links.

  • Could we give up on the symlinks issue please? The original Slashdot mention of that was a knee-jerk reaction. Microsoft is talking about something beyond that (i.e. automatically determining when files are copies of each other and replacing one with a link to the other; think reference counting for files).
  • Thinking back on the storage I've had over the years...

    Back in the mid 80's I had a 40mb SCSI hard drive (it still works too, believe it or not)

    A couple of years later I had an 50mb drive, then a 120mb drive, then a 340mb drive. That was on my old atari =).

    At some point I bought a PC with a 4.3gb drive, added a 6.4gb drive, and now I've got a 27gb drive.

    It's kind of funny looking at the curve seems.....exponential. :)

    (Right now, I'm using about 32gb of the 37gb available...)
  • What about a 'Vaporware Du Jour' Slashbox? Naw, most of the stuff would reflect badly on MS, and everyone knows Slashdot is a huge Microsoft evangelist!

    Back to your idea: What about a 'dicksize war' Slashbox containing not only the tops in hard drives, but processors, ram technology, and video cards? It would make for an interesting perspective on the escalation of aggression going on in commodity hardware these days..
  • Actually SiO2 is just one type of glass. And probably the most common.

    I read about the shattering-teardrop effect. But "they" said that holding it in your hand is harmless, because it doesn't break into shards, it turns into very fine sand. It doesn't really explode... just "poof" it's sand! Obviously it's better to try it in somebody else's hand, and not your own.
  • ...such as plate tectonics or unexpected mountain ranges.

    I wonder how long it would take for the glass to flow towards the outside of the disc.

    Probably a few hundred thousand years. Old windows are "warped" due to the manufacturing method... let me see if I can remember this correctly, but back in those days, the molten glass sheet was wrapped around a wooden cylinder, then cut on one side and rolled out flat. The sheet was usually thicker in the middle (I think) and then cut down the middle again, so that you'd have panes with one end of greater thickness. The panes were installed with the thicker, heavier end down for stability reasons.
    Glass is an amorphous solid with a strange viscosity/temperature curve. In fact, the shape of the curve depends on the rate of cooling.
    At room temperature (or hard drive temperature), glass still technically will flow since it's not crystalline, but it flows on a geological time scale. Before the platters on a hard drive warp, you'd probably have to worry about protecting your data center against pesky occasional ice ages.

    As a slight off-topic aside, glass is some really Amazing Stuff. You can drop a teardrop-shaped blob of glass into some water to cool. If it hardens without cracking, you'll have this solid blob of glass with a very long, thin tail. It has enormous amounts of internal stress due to the fast cooling.
    You can hit the big blob end hard with a hammer and it won't break. But if you take your fingers and snap the very tip of the tail off, the entire structure will instantly POP and disentigrate into a pile of sand! And that, my son, is why you would never want to live in a world without glass.

  • Note 1: this drive despite the antishock stuff uses a glass plate so dragging it around is very unwise.

    Why would anyone put glass in something that is supposed to be resistant to damage? Will this ever change? I will never buy something like this with the potential to store massive ammounts of my previous data when the next passing small earthquake, large truck, or thunder storm could destory it.

    Note 2: most bioses will choke on such a beast for quite a while anyway. So unless you have a hardware IDE raid with recent firmware it does not worth using in selfassembled stuff at least for now.

    They are still doing that little dance again? I thought I had it bad with my 486 that won't accept any of the new hd's. What logical reason do bios chips have for limiting drive size? Why not define say a max size of 999TB or something. Maybe I am an idiot but why the arbitrary limitations?
  • At home I use my old HDs as backup devices. What I like best about this is the random-access nature of old-file retrieval and viewing one gets from using a disk as a backup.

