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IBM Prepares 100-Terabyte Tape Drives 137

Roland Piquepaille writes "It's a well-known fact that we're living in an era of data explosion, and that it's not about to stop. So it's not really surprising that IBM researchers are eyeing 100T-byte tape drive. Yes, you read correctly. They want to increase the capacity storage of their largest units by 250 times, from 400 GB to 100 TB. In order to achieve this goal, they're borrowing "nanopatterning" techniques derived from the microprocessor division. Today, the size of a tape track is about 10 microns. They want to reduce it to 0.5 micron -- or 500 nanometers -- in about five years. IBM doesn't really say when a 100-Terabyte tape drive will be available. But more importantly, the company doesn't say a word about future data transfer rates, which today reach a 80 MB/s. Read this overview for more comments about this problem of data transfer rates."
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IBM Prepares 100-Terabyte Tape Drives

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  • PR0N! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 26, 2004 @02:10PM (#11185615)
    That's _alot_ of pr0n.
  • by agent dero ( 680753 ) on Sunday December 26, 2004 @02:16PM (#11185641) Homepage
    ...I mean, I'm sure I could back up my entire life to one of these things... ;)

    Seriously, imagine backing up every single thing you've ever heard, seen, or read. 40TB maybe? ;)
    • by MP3Chuck ( 652277 ) on Sunday December 26, 2004 @02:29PM (#11185704) Homepage Journal
      Well ... 74 minutes of stereo 16-bit 44.1khz audio is about 650MB. 8.783MB/minute. For the sake of argument, let's assume a 100 year lifespan. 100 years = 52,594,876.6 minutes. 461,982,024.189 MB (440.580 TB) for 100 years of CD-quality audio. Convert to 128 kb/s MP3 and you're looking at about 44TB, give or take. (128kbps .MP3 is about 1/10 size of a .wav).

      So in a sense you are quite right! :)
    • Just remember that if you use tape to backup... there's a good chance you won't get a valid restore. I wouldn't bet my life on it is all I'm saying...
      • I don't know a whole lot about tape backup, so I'm curious why you said that. Tape backup is pretty popular for large jobs, but is it common to have corrupt data on the tape? Seems to me that if it were the case, tape wouldn't be as popular. What am I missing?
        • Well I'm a little biased having worked for a disk-as-backup company for over 4 years... so...

          here's some links:

          Scroll down about half way [techtarget.com]

          This will give you a good overview of TCO for tape vs. Disk [wwpi.com]

          Do your own research... you'll see the facts for yourself...

          or go here to see the future of backup and restore:

          Avamar Technologies [avamar.com]
          • If it's not offline it's not a backup. As hard disk backups are not offline they are not a backup. That does not mean they don't have a place. They are excellent for recovering that file you just accidently deleted. They can also be good for taking a snapshot of your system, and then doing a more leasurly backup to tape. However they are not in themselves a backup solution.
            • That's an interesting opinion.

              I bet there was a time when someone said the same thing about hard copies of data.... ie: if it's not a hard copy it's not a backup.

              Times are a changing... you'd be surprised to find out how many companies are moving to disk to disk backup solutions, no tape to be found, and they're not looking back.

              my opinion is that if you have a copy of old data you can restore from, you've got a backup.
              • Then you've never taken a DRII certification course. If you can't recover from your facility burning down/earthquake/flood then you don't have backups. And unless you have serious SLAs, you're not going to be running SRDF to a hot site. It's a hell of a lot cheaper to back up to tape and ship those to Iron Mountain. If you have > 24 hours recovery time from smoke and rubble, tape is still the way to go.
    • >> I'm sure I could back up my entire life to one of these things

      I think the shelf life for this media will be a bit less than your shelf life.
      Sounds like they're packing the data in REALLY tight. What kind of physical degradation will take place over time?
    • by nyri ( 132206 ) on Sunday December 26, 2004 @05:11PM (#11186405)
      I'm sure I could back up my entire life to one of these things

      I heard that the information flux you receive trough your sensory devices (eyes, ears, etc.) is 20Gb/s. This value is purely anecdotal but it does sound right. For the sake of the argument, let's pretend that the value is correct.

      Let's assume that you live 100years=3 153 600 000s =~ 3Gs. This means that experience being you can be stored to 60Pb. Of cause we need to know your genetic make-up but that is peanuts compared to 60Pb. 60Pb is 75 100TB tapes. This means that if you can compress your sensory data to 1/75=1.4% from the original size, you can, in fact, store your whole life to one of these tapes.

