New Strategies for Personal Mass Storage

 
 
By Loyd Case  |  Posted 2004-09-28 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Your digital life is stored on hard drives, memory keys, on the Internet, and backed up to optical drives. We take a look at how mass storage on your PC is evolving, and suggest how to best plan your future upgrades.

Storage for your digital stuff has never been cheaper. We recently received an ad in our inbox from a well-known electronics retailer. The startling item in the ad was a 1 gigabyte compact flash card for under $90. Recently, Jim Louderback, in his When Im 64 feature, found a Seagate 160GB ATA drive for roughly $60 after rebate. Dual-layer recordable CD drives have dropped to under $100. A tiny Hitachi 2GB Microdrive in a digital camera can store enough digital pictures, if printed out, to fill dozens of shoeboxes. Mass storage today is cheap and plentiful. Despite this seeming cornucopia of buckets for your bits, storage technology is still evolving. Well take a look at some of the key areas of technical evolution in the arena of personal storage. Here, well be focusing on disk-based media, both optical and hard disk, with an eye on near-term buying decisions. Note that were not going to discuss tape technology, as its no longer a common component of desktop PCs, even though its still heavily used in enterprise environments. Read the rest of this story at ExtremeTech.
 
 
 
 
Loyd Case came to computing by way of physical chemistry. He began modestly on a DEC PDP-11 by learning the intricacies of the TROFF text formatter while working on his master's thesis. After a brief, painful stint as an analytical chemist, he took over a laboratory network at Lockheed in the early 80's and never looked back. His first 'real' computer was an HP 1000 RTE-6/VM system.

In 1988, he figured out that building his own PC was vastly more interesting than buying off-the-shelf systems ad he ditched his aging Compaq portable. The Sony 3.5-inch floppy drive from his first homebrew rig is still running today. Since then, he's done some programming, been a systems engineer for Hewlett-Packard, worked in technical marketing in the workstation biz, and even dabbled in 3-D modeling and Web design during the Web's early years.

Loyd was also bitten by the writing bug at a very early age, and even has dim memories of reading his creative efforts to his third grade class. Later, he wrote for various user group magazines, culminating in a near-career ending incident at his employer when a humor-impaired senior manager took exception at one of his more flippant efforts. In 1994, Loyd took on the task of writing the first roundup of PC graphics cards for Computer Gaming World -- the first ever written specifically for computer gamers. A year later, Mike Weksler, then tech editor at Computer Gaming World, twisted his arm and forced him to start writing CGW's tech column. The gaming world -- and Loyd -- has never quite recovered despite repeated efforts to find a normal job. Now he's busy with the whole fatherhood thing, working hard to turn his two daughters into avid gamers. When he doesn't have his head buried inside a PC, he dabbles in downhill skiing, military history and home theater.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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