    Plan 9 from Bell Labs had an interesting backup system that I've never seen elsewhere. They backed up to a CDRW-farm every night that had storage capacity for 3 years of nightly backups. It didn't use as much space as one would think since they employed a custom backup filesystem that reused storage when a file hadn't changed from one night to the next. The beauty of this system was its ease of perusual and restoration of files. The nightly backup was an exact image that one could cd into, just like for a normal disk based filesystem. Everything, of course, was read-only, even if the write-permission bit was set.
  • With that much space, why in the world would you need to defrag anything? Just use a journaling file system & be able to recover versions of any given file 10,000 versions back...
  • I assume that they've drop-tested them, but just how rigid are the glass platters? And what kind of glass? I mean, if I drop a standard-issue hard drive on the floor, it might never work again, but I can do (or have done) some kind of data recovery. There's not much you can do with shards of broken glass except get cuts on your fingers.

    Also, isn't glass fairly unstable on a geological time scale? I realize that it would make very little difference in a device that isn't designed to last forever, but doesn't glass deform (albeit very very slowly)?

    I wish they had said what kind of glass they were using.

  • Yes, but you all missed the press release this morning from MS...

    Redmond, WA MicroSoft announced today the formation of the Windows 2003 team. Bill Gates said "Windows 2003 will be the best release of Windows ever." He also claimed that "Windows 2003 will use 40 gigabytes of Hard Disk space in order to give the users more of what they want, which as we all know, are pictures of all those Babe-Watch chicks!" As a concession to the Linux community, Mr Gates also stated "We will also be including a selection of Natalie Portman Pictures as well, ".


  • I'm getting 580 g -- if I'm remembering the dimensional stuff correctly -- gotta convert w to radians and r to meters, right?:

    I had the disc diameter as 10cm, so radius r = 0.05m, not 0.01m as you have in your calculation. So I get 580 * 5 = 2900 g (I just let g = 10 m/s^2 for simplicity, hence the rounding error). Of course, I don't know the actual diameter of the disc - I just took an order of magnitude guess :-)


    Toby Haynes

  • If they get a little cheaper, it would be faster, and more than likely cheaper in the long run just to Mirror the drives rather than just dumping to tape. Although I would end up not using the mirrored drive as a true mirror, If I was lucky enough to have two 75Gb drives, I'd use 'em collectively.
  • What? 75,000 MB * 1 min / MB * 1 hour/60 min = 1250 hours.

    I too used to smoke bad crack before posting to slashdot. Never a pretty sight tho.

  • I seem to remember reading an article in a magazine saying that data error rates depend more upon physical disk size than anything else, and that as information density increases, the mean time between errors decreases drastically. Thus, bigger hard drives = more hard drive crashes.

    Does anyone else have information on this, or remember where the article was?

  • Yup, you're right. I meant to include that in the 1 GB limit of Screen Savers/Sounds/Desktop themes/AVI's :)

  • Remember when CD-roms started becoming popular?
    Normal HD's had a maximum capacity of a few hunderd megs and cd's could store such huge amounts of data.

    Those 6 gigs of dvd space is getting really old really quick now. Wonder how long it will take for someone to release a new media with capacity that really makes a difference (like HDTV)?

    If this continues it will start making sense storing movies on hd's. When that day comes we can kiss DVD goodbye :)
  • Almost pratcial for a home user or small server perhaps, but there's no way I'm going to sit around and load CD's to do a multi-gigabyte backup of a corporate server every night.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16, 2000 @06:01AM (#1197771)
    IBM's 75G UltraStar can do 2G/sec tranfers using optical datapath, 4.9ms seek times, and 10,000 RPM.. check out the page here [].

    The IBM Ultrastar 72ZX and Ultrastar 36LZX drives offer high capacity and superior performance for demanding server environments. As the fourth generation of the IBM Ultrastar 10,000 RPM disk drive family, these drives offer storage capacities up to 73.4 GB, average seek times of 4.9 ms, giant magnetorisistive (GMR) advanced head technology, and the latest technological advances, such as more powerful actuator motors, active damping, and leading-edge interfaces. The new Ultra160+ SCSI interface with packetization and quick arbitration select (QAS), as well as 2 Gbit/sec Fibre Channel speeds (data transfer rate), provides the fastest interface technology.
  • by dattaway ( 3088 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @10:01AM (#1197772) Homepage Journal
    Note 1: this drive despite the antishock stuff uses a glass plate so dragging it around is very unwise.

    Glass is very strong. Worry about the heads smashing pits in the surface media.