      The compression rate is, in my humble opinion, reachable. First of all, people spend most of their life sleeping. Second of all people ignore most of the data they receive. And third, the perception of the world is far from chaotic and therefore compressible.

      So yes, you are correct: These tapes are capable to store entire human life, if we come up with a mean to record it.
    • the capacity of your brain. your brain has about 100Gig of neurons. each with about 1000 connections to other neurons each associated with a "weight" that store the information. so if we assume 16bit weight.. we have a raw 200TByte of information storage in your brain...a lot of this is propablay wasted for basic live functioning....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 26, 2004 @02:16PM (#11185642)
    What do they have in mind, they want to build the world's largest Turing machine?
  • Laser holography ?
    • That is exactly what I was thinking. It is only a couple of months since there was a Slashdot story about a CD sized optical disk that using Collinear Holographic techniques can store 1TB http://www.optware.co.jp/english/index_what.htm [optware.co.jp]. Now if instead of having a rotating rigid plastic disk, you have a long piece of flexible plastic wraped on a spindle, that just happens to be in the same form factor as a DLT tape, then at the same storage density one tape would store approximately 185TB of data.

      However tr
  • by MMC Monster ( 602931 ) on Sunday December 26, 2004 @02:18PM (#11185651)
    If anyone can do it, it's big blue. I remember when they first USB key drives were widely available from IBM. 8mb and 16mb form factors. I talked to a guy I knew at IBM, who smiled at me and told me to expect 1 GB form factors within a year. (Not that I would be able to afford them. :-) ) The boys at IBM can create anything they put their minds to. Marketing is another matter.
  • "Never under estimated the bandwith of a station wagon full of tapes..." http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A678576 [bbc.co.uk]

    Pshaaah... I say.
    Never underestimate the bandwidth of a 100GB tape in my pocket.

    ps: We do all realize that, if these ever make it to the consumer market, approximately 99.9% of these will be bought for the "backup" of copyrighted material, right... ?
    • Pshaaah... I say. Never underestimate the bandwidth of a 100GB tape in my pocket.
      And I thought you were just pleased to see me...
    • 99.9% of these will be used by corporation and governmant agencies.

    • Tapes have never been a consumer item. They are slow (well, not too bad, but in terms of read/write speed vs. capacity). They are also hobbled by the fact that they are a linear media, and reading or writing any one thing to a tape take forever. As such, 99.9% of tapes are used by businesses to store their data, which for the most part is not pirated copyrighted material.
    • ps: We do all realize that, if these ever make it to the consumer market, approximately 99.9% of these will be bought for the "backup" of copyrighted material, right... ?

      Given that I work in a TV station, we have to save shows pretty much indefinitely due to Library of Congress requirements. We save our shows at 12 MBits and 50 Mbits and have around 11 thousand hours of new programming each year. Our current Petabyte tape backups system is not enough. With this thing, we might actually be able to keep
  • ... a beowulf cluster of these !
    At least with some striping, they can resolve the speed issue.

    (yay I know it's the 10^14th time we mention beowulf)
  • Data transfer rates (Score:5, Interesting)

    by IO ERROR ( 128968 ) * <error@@@ioerror...us> on Sunday December 26, 2004 @02:22PM (#11185667) Homepage Journal
    We have to solve the problem of data transfer rates. It is patently silly to wait three days for your 100TB backup to finish.

    I don't know where the solution here will come from, but I expect for the meantime this kind of large capacity will be used more for archival storage of old data than for backup.

    Is there any research out there into the data transfer rate problem?

    • I'm sure there is. IBM (and others) spend a lot of money trying to figure out what will be hot tech in 5-15 years. Whenever this 100TB tape hits the market I would bet IBM will have found a way to make it run at a reasonable speed.
    • "It is patently silly to wait three days for your 100TB backup to finish."

      no, it is not. assuming you have 100TB to fill the entire tape, you probably want that data. And 3 days compared to the time it took to aquire all that data it is probably a drop in the bucket.

      Man ONLY 3 days to get my 100TB data? sweet!

      "Is there any research out there into the data transfer rate problem?"

      No. None what so ever. The couldn't possible be any money in it....

      really, use your head to think, will ya!
      • by TheLink ( 130905 )
        Actually it's not the backing up taking 3 days that IT people should worry about.

        It's how long it takes to restore the data....

