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Future of Hard Drives, How Big, How Fast, How Soon
TwoJ
post Jun 3 2003, 04:11
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I throw this out to get some other options about this topic.

I was thinking that a lot of the debates, etc would me quite moot if HDs would be in TB (terrabytes=1000GB) in which case people would most likely using lossless compression, in the same manner that mp3 bitrates increased with the average HD size.

The real point comes after talking with someone today that as computer users it seems that we are splitting into 2 camps - those that need more HD space - for music, video, whatever, and dare I say an average user who does not use the computer except for general use which does not require much HD space. In the pre 10-20GB days there was not too many that couldn't do with more space, as OS and general bloatware consumed most of that space. But now in the 60GB+ HDs I have noticed a lot of people that rarely exceed 10-15GB.

I think the time has finally arrived where HD have grown to a point that negates the pace that software companies can bloat their programs. This has also lead in my off-hand observation that the pace of larger HDs seems to be slowing down. While you & I may always need bigger HDs I think the time is approching that it is getting harder to sell the general consumer/corporation a PC with a 120GB HD when they might only use 20GB out of it. I realize that there will always be users who need bigger HDs but if the general person/corp are not buying the bigger drives will this not dry up the market to some degree?

So I'm wondering if you guys/girls think the rate of growth for HDs is continuing like before, is slowing down, will slow down, speed up?
(of course I was just reading a article about a HD development at a Japanese University for, i think, a 200TB HD (200 000GB) - but by that time Windows 20xx will use half of that anyhow tongue.gif )
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atici
post Jun 3 2003, 04:55
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It will increase with the same pace I guess. Now that there're digital cameras, camcorders, etc. People tend to put all this additional media on their drives. So it's not the executables but the data that occupies most of the space. And greed is never going to end. You'd now say no individual would probably need 2TB drive at the moment but you'd have claimed the same for a 100GB drive 5 years ago biggrin.gif

Especially when the internet speed increases (infiniband, etc.) filesharing is going to become even more popular and access to huge amount of information quickly is going to bloat our drives. We'll be downloading free DivX movies, trailers and storing our photos out of our 10MegaPixel cameras...

This post has been edited by atici: Jun 3 2003, 05:02


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Sebastian Mares
post Jun 3 2003, 07:05
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Maybe a bit off topic, but I use a 16 GB hard disc drive and a 4 GB one, and I don't really feel like upgrading to a new one (it wouldn't even work, as my motherboard supports only 25 GB - have a Intel Pentium II with 333 MHz).
When dealing with movies (actually, forget about it - see reason above biggrin.gif) or audio, I wait until I got ~700 MB and then write the files to a CD-R. Also, I don't need freedb Databases or some other massive stuff as I am online most of the time and I can obtain CD infos from the net.

PS:
QUOTE
...TB (terrabytes=1000GB)...

Isn't one terabyte 1024 GB?

This post has been edited by Sebastian Mares: Jun 3 2003, 07:07


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Neo Neko
post Jun 3 2003, 07:55
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Atici is correct. The pace will likely not stop or even slow to any extent. The average user at this point may not use or require more than 10Gb. But at this point the average user hardly uses their system. wink.gif I currently have 240Gb of storage and I am nearly at it's extent. As your TV becomes your computer. Your VCR becomes your computer. Or your Telephone and answering machine become your computer the average joe will easily find a way to use that space. I already do much of that with my PC. 1Gb an hour for high quality video is quite good. Actually it often comes to 1Gb per 30 minutes for me. I can compress better later. But I need the space first.

That is why there is a real push to develop holographic storrage. When you think about it pretty much every form of storrage in use today no matter how cutting edge still uses many decades old technology and principles at their core. Tape, HD, and even CD-ROM are at best 30 years old. At worst 50-60 years. They have come a long way in that time. But the technology is being pushed towards it's limit and that is really what is causing any sort of slow down. People are gasping at the storrage capacity of blue-ray DVD. The first ineficient commercial holographic storage devices will absolutely dwarf them in storrage capacity. And once they have had time for refinement you can expect to see their capacity increase much like the technology we are familiar with has. From the first 5 ft diameter 10Mb hard disk platter to today. Terrabyte-schmerabyte. Petabyte anyone? Personally I am looking forward to a Googlebyte.(yes it is real)
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Heaven17
post Jun 3 2003, 08:52
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QUOTE
Personally I am looking forward to a Googlebyte.(yes it is real)


Could such a "drive" physically exist? Whatever its construction, its mass would surely be greater than that of the known universe... blink.gif
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wyvern
post Jun 3 2003, 09:52
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QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Jun 3 2003 - 07:05 AM)
Isn't one terabyte 1024 GB?