    I work in the manufacturing industry where we use encoders of a high density glass disk to accurately measure the speed of large DC and AC motors up to 400 vibrating and earthshaking horsepower. These encoders are directly bolted to the motor's iron frame. The encoder's metal body often suffers from physical damage from hammers and other mechanic's tools. Yet the glass disk will not shatter unless the shaft is hammered to slide through the bearings.
  • I've often considered that it would be really nifty for the people with large (partially empty) hard drives and fast network connections to band together to create a community version of "@Backup" -- for every two bytes that you're willing to store on the network, you get to store one byte of yours in two places. Your data is encrypted and sent to two locations known to have a reasonable uptime. Other locations store their encrypted data on your drive in exchange. If at any point one of the two servers you put your data on goes down, you make another copy of those bytes to another machine.

    There are, of course, a number of issues that would need to be worked out. A lot of people might try and cheat the system, for instance, so we'd have to figure out a way to implement some sort of trust/verification network. But all-in-all I think that this would make for a fabulously useful product for all of mankind. Most people end up losing their data because frankly off-site backups are quite difficult and/or expensive. We should make the process easy for folks.

    There might exist the possibility of combining this technology with a project like Freenet...distributed storage and distributed serving of information aren't that far off from each other in the grand scheme of things...

    David E. Weekly []

  • by eyeball ( 17206 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @05:59AM (#1197774) Journal
    Is there a Moore's law for harddrives space? Could we continue doubling space every 18 days! At that rate, by the end of the year, a harddrive could actually hold every bit of data ever produced!

  • by debrain ( 29228 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @08:53AM (#1197775) Journal
    Actually, it is *almost* more practical to back up to CD's and CD-RW's than to tapes. It is, of course, circumstantial, but high-volume CD-R purchases do have a very low overhead cost, they are fast to read/write, but aren't particularly big.
  • by Haven ( 34895 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @05:59AM (#1197776) Homepage Journal
    why get this one when the 90 gigabyte solid state hard drives are coming out Q2 this year. Check out the slashdot article [].
  • by Tower ( 37395 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @06:09AM (#1197777)
    The new glass platters allow for greater areal density, decreasing the error rate. Check out <A HREF=" 1AB873630970852568A3004E28F6">the press release</A> for a litle more on the platters... I'll try to find a more technical article, but the gis of it is that the glass doesn't expand like the aluminun does with heat, so your data can be closer together on the drive. There's also less friciton with the air, so there isn't as much heat to start with.
  • by Tower ( 37395 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @06:12AM (#1197778)
    Considering a 1.6GB solid state drive costs >$2k right now, even the larger size won't pull hte prices down that much, and the amount of storage you can get for the price in DMA (or even SCSI) relative to the solid state is rather amazing...
  • by Tower ( 37395 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @06:55AM (#1197779)
    It shouldn't be long until the Ultrastar line show the 10k U2W versions of these, I would think (I have no real information). But with that 444Mb/s media transfer rate, two of these drives could saturate a U2W link... especially with the 2MB cache on it.

    One issue is that for the larger servers (read: psycho RAID setups), the advantages are gained by having the most arms (physical drives), so all of the seek times are lowered, and transfer rates can be maxed out. Many people reluctantly started moving to 9GB and 18GB arms for their RAID systems - more capacity, but for heavy database usage, you want more arm for the same capacity point - the gain in performance is more important than the rise in price in many cases. You could trow together a pretty massive tower with 40s or 75s, and the transfer rates are really good, but again, the performance of the system as a whole is important. If you are building a 2TB db, would you rather have your data spread across ~60 drives (40GB) or ~265 (9GB). Data safety and performace both call for smaller individual arms here.
  • I thought that 'glass flow' was a myth and that the reason that old windows are thicker at the base is a result of imprecise manufacturing processes ~400 years ago. If you made a sheet of glass that was thicker on one side, which side would you put at the bottom of the window?

    Anyone know about glass flow that can confirm/deny this?

    It's not a COMPLETE myth, but Glass won't flow at room temperature. My father used to do construction and demolition and renovations and such. I was helping him out at the site of a fire in an older house, and the windows were visibly melted, they LOOKED as if they were flowing liquid. So I imagine that's where some of the myths about glass being a liquid comes from. People see older burned out houses with melted glass and don't think about the fire having melted it.


