Posts Tagged 'technology'

SSD Hybrid to bridge the gap

Although they tried this before with little success there’s something to be said for giving it another go. Hybrid technology can be hit and miss, who knows that this new drive will bring. Seagate is offering up a hybrid drive with SSD technology. Boasting SSD performance while attempting to keep prices reasonable.

The SATA drive (dubbed “Momentus XT”) spins at 7200 RPM, has 32MB of DDR3 cache, and 4GB of SSD capacity. This combination can result in faster applications and access to data compared to traditional hard drive technology. Actual platters should only spin 10% of the time reducing energy costs. Frequently accessed data would be stored on the SSD portion of the drive. 250 GB version is estimated to cost $113.

A speed test compares this drive to others and the XT doesn’t come out looking so good. Performance is disappointing. Given the price drops in hard drives you should just probably stick with a pure SSD drive if you’re looking for the best performance.

Keeping Servers Cool

Data centers are popping all over the country. Hundreds of servers, thousands of drives, and plenty of problems. One has to wonder how do they manage to maintain 99% uptime? For one thing, keeping the server room cool is at least part of the solution.

A simple measure that can be taken is to ensure efficient air flow. Make sure all your servers line up and that the fans are all pointed in the right direction. Intake on one side, hot air output on the other. You don’t want one server to be sucking in hot air outputted from another. If necessary add a bit of separation by hanging a barrier sheet in the center of the aisle. It allows for easy access when required but also adds a bit of airflow separation zones between hardware.

Another misconception is that server rooms are ice cold, wrong. Actually temperatures in servers rooms are set above normal room temperature. The greater the difference in temperature between the air and the server can create condensation, which you don’t want around electrical components. Ok, so that’s an exaggeration but the principle is the same. Keeping the temperature a bit warmer will save you a bit on energy costs. Don’t worry, the hardware can handle it.

Massive data storage centers can be quite costly with regular expenses on hardware and maintenance alone without worrying about energy costs so every bit counts. The more green technology we can put to use now will only benefit us in the future.

Seagate in a legal pickle

I just found out about this but apparently it’s been going on for 9 years. The beef is between Seagate and Convolve over technology. The patent dispute goes back to 2000, noise reduction technology, and $800 million. Others dragged into the fray are Compaq, Dell, Hitachi, and Western Digital. An insider, Paul A. Galloway, ex Seagate employee claims to be an eye witness who worked on incorporating the technology to Seagate products. There’s also allegations of evidence tampering and if proven true could put Seagate in quite the pickle. The fact that it’s dragged on this long peaks my interest. If it was a minor issue why not just settle and pay the guy a fraction of the claim as hush money. Obviously $800 million is no small beans but it could be a landmark case that could impact hard drives going forward. Stay tuned.

Tech Stories That Stuck With Me This Year

Apple – well a lot happened with Apple this year. The illness of Steve Jobs. A new iPod Nano with a built in video camera. Dominance of the iPhone and the app store. Believe it or not there are still plenty of countries where the iPhone is not officially available. Apple had a big year, made a lot of money, and a few problems with their iMacs. iTunes now sells more music than Walmart, now that’s scary. I think I’m getting brainwashed by their marketing, even I want an iPod touch and an iBook now.

Facebook – MySpace what? Social Networking became synonymous with Facebook. Friending people left and right, installing silly apps, and sharing (intimate) details with everyone. People getting fired for ranting about their bosses. Er – what happened to privacy? The Canadian government stepped in and decided to force the issue and now it’s a BIG deal for everyone. And seriously, stop playing Farmville. It’s dumb. AND I don’t give a crap about your status so don’t bother.

Twitter – who knew in 140 characters or less people’s random iterations could draw such a following. However not just for random blurbs, but also breaking news. Michael Jackson, Tiger Woods just 2 of the celebrities whose story spread like wildfire over twitter. However I can’t help but feel that it’s lost some of it’s luster after the ladies of the View talked about it. Forget blogging, it’s all about the Twitter. So how many followers do you have? Spammers don’t count.