Nope - hard drive manufacturer's use a different measuring scheme to everybody else (in the pc world). 1k = 1000 bytes in hard drive terms not 1024. Bit of a scam really ...

http://www.seagate.com/support/kb/disc/bytes.html

This post has been edited by wyvern: Jun 3 2003, 09:59
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salt28
post Jun 3 2003, 09:52
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googolbyte (NOT google, the real term is googol. Google is the search engine biggrin.gif ):

10^100 byte

10^26 carbon atoms weigh 20 kilograms
(atomic mass carbon = 12 amu, so 6x10^23 carbon atoms weigh 12 grams)
If each carbon atom could hold 10 gigabyte data (which I think is impossible) we would need 2x10^65 kilograms to hold one googolbyte.

Earth weighs 6x10^24 kilograms
The sun weighs 2x10^30 kilograms
The estimated amount of mass in the universe is something like 10^55 or so.(we can't know for sure, there is alot of 'missing' mass, but i digress ).

edit1:
kilo = 1000. 1024 = kibi

edit2: doh! you're right. Googol, not googel

edit3: corrected calculations

This post has been edited by salt28: Jun 3 2003, 10:02
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fileman
post Jun 3 2003, 09:58
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Ahem... it's Googolbyte, not Googelbyte... look it up @ Google wink.gif
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salt28
post Jun 3 2003, 10:06
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Personally I'm looking forward for 300 GB drives to enter ~100 bucks range.

Then I could build two 600 GB raid 5 arrays (one for backup) for less than 1000 bucks.
That should be enough untill 1 TB drives enter the 100 GB range, and then I could upgrade biggrin.gif

And keep on doing as my collection of HQ videos and lossless rips grow.

Now I am stalling with CD-R's.

edit:
One might wonder what the practical limits of holographic storage are:
With current holographic storage theory.
It would take at the very least the cube of the wavelegth of the light used to store a bit.
So with 400 nm light (near UV) we would need 400x10^-9 cubed to get one bit.
one cm ~ 2.5x10^4 (x 400 nm).
So one cubic cm can hold hold theoretically ~16x10^12 bits = 2 terabytes.
(This is theoretical. First drives are expected to carry 128 GB per cm^3 and last generation will max out at 1 TB per cm^3)
The hard part of holographic storage is getting all the components working and shock resistant.
There are lot's of components and they have to be extremely precise.

Instead of blocks we can use discs, but don't expect to go beyond one TB per cm^3.
(Using gamma rays (which have a wavelength ~10 nm)is still sci-fi for the foreseeable future)
So while breaking the petabyte barrier will be feasible, don't expect the exabyte barrier to be broken with holographic storage.

Also holographic storage stems from the '60s(when it was first put in theory).

This post has been edited by salt28: Jun 3 2003, 10:31
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TwoJ
post Jun 3 2003, 14:32
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So most people think we are going to continue at this rate - good for me smile.gif

I still find it hard to believe that a good portion of computer users are going to need a 120GB+ HD when all they do is surf, play some games, email, stuff like that. This is especially true in a corp enviroment where most places do not allow you to download music,viseo, etc into your computer.

I was just thinking that some products, scanners, digital cameras are on the cusp of bigger may not be selling as much. scanners seemed to have really slowed their pace since hitting 1200X2400, camera are starting to get into +6Mp - at what point will a regular user say that a 15Mp looks no different from a 10mp but the files are 50% bigger. For sure if you are a professional you will always want to use top line equipment.

However I think the main stream market probably has a TV & DVD and therefore doesn't download any movies, they might have some scattered music files, and some digital photos taking up a few GBs. A friend who is what I consider a fairly active user is barely getting past 40-50GB so what appeal does a 250GB HD have?