  • I thought that 'glass flow' was a myth and that the reason that old windows are thicker at the base is a result of imprecise manufacturing processes ~400 years ago. If you made a sheet of glass that was thicker on one side, which side would you put at the bottom of the window?

    Anyone know about glass flow that can confirm/deny this?


    Yellow tigers crouched in jungles in her dark eyes.
  • by technos ( 73414 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @06:08AM (#1197782) Homepage Journal
    Bad idea.. Remember Win95 OSR2? The OS ate 80 megs of CD space, the demos ate another 100.. What did they do with the rest of the space??

    Weezer video.

    Watch; Billy boy will call down to R+D and ask them for a statically compiled version of Windows2000 / IIS5 / Office 2000. That ought to kill 60G. What will they do with the rest of the space??

    Weezer video.

    'Buddy Holly' at 1600x1200x32 30fps sounds about right.
  • by Lion-O ( 81320 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @06:21AM (#1197783)
    Sure, more storage capacity means we can do & store more data which is good news I guess. But storage expansion also means software developing companies can use even more marges for their software sizes.

    Take a look at Windows; back in the old days it was big (I crammed 1.0 onto 2 5.25" disks which made it a 'smaller' (not needed) menu) but when storage capacity increased so did the Windows environment as did other software.

    20Mb should be more then enough. Heck; if you want to use a NT workstation with some developing environments & graphical applications 1Gb can be a very small space.

    But did all this extra capacity really made the software better then it was before? I doubt it. Therefor I think it will be really interesting to see when the datacapacity-expansion is coming to an end.

  • by jkorty ( 86242 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @10:13AM (#1197784) Homepage
    The IDE interface has only enough wires for 256GB. This disk is interesting in that at 75GB we are getting within shouting distance of this hard limit. Perhaps in the future all disks will be SCSI. Or perhaps we will go to a block size larger than 512bytes. Or maybe we will even add more wires to the IDE interface, or multiplex the existing wires more efficiently.
  • by tjwhaynes ( 114792 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @06:26AM (#1197785)

    How do they make the glass strong enough? Is it somehow reinforced with strengthening fibers or similar?

    It doesn't need strengthening - glass has a greater tensile strength than aluminium. What glas s does suffer though is brittle fracture, so I suspect that there is some interesting method for checking the surface for minor cracks which might later propagate through the platter.

    What I wonder about is what happens to the platters after a long period of use. Glass is a viscous liquid after all - 400 year old glass windows are measurably thicker at the bottom than at the top because of this flow. If you consider that the centripetal force required to keep the disc together is much higher than gravity, I wonder how long it would take for the glass to flow towards the outside of the disc.


    Toby Haynes

  • by Dave The Magni ( 133118 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @07:31AM (#1197786)

    Glass does not "flow".

    Really, you could look it up if you wanted, but the usual citation against the slow flow of glass is old ground and polished lenses. Accuracy of these lenses is measured in fractions of a light wave front, so if a 500 year old window shows visually perceptable flow, certainly it would show up in a 100-200 year old lens?

    It hasn't happened yet.

    See the FAQ [] for more details.

  • by Liz Jobber ( 159498 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @06:50AM (#1197787)
    Like it or lump it, this can't be a bad thing. IBM aren't known solely for their production of storage media, but as long as they keep stretching the limits of current technology then we will all benefit. What have the other storage media manufactures got to do now? Compete or fail.

    As a small side issue, compare the image of IBM against Microsoft in say 1992.

    Compare the images of the two today. Both large corporations, one has developed with the times, the other is Microsoft.

    Bill Goats blows gates or something like that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16, 2000 @06:02AM (#1197788)
    The storage potential here is amazing. No longer do I have to save every penny to purchase an expensive RAID array just to get the storage I need to pirate illegal .mp3s. I'm almost embarrased to say how much I've spent trying to get something for nothing. It would have been cheaper had I just bought the relevant cds.

