[extropy-chat] and the nano/holo fun goes on...

duggerj1 at charter.net duggerj1 at charter.net
Wed Aug 18 03:14:45 UTC 2004

Dan Clemmensen wrote:
> For disk drives, we see exactly the "problem" you mention. Drives have 
> quit doubling
> in capacity, and instead are now dropping in price, specifically because 
> a nominal 1-drive
> system has "enough" capacity.  You should look at
>   http://www.pricewatch.com
> occasionally to get a feel for this trend. Disk capacity improvement 
> have consistently
> outpaced processors performance improvements for at least the last five 
> years. The current
> "sweet spot" for cost/GB is at about 250GB for $.50/GB, at retail.  Add 
> $500 for a cheap
> computer to house four drives: you get 1TB for $1000.

Well, not quite so cheap as that. Having just bought 1000 GB of disk space in the last three months, I confidently state it costs a little more than $1000. Dan's estimate might prove right for a stationary set-up. 

As portable computers turn into wearables, and as cell phones do the same, we'll see demand for ever-larger portable storage. In particular, I suspect as medicine improves medical monitoring will become biotelemetry. This might increase demand for very reliable, compact and high-density data storage. If black-boxes serve well in vehicles, could they serve as well in biological systems? People, children, valuable animals, crops and their symbiotes, all might need data storage like this. As it grows cheaper, more applications turn economical. 

> The only way I know to use this much disk at home is to store DVDs. 
> Storing audio
> CDs hardly counts: my entire CD collection fits on <<300GB with lossless 
> compression.

You can see other ideas for this kind of storage space in Microsoft's MyLifeBits project. <http://research.microsoft.com/barc/mediapresence/MyLifeBits.aspx>

Video swallows disk space, and with wearable cameras one can very well have a personal Wayback Machine for one's own life. Today it is very easy to have a personal Wayback Machine for the Internet--just use wget as your default web browser.

Unfortunately, the real problem with this volume of data storage is the user interface. Already a professional society of organizers exists for possessions. <http://www.napo.net/> Any bets on how long before these branch out into organizing your digitized life, into ordering one's N-Bytes of data? I'll go even odds on 27 months, +/- 9 months.

So how do you eventually handle this? Abandon the hierachical file system to mere googling? Hire a butler equal parts remembrance agent, OpenCyc, and ALICE to explain where you left what and why? Or do you build a memory palace in a gibsonian-style cyberspace to remind one's self of everything?

> You can store about 5 audio CDs with lossless compression (flac) in one 
> GB, for a storage
> cost of $.20/CD. Storage cost for a DVD would be about $4.00, which is a 
> small fraction

Double these numbers for a back-up copy of valuable data. :)


> Kevin Freels wrote:

>> What you
>> are saying is that now, since we no longer have that need, the market for
>> these improvements in processing speeds and storage is no longer 
>> there. (I
>> have had 40GB for going on 3 years and still only use 9 of it.)

You have got to be kidding. It's not more pron you need, just move more often. Packing a terabyte of disk space is so much easier than packing a terabyte worth of hard copy. One fits into a backpack complete with computer, and it's not the bookshelves.

>> From: "Dan Clemmensen" <dgc at cox.net>
>>> We joke about this, but the reality is different.
>>> At some point during the last ten years, most of us crossed a threshold.
>>> Prior to the threshold, We did not have enough disk space or processing
>>> power. We spent as much money on a computer as our comfort level

Still don't have enough--ambition grows with access to tools. Digitize everything, and start learning about data mining, text analysis, and so on.


Jay Dugger     :	314-551-8414

Jay Dugger     :     Til Eulenspiegel
Sometimes the delete key serves best.

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