Thursday, March 26, 2009

This old geek

Back Atcha MuzzLife is always throwing down cruel milestones to mark your passage of time; birthdays, your marriage, the birth of your children and their subsequent life milestones, thinning hair and thickening wrinkles. You know you're old, for example, when you watch your children drive off in your old white Volvo to head back up to college in a car that's old enough to drive itself if it could.

But I digress.

Those milestones are merely biological. Today I got a geek indication of my increasing irrelevance with the announcement by Western Digital of their 2TB My Book portable storage. It was 13 years ago this month (March 1996) when I started to work for Time Warner's Full Service Network. One of the technological marvels at their facility was their 3.5 TB disk array that stored hundreds of digitized movies and then streamed them to up to 1,000 simultaneous users. That entire array was built up from 2GB IBM SCSI drives, and filled multiple 6 foot tall housings in a fairly large room. When I saw the new My Book I realized I could exceed the overall storage of that array with just two My Book's, in a fraction of the space and powered with a fraction of the electricity and for a fraction of the price. And oddly enough for the same reason; to hold lots of digital movies, in this case all those you've purchased from places such as iTunes.

Ignoring the piffling details of how the FSN's array was engineered to be shared across 1,000 simultaneous end users streaming their movies, there is just something truly awesome about that much personal portable storage. I could go off and build a petabyte-sized disk array from a bunch of those 2TB sized drives, and feel all cool until Western Digital released a 2PB My Book. At which time I'd digitize my consciousness and download it to one of those new drives.

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