    Take, for example, the other day. Drives 4, 7 and 18 were corrupted (I always thought tang was good for computers. Sigh. If that's what it does to a hard drive, I wonder what it's doing to ME?!?!), so I needed to hop a bus down to the local CompUSA (the finest in computer supplies) and replace them. Fortunately, no data was lost, god bless redundancy. It took me three months to find all of those Menudo .mp3s, and I wasn't about to go through that again. I still have bruises, and I think the cut over my left eye might scar. Anyway, I'm on the bus, credit card in my pocket, and this guy approaches me. I don't really know what his deal is, but he decides to dance at me. Not FOR me, mind you, but AT me. It was a very spiteful and angry dance. He starts humming louder and louder, to the tune of "Pop Goes the World" by Men Without Hats (and the ultra-rare Pet Shop Boys remix that I downloaded last week, so it was still fresh in my mind). As you can imagine, I was quite terrified and didn't know what to do. I thought I'd just give him a quarter, but all I had in my pocket was some lint and a beer bottle cap. So I gave him that. He tittered gleefully and skipped to the back of the bus. I'm not sure which of us was more relieved that it was over. The bus stopped, and I got off.

    However, as that I was distracted, I missed my intended stop. Rather than wait for another bus, I decided to walk (it was really only about six blocks away). It was a nice enough day, but I wasn't too excited about the walk; I knew I'd have to cross the bridge. The last time I tried to cross the bridge, I was molested by seven punk trolls. Let me tell you, THAT was an experience I'd prefer to just forget. But I was wasting time that I could be downloading with, so I couldn't wait for the next bus. I swallowed my pride and started walking.

    The bridge shone in the afternoon sun, the water below twinkling in a very pleasing manner. Broad daylight, of course! Trolls can't come out in the day, for they'd be turned to stone!!! I proceeded with confidence to walk across the bridge, when I was approached by a man in a trenchcoat whistling ("Earth Died Screaming" by Tom Waits, but don't quote me on that. The batteries on my Rio had died, so I couldn't check). I tried to keep walking, but he kept blocking my path (with tires, and toaster ovens, and I can't remember what else).

    "excuse me" I said, trying to be polite, but holding back my rage. I was missing a file trade appointment. "oh," he said, "were you trying to get by?" and suddenly he whips out this wheel of cheese and starts beating me over the head with it! Goddamn trolls!!! "shouldn't you be stone" I cried inbetween strikes (it was a particularly mild cheddar, and didn't hurt much, other than my pride).

    "no" he grinned "since our true saviour Natalie Portman has been petrified, the Nostrils have been appeased, and no troll needs to be turned to stone ever again" He couldn't mask his unadultered glee. everything a troll could ever want was his. He laughed and ran away, ending his assault just as randomly as it had begun.

    All of this because I didn't have enough storage space. Thank you IBM that I may never have to endure this again. thankyoutheend
  • by cthonious ( 5222 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @06:52AM (#1197789)
    Tape isn't dead. You still need tapes to store off site backups, and to have several backups from different dates. Backing up data to another disk is only good if you only care about getting "last nights" data back. What about three months ago?

    The disk method is fine for home users with 10GB of mp3z and such, but if you have tons of important data you will still need tape or something like it.
  • by SEWilco ( 27983 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @05:46AM (#1197790) Journal
    Maybe it would be easier to give the "Biggest and Fastest Disk Drives" their own Topic and Slashbox. Then we can just look to the side and see what this week's record is.
  • One thing that distinguishes these drives is that they have glass rather than aluminum platters.

    Since these are soon-to-be available (right now, limited quant. / OEM only) in sizes of a more normal variety* the next hard drive you buy may have glass instead of aluminum holding the data.

    That raises a question I hope someone knows the answer to: How do they make the glass strong enough? Is it somehow reinforced with strengthening fibers or similar? That seems logical, but at the thinness of hard drive platters, wouldn't that make them impractically thick? I'd just hate to drop the box with a new IBM drive in it and hear "CRASH! tinkle, tinkle"


    *Though still /huge/ just a few months & years ago.
  • by Tower ( 37395 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @06:21AM (#1197792)
    Glass is far more stable than the aluminum is, in terms of size / distribution. Remember that aluminum, being a metal, is far more size sensitize to heat (and it does get hot in there) that glass is. The glass surface is smoother and doesn't create as much heat spinning through the air, either, so that's reduced even more. So, throughout the lifetime of the drive, the glass should be more reliable than the old aluminum platters.