I agree that with MegaPixel camera, Digital Video, lossless audio files, DVD movies that the demand for larger HDs will be there for some but its hard to see Dell selling a computer with a P5 with Windows2005 and a 360GB HD when the OS and all programs take 8GB or about 3% of the HD.
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wynlyndd
post Jun 3 2003, 15:19
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I personally believe Microsoft Office will continue to get larger and larger thus requiring larger and larger hard drives.


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atici
post Jun 3 2003, 19:38
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QUOTE (wynlyndd @ Jun 3 2003 - 09:19 AM)
I personally believe Microsoft Office will continue to get larger and larger thus requiring larger and larger hard drives.

I haven't touched any part of the office suite for years laugh.gif I am not a believer in html mails and am quite happy with mutt running on my UNIX email account for emails. What do you think of this?

I guess we'll have hundred gig hdds on portables quite soon with quite large memories. I hope then one of these companies would produce a device which could be hacked (like PlayStation) and mpc files could be played biggrin.gif Also I think these companies should come up with a DVD standard, so that no matter how large the discs become (when fluourescent discs arrive) it will fundamentally be a disc with same underlying protocol only larger. Then they can name the discs like: Common DVD protocol - Generation 2 disc (20GB) -> Generation 3 disc (100GB) with an order of magnitude jumps in disc sizes.


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Delirium
post Jun 3 2003, 22:14
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QUOTE (wyvern @ Jun 3 2003 - 01:52 AM)
QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Jun 3 2003 - 07:05 AM)
Isn't one terabyte 1024 GB?

Nope - hard drive manufacturer's use a different measuring scheme to everybody else (in the pc world). 1k = 1000 bytes in hard drive terms not 1024. Bit of a scam really ...

http://www.seagate.com/support/kb/disc/bytes.html

Actually it's really the rest of the PC world that gets it wrong, and hard drive manufacturers that get it right. These terms have been in use for hundreds of years, and mean what the hard drive manufacturers say they mean (1k = 1000, just like a kilogram is 1000 grams). The commonly-used base-2 versions started out being pretty close (1024 isn't far from 1000), but 10^(3x) and 2^(10x) diverge as x increases, so the difference is becoming too significant. To fix that, the IEEE has standardized on binary prefixes -- kibibyte, mebibyte, tebibyte, etc. to refer to 1024, 1024^2, 1024^3, and so on (abbreviated KiB, MiB, TiB, etc.), while the SI units (kilo, mega, tera) will retain their normal scientific meanings (1000, 1000^2, 1000^3, etc.) and will use their normal prefixes (k, M, G, etc.).
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Neo Neko
post Jun 4 2003, 05:26
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QUOTE (atici @ Jun 3 2003 - 12:38 PM)
What do you think of this?

Have you ever seen or heard of IBM Microdrives? Professional digital cameras have used them for manny manny years. Basically they are tiny HD slightly bigger than a CF card IIRC. But can hold up to a gig perhaps more. IBM also has a line of PCI server cards that use them as well. These things are actually quite sweet. Basically it is a whole computer on a PCI card sans monitor mouse and keyboard. MOBO, IDE and HD, Ethernet, BIOS, etc all on a single PCI card. They are powered and monitored by the PCI bus. If you had a 486DX sys with 3~5 PCI slots you could run 3~5 high performance Linux web servers off that one machine! To expensive for a home user. But still cool.
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GeSomeone
post Jun 4 2003, 10:48
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QUOTE (atici @ Jun 3 2003 - 08:38 PM)
What do you think of this?

I guess we'll have hundred gig hdds on portables quite soon with quite large memories.

Actually I read that iRiver has developed the iGP-100 with this exact (1.5 GB) device.

QUOTE (Neo Neko @ Jun 3 2003 - 12:38 PM)
Have you ever seen or heard of IBM Micro drives?
That is the same idea.

So there are different characteristics of HD's that can be developed:
- Capacity
- Speed
- Reliability
- Size

It could well be that (still) larger capacities will not be a priority for a group of users. But remember every disk, no matter how big, will fill up eventually laugh.gif
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