        I'm willing to bet it seems longer when the Boss and the Customer is standing behind you making "encouraging noises".

        So far the data transfer rate problem is a reality with most tape drives. So much so that it seems like buying 200GB SATA HDDs for backups is a pretty attractive option. Especially IF you can safely hotswap the SATA HDDs.

        Most modern ATA HDDs can transfer at 40-60M
    • The data transfer rate problem can be solved with money. Recording heads can be designed with a large number of independent tracks. Wider tape allows for more tracks. Better tape handling and servo systems support higher tape speeds. All of this costs serious money, but it can be done.
    • Depends. What if you can run multiple high capacity tapes at the same time? Even if they hit 10TB, software that can deal with 4 drives at once, in some sort of inteligible fashion, might not be bad. Raid5 tapes anyone?
    • Well if you increase data density 250 times you can probably increase data transfer almost the same amount, so in theory these drives will do ~20GB/s. Now today trying to feed data that fast would be a problem since even the fastest Fiberchannel is 10Gb/s or 1GB/s. I imagine in 5 years that they can figure out how to improve Fiberchannel performance a measly 20x =) 1.4 hours to fill a 100TB tape sounds pretty damn good to me!
    • Three days? I calculate that at a transfer rate of 80 MBps, it would take just over 15 days and 4 hours to fill a 100TB tape -- time enough for a decent vacation! But, that's assuming an average transfer rate of 80 MBps. If anything slows down this average transfer rate, every single MB per second less will increase the total backup time by 4.6 hours.
      This seems likely, too. For instance, it sounds like this is going to be a linear drive. The article states that "With its current technology, IBM is now abl
    • It is patently silly to wait three days for your 100TB backup to finish.

      If you're talking about baking up a single 100TB system to a single tape drive, you must not realize that companies use multiple drives in parallel to speed these things up.

      If you're talking about the tape itself, I don't see your point.
  • Heck, even if you were to connect a drive like that to the firewire-800 port (800mbps) port on a new (today) PowerMac G5, it'd take over 277 HOURS to fill that tape! (assuming complete bus saturation and an 8-bit-byte)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 26, 2004 @02:23PM (#11185671)

    Roland Piquepaille and Slashdot: Is there a connection?

    I think most of you are aware of the controversy surrounding regular Slashdot article submitter Roland Piquepaille. For those of you who don't know, please allow me to bring forth all the facts. Roland Piquepaille has an online journal (I refuse to use the word "blog") located at www.primidi.com [primidi.com]. It is titled "Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends". It consists almost entirely of content, both text and pictures, taken from reputable news websites and online technical journals. He does give credit to the other websites, but it wasn't always so. Only after many complaints were raised by the Slashdot readership did he start giving credit where credit was due. However, this is not what the controversy is about.

    Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends serves online advertisements through a service called Blogads, located at www.blogads.com. Blogads is not your traditional online advertiser; rather than base payments on click-throughs, Blogads pays a flat fee based on the level of traffic your online journal generates. This way Blogads can guarantee that an advertisement on a particular online journal will reach a particular number of users. So advertisements on high traffic online journals are appropriately more expensive to buy, but the advertisement is guaranteed to be seen by a large amount of people. This, in turn, encourages people like Roland Piquepaille to try their best to increase traffic to their journals in order to increase the going rates for advertisements on their web pages. But advertisers do have some flexibility. Blogads serves two classes of advertisements. The premium ad space that is seen at the top of the web page by all viewers is reserved for "Special Advertisers"; it holds only one advertisement. The secondary ad space is located near the bottom half of the page, so that the user must scroll down the window to see it. This space can contain up to four advertisements and is reserved for regular advertisers, or just "Advertisers". Visit Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends (www.primidi.com [primidi.com]) to see it for yourself.

    Before we talk about money, let's talk about the service that Roland Piquepaille provides in his journal. He goes out and looks for interesting articles about new and emerging technologies. He provides a very brief overview of the articles, then copies a few choice paragraphs and the occasional picture from each article and puts them up on his web page. Finally, he adds a minimal amount of original content between the copied-and-pasted text in an effort to make the journal entry coherent and appear to add value to the original articles. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Now let's talk about money. Visit http://www.blogads.com/order_html?adstrip_category =tech&politics= [blogads.com] to check the following facts for yourself. As of today, December XX 2004, the going rate for the premium advertisement space on Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends is $375 for one month. One of the four standard advertisements costs $150 for one month. So, the maximum advertising space brings in $375 x 1 + $150 x 4 = $975 for one month. Obviously not all $975 will go directly to Roland Piquepaille, as Blogads gets a portion of that as a service fee, but he will receive the majority of it. According to the FAQ [blogads.com], Blogads takes 20%. So Roland Piquepaille gets 80% of $975, a maximum of $780 each month. www.primidi.com is hosted by clara.net (look it up at http://www.networksolutions.com/en_US/whois/index. jhtml [networksolutions.com] [networksolutions.com]). Browsing clara.net's hosting solutions, the most expensive hosting service is their Clarahost Advanced (http:// [clara.net]
    • Sure its not this [ronco.com] guy?
    • rpiquepa's Recently Accepted Submissions