Google – search? No, more like ad money, a browser named Chrome (which made a little splash) and then a mobile OS called Android that made a big splash. Almost single-handedly keeping Motorola mobile division employed. The Droid and Cliq and probably many more phones on the way. Also the controversial project to convert books to digital format and offer them all up for free download. Not sure where Google is going with this but ebook reader sales have never been higher. Now there’s a dumb product I thought would never get off the ground.

Crunchpad/JooJoo – here’s an interesting legal story about how intellectual property laws might get a precedent. Who owns the rights to the product and who can distribute it. A classic story of “he said/she said”. Perhaps it will all fizzle out by the time Apple comes out with their version. Again, touchscreen mobile workpad? Really? Who’s gonna buy this anyways? Prove me wrong people, prove me wrong.

Bandwidth – throttling of my interwebs makes me go crazy. Nonetheless peer to peer file sharing is taking up a lot of time on service provider’s agendas. Data usage going way up, despite a handful of users doing it all, and the pressure to continue to provide equal service for all. Not only for the home user downloading tv shows, music, or porn, but for the mobile user checking email, using gps services, and texting (yes, lots and lots of texting). It looks like ISPs and wireless providers need to get together and invest in some infrastructure to quench consumers thirst for dwindling bandwidth.

Games – how is the gaming industry pulling in more money than the movie industry? Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Wii Sports changing the game and how we play it. More and more entertainment is becoming a larger part of our everyday lives. Blu-ray quality games played on HD tvs, movie dialogue, immersive gameplay, all increasing the production value of that $60 game. Online subscription services for multiplayer, even downloadable content, or even providing an opportunity to connect with your fellow gamers. On your phone, your computer, your tv, where ever you go each device is used for your amusement. It’s kind of worrying. It says a lot about where our society is heading. But what I’m wondering is this: if we’re spending more time playing games, what activities are we taking away from?

Drop Hard Drives Much?

Here’s a product from A-Data Technology for those of you who are clumsy bastards. Drop proof (up to 1.2 meters) and water proof (up to 30 minutes of 1 meter depth), because when you drop your stuff it always hovers around that 1 meter mark, right? Otherwise you are just plain SOL. Hmm, I wonder what happens to the drive when idiots immediately plug in the drive after dunking it into water? Wet cable/connectors, add a bit of USB power and *poof, hard drive gets shorted out. But of course nobody’s that stupid right? I mean who drops their hard drive with precious data into a lake that’s only 1 meter deep then proceeds to plug it in immediately?

However, just in case “a laboratory certification which we do not guarantee that hard drive device, data, and housing would not be damaged with the usage at any condition or environment. Please do not drop, smash or splash on this product on purpose.” (last 2 sentences on the page) So much for independent testing. Guess I won’t buy one then.

PCI-E SSD alive but still not shipping

For those of you who’s interest was perked by SSD technology fused with PCI express architecture feel free to pop over to local computer store to pre-order. However don’t expect them to ship anytime soon. Generous estimates still put the devices 3 months out. Expect them to be pricey and a rare beast.

Blackberry corporation’s productivity friend

Have you got a company Blackberry? Pretty cool huh? The boss was nice enough to get you one on a company plan. I bet it’s even one of those new curve models. However consider the flip side. Nothing in life is free. Do you now find yourself, checking emails, texting, working more during off hours? It’s no secret the Blackberry has been the key to many corporation’s productivity numbers. Pass out a bunch of phones and suddenly you’ve got employees answering emails during their dinner, participating in conference calls on the other side of the world, handling that 2AM emergency. And all it took was a so-called free phone.

Pass out a gadget that secretly gets your workers to be on call or even simply being accessible puts countless productivity numbers off the books. Heck even with Google Latitude you’ll be able to track where they are and see if they are posting anything nasty about you on Facebook. Employers are trying to blur the line between work and personal time using shiny technology. Don’t be fooled by the jangling keys. Work phone = on call, plain and simple.

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