    When the drive is off, the R/W heads are parked away from the platters, and the spindle is shock-absorbed, as to offset the glass breakage factor. Normally the R/W heads are parked somewhere on the platter, and vibration/impact can cause contact between the heads and the platters. This is supposed to reduce those problems rather drastically. I've been told that the glass platters can be used in laptops, but I don't kow what kind of glass it is...
  • by dnay ( 86973 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @06:36AM (#1197793)
    Contrary to popular belief, glass is not a liquid. Check out this article from Discover Magazine for a very good explanation of the physics of glass.

    The Physics of ... Glass []

  • by tjwhaynes ( 114792 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @07:37AM (#1197794)

    There's quite a lot of information at /glass .flow/ that suggests glass flow is indeed a myth.

    Interesting. Having actually stood looking at one of the examples of 'glass flow' in a Cathedral (which one escapes me) where there was a thin piece of glass surrounding a hole and much thicker glass at the bottom, the above information makes interesting reading. To summarize the findings of the urbanlegends site, pure glass has next to no chance of flowing at room temperature. Glass carefully laced with particular additives, such as lead crystal or borosilicate glasses, can have further altered properties. Several interesting things do spring to notice though. Firstly, the presence of imperfections in the glass can have a macro effect on the properties of the glass, changing it's maximum tensile strength and possibly the conditions for plastic deformation (which is after all what we are talking about) so with ancient glass the distinctly impure nature of the glass may have an impact. The other point which caught my interest was the part about temperature-dependant plastic flow - the quoted critical figure (for infinite time) here is 270'C. Now I would be worried about my hard drive if it got to that temperature ... :-) Still, a platter spinning at 7200rpm with a diameter of 10cm would experience an acceleration of 2800 g at the edge if I've done my sums correctly (w^2 r for those who are interested, where w is the angular velocity and r is the radius). Of course, its a while since I did my physics degree so I may have got the equation wrong... :-)


    Toby Haynes

  • by kwsNI ( 133721 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @05:53AM (#1197795) Homepage
    To: Bill Gates
    From: kwsNI

    Dear Bill,
    I wanted to officially challenge you to make and operating system large enough to fill this HDD up. Here are my official rules:

    • Less than 100,000 bugs.
    • You're not allowed to take Linux/Unix technology (Like SymLinks) and "make" your own version.
    • There has to be an option to install the OS without those damned ads being displayed throughout the installation.
    • You may not have any more than 1 GB of screen savers/desktop themes/sounds included on the installation.

    So, if you're up to the challenge, let's fill this bad boy up.



  • by bareman ( 60518 ) on Thursday March 16, 2000 @06:04AM (#1197796) Homepage Journal
    When is someone going to come out with an affordable backup system so that we can ensure the reliability of these large data stores?

    Contemporary Cybernetics is actually proud that it costs $1.63 USD /GB to use their drives/media compared to $2.20 /GB to use DLT. Both of these prices are insanely high.

    Backup costs have barely come down in price in the last 7-10 years (only about 40%). While disk space has become about a thousand times more affordable.

    Can someone please come up with a more affordable solution?

  • How do they make the glass strong enough? Is it somehow reinforced with strengthening fibers or similar?
    I'd guess not. These disks are TINY; the 40GV states "an areal density record of 14.3 billion bits per square inch." With 5 platters, you'd only need about 6 square inches per platter, double-sided. You make some assumptions about the hub-diameter ratio, and the diameter comes out to about 2.5 inches. The "exposed" portion of the platter (sticking out beyond the hub) would only be about 5/8 inch (or even less for a larger outside diameter). Plus, they're probably using borosilicate or other glasses which are a lot stronger than soda glass, and on top of that they have to polish them to extremes to get the surface they need with the consequent elimination of stress concentrations from surface defects. All of this adds up to a level of durability you'd never suspect from the result of dropping your tumbler on the kitchen tile.

I came, I saw, I deleted all your files.