      It doesn't show how many didn't get accepted, it's possable he submitted 9 billion and only got 12 accepted...
    • Very informative. I think /. should stop linking to that guy's site. And if it does, then he'll probably find some other way to do the same thing. Maybe he'll make a new account and a new website and spend a little time altering the articles he copies.

      Heck, maybe I'll do the same if I'm in the mood for some easy money. What's better than some geeks making money for a geek?
    • I would submit that slashdot should limit publishing Roland Piquepaille submitions simply because they are competitors. Both are publishing a distilation of more authorative articles in the hopes of generating advertising revenues why feed the mouth that bites you?
    • AC, whoever you are, you've done outstanding research, and I salute you.

      I'd make you a Friend, if I knew your ID.

    • Clearly, it is a conspiracy, started by CowboyNeal.
    • I just wish i had mod points. This seems to classic sour grapes from a competitor. This is the only thing that would explain the anonymous coward posts. Is this Roland guy so entrenched in media that we are afraid of him?

      Anyway, cribbing articles into a collection is an age old tradition. There are very few original articles, and people seldom use 'orignal sources' Often the analysis provided by secondary soruces is useful. Ignorance and heeding to complaints is also an age old tradition. I am no

    • Thank you. (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by Ayanami Rei ( 621112 ) *
      Please, all caring slashdotters, I ask the following of you:
      Copy and paste this article as an AC reply every time you see a Roland "Fucky-facey" Piquepaille article. It would remove much AC discussion and it puts quite clearly what so many others have voiced.
  • yes, this will be perfect for my....... "archiving" needs.
  • It'd be about time for the tape drives to get more capacity.

    People are starting to think that having RAID is actually the same thing as backing up your data.

    • Re:It's about time (Score:5, Interesting)

      by GeekDork ( 194851 ) on Sunday December 26, 2004 @02:49PM (#11185801)

      It'd be about time for the tape drives and media to become affordable. Capacity isn't really a problem for normal end-users. What's lacking is drives in the 40-80GB range (DAT anyone?) that don't cost an arm and a leg. Tapes are available in sizes that should even be enough for smaller publishing offices.

      If you need to backup >100GB on tape for personal use, you most likely have a serious legal problem or a porn collection that I'd want to see (the collection, not the problem).

      • If you need to backup >100GB on tape for personal use, you most likely have a serious legal problem

        Yes? I've compressed all my legally bought DVDs and CDs on two 250 GB hard drives. I share the files in my wireless home network so that I can watch/listen to them on my laptop and the computer connected to my AV-system. I'm not at all interested in sharing them outside my home, so I really don't have a legal problem. Nevertheless, I'd really like to back them up at some point so I don't have to rip and X

        • If you need to backup >100GB on tape for personal use, you most likely have a serious legal problem

          Yes? I've compressed all my legally bought DVDs and CDs on two 250 GB hard drives.

          So you're unlikely. The question however is, whether those movies really are vital data that needs to be backed up in case a big rock hits earth. Sure, it is convenient to back your media library up, but it's not really necessary. And there are 160GB S-DLT drives on the market for you to buy, all you need to do is a spl

          • Of course, the drives are a bit expensive at 10k+ Euro, but as far as availability goes, it's not an issue.

            Ok, agreed. I didn't specify the price anywhere in my earlier post...

            whether those movies really are vital data that needs to be backed up in case a big rock hits earth

            I don't think that's the question. At work, I don't make the distinction between vital data and expendable data because most of the time you can't tell what's vital and what's not before you actually lose the data.

            Personally, my

          • Funny thing is that 10K EUD will get you 115x 200GB seagate drives or 23 terabytes , making harddrives by far more economical than any tape drive on the market (in $ per gb (and with intellligent storage more space always = more reliable thanks to FEC))

            • since they contain all kinds of mechanical stuff with lubricants that dry out, electronic components like flash memory which drop bits over time, etc.

              Tape these days also has error correction, actually generally multiple layers so you can completely wipe out a region of tape and still restore the data that the region held. You need a RAID to do that with disks.

              Tell you what, take a tape cartridge and a disk drive holding the same data. Drop both of them on the floor from 5 feet, which one do you thi

          • Of course, the drives are a bit expensive at 10k+ Euro, but as far as availability goes, it's not an issue.

            You can buy a 400 GB (native) LTO-2 drive for well under half of that. Still not in the range of most people though. On eBay, they are available for ~$1800.
            • The 400gb figure is "compressed", i.e. marketing fantasy. LTO3 will be 400gb native, but it's not available yet, and the media will cost a fortune for a while after it's introduced.
              • So go for SuperAIT-1, 500GB native, or SuperDLT3 which is 300GB native, both of which avoid spliting the backup. Alternatively get an autochanger and use SuperDLT1/Ultrium. A six cartridge autochanger will do ~600GB native. Heck a DLT7000/DLT8000 autochanger will do the job. Personally I use a DLT7000 drive to backup my laptop (my main computer) to a single tape, in a couple of hours.
      • I edit digital photos, and like to keep multiple versions along the editing process. I have about 300GB in my working pile, and 2TB in my archive. I use a 100GB LTO tape drive, and it takes 20 tapes to get a single backup. Since I want to keep one set of tapes at my house, one set at the bank, and one set in transit, that's 60 cartridges. I would be very glad to have at least a 1TB tape solution for under 5 grand.

        I can't begin to imagine what the high-def video people do. Yes you can store a lot of 320x280
      • If you need to backup >100GB on tape for personal use, you most likely have a serious legal problem or a porn collection that I'd want to see

        Not true at all.

        I have several hundreds of GBs of data myself.

        It would take hours for me to tell you exactly what types of data is taking up what percentage of my storage, but I can give you a general idea.

        I started needing 100GB hard drives, because I would archive every program I've downloaded and used. You see, when you need to re-install something, you'd be

    • Re:It's about time (Score:3, Informative)

      by ScrewMaster ( 602015 )
      Yeah ... and I've found that it's really, really hard to get them to understand why it isn't. "But it's making a copy of everything I save!" I try to point out that "Yes, it is! INCLUDING that trojan you just installed and all the files it just are erased are now gone from BOTH drives!" Argghh. But usually it is after they themselves nuke something important and want to know how to restore it from their "backup" do they finally understand. So far as I'm concerned, a backup isn't a backup until you remove
    • It's funny to watch people hit by viruses lose everything because they have an external drive to back up to, but never unplug it.

      For backups to be archival in nature, it's fundamentally important for them to be off-line when you're not backing up. It's also preferrable to send them off-site, but for the home user, off-line should be the biggest step in incremental value.
  • Size of reel (Score:3, Insightful)

    by k4_pacific ( 736911 ) <k4_pacific.yahoo@com> on Sunday December 26, 2004 @02:28PM (#11185694) Homepage Journal
    You can do this today. Just make it hold a much bigger reel.
    • The moment of inertia when these things are spinning though concerns me. You'd have to slow the wheel down very gradually as to not destroy the tape.
      • I would point out that in the past they used to use much bigger reals than today. The majority of serious tape backup has converged on the 1/2" tape form factor pioneered by Digital with the TK50. That is DLT/SuperDLT/Ultrium and now even SuperAIT, in a small cartridge 11cm square. In the 60's and 70's it was common to have 12" reals, that fitted in rack sized cabinets.
  • by smoon ( 16873 ) on Sunday December 26, 2004 @02:35PM (#11185732) Homepage
    The IBM enterprise SAN device -- shark -- is only able to crank data out at about 35MB/s per disk pack, assuming sole access. When you've got multiple systems hitting one disk pack it drops dramatically from that.

    So 80MB/s is more than their disk systems can do anyway, unless you're pulling data from multiple packs.
    • The shark is fairly out of date now, it was based on ssa technology which was much better than the scsi stuff out at the time, but fibre channel is much quicker.

      of course, a large part of the shark is its massively parallel, 35MB/s per disk pack, but possibly 100s of disk packs per system, with 2 dedicated servers making it all transparent.

      The replacement for the shark, the ds8000, can have 256GB of memory cache to buffer the disks and has a claimed 200MB/s throughput per port on a 4 port fibre channel ad
  • .05 micron data tracks don't seem very robust to me.

    The only thing worse than a catastrophic data loss would be to find out that your backups are unreadable.

    The VXA drives [craystone.com] from Ecrix seemed to go a long way in terms of increasing reliability of "concentional" tape drives, I'll wait for something similar for this new technology.

  • 256 times larger :\
  • by melted ( 227442 ) on Sunday December 26, 2004 @02:59PM (#11185845) Homepage
    Now that's an awesome possibility. It's about time storage-related companies start worrying about reliability and longevity of their storage solutions instead of trying to impress everyone with capacity.
  • Thank God! (Score:2, Funny)

    by abrager ( 175240 )
    The next version of Microsoft Office fits on two of these.
  • "His group of ten researchers hopes to shrink that size down to about 0.5 micron, or 500 nanometers, within the next five years. "This will carry us all the way to the 100T byte regime," he said.....Magnetic particles painted on today's tapes are about one micron..."

    If we have one micron now, and 0.5 micron allows for 100T byte tapes, why don't we have 50T byte now?

    • because our current tracks are 10 microns right now...
    • The simple answer is that the data is not stored and to end - - - - - in a linear array. The data is stored in a 2 dimensional grid, using both the width of the tape as well as the linear position on the reel to store data. In many cases, the data is stored in a biased array of rows /////

      Thus the data density depends on not just the size of the individual particles storing the bits, but also on the possible arrangement of the grid, be it rectangular, biased arrays, hexoganal, etc.

      Additionally, most backup systems include redundancy in the written patterns, to protect against degradation due to environmentla exposure. The most common I am familiar with is the storage of a reversible cyclic redundancy check (CRC) in the written blocks. The block size varies from program to program, as does the compression algorithm chosen.

      So if we assume a rectangular array of bits, with mild bias, we get a grid #. If each bit on the grid is halved in size, the data density, barring other changes, is quadrupled. Changes to the pattern made possible may increase this further, as well as advances in the heads.

      Current heads can only read at a certain speed, so a trade off is made between spool speed and data density, meaning that not 100% of the space on the tape is lines of data, there is alos white space, unused on the tape. If a better head can read a more densly packed datastream, then you could very well make a 250x increase in total capacity.

      It's been a long time since I worked with tape drive technology, so this is just an approximate explanation, of course.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Nope, it's somewhere here on tape..."
  • Heh, I have a 250MB (compressed) tape drive in my closet, with transfer rates of 6MB/min. Would take all day and 13 tapes to back up my 2GB system. :)
  • Is that terabytes or tebibytes?
  • They aren't preparing it. They're more than two orders of magnitude, and well over five years away. This is another typical /. "someday we might make a product you want" article. ("Animated holographic XXX playing cards running Linux on Crusoe? Save your allowance kiddies!!!")

    From TFA: "researchers say they expect to one day build cartridges that can store as much as 100T bytes of data."

    One day?

    "in order to store more than the 1T byte of data that IBM is planning for its next-generation products"

    "he sai
  • My hard drive blew up just yesterday.
  • The analysis of the data transfer 'problem' linked by this article is as simple, straighforward and totally ridiculous. We are all well aware of the dangers of using a simple linear aproximation to predicte the future in regards to microchip improvements and we shouldn't be stupid enough to accept it in this case. Admitedly the author of the comment doesn't make the same mistake of assuming that data transfer rates will be linear with respect to time but he makes the equally unsuported assumption that dat
  • Data, data, data, what to do with it all????

    So much collection, so little bandwidth and CPU power to crunch it all.

    It's becoming apparent that more data is not nescessarily a "good thing". As the amount of data collected grows, it's becoming harder and harder to reduce that data to something "meaningful".

    When I listen to "Pachelbel's Canon" (it IS the holiday season after all!) I don't need to "know" every single frequency delta for every single instrument.

    It's the aggregation that's important.

    Seems to

  • In a sense, the length of tape = capacity. I know there are limits to how much you can wrap around a reel but really, if you took today's tape capactiy in a 9 track format you would have (scientifically speaking ) a fuckload of storage.

    I could back up the internet on some travan sludge if the tape was long enough.

    Are we primates or are we Mice?!!

    Gimmie a 9 track size with SDLT or whatever is best at the moment and add a few extra crc's to the mix, add some splice handling and glue a friggin CD-R to the

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"