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November 11th, 2011:

Zettabytes

I’m looking at dropping over a grand on a computer with 16GB of 1600MHz RAM and a 2TB HD (amongst other things). I’d frankly prefer paying a bit more and getting 2 1TB HDs for the back-up – there shall be talks. Quite frankly there isn’t enough quality pr0n on the interwebs to justify 2TB of data but I could still be convinced on a net drive for me and the missus into the TBs. I still recall having a 48K ZX Spectrum and a cassette player so this kind of still boggles me. It’s like I have entered a wonderland. We all have. It’s like going to sleep with a wheel-barrow in the drive and waking with an F-35B Lightning and a USMC Staff Sergeant saying, “We thought you might appreciate the upgrade. Sorry we did it at night but we were sure you’d appreciate the trade sir…”.

Let us put the TB in context (courtesy of wikipedia).

The World’s largest library…

Library data – The U.S. Library of Congress Web Capture team claims that “As of April 2011, the Library has collected about 235 terabytes of data” and that it adds about 5 terabytes per month.

Computer hardware – Hitachi introduced the world’s first one terabyte hard disk drive in 2007.

Encyclopedia – Wikipedia’s January 2010 raw data uses a 5.87 terabyte dump.

Audio – One terabyte of audio recorded at CD quality will contain around 2,000 hours of audio. Additionally, one terabyte of compressed audio recorded at 128 kB/s (a near-transparent bitrate for AAC encoding) will contain about 17,000 hours of CD quality audio.

That is nearly two years of tunes. And that’s a 1TB drive. It’s nigh on four years of music for a 2TB rig.

Now the stormer…

Historical Internet traffic – In 1993, total Internet traffic amounted to approximately 100 TB for the year. As of June 2008, Cisco Systems estimated Internet traffic at 160 TB/s (which, assuming to be statistically constant, comes to 5 zettabytes for the year). That is an increase of half a billion-fold in just under fifteen years.

I first used the WWW in 1993. I still recall my first search in Mosaic on a University 386DX40. I just typed in the most obscure thing that came to mind, “ferrets” and I got 25 hits in the US alone. Google has just given me now…

About 1,590,000 results (0.10 seconds) on a laptop worth worth about 2 1/2 days pay to the average Joe connected wirelessly.

For the same search term.

A zettabyte is equal to 1 billion terabytes. That’s a lot.

42 zettabytes is apparently enough to record in audio every meaningful sound uttered since our distant forebears came down from the trees and Ugg brought fire into the cave. In Fiscal 2011 Seagate alone sold 1/3 Zettabyte of HDs. We are getting so quickly to having all human culture a click away.

I love being a geek. I’m part of this and gods upon Olympus am so I proud of my small role in something so awesome. That Guttenberg chap – yeah, right. I shall live to see The Aleph.

In Borges’s story, the Aleph is a point in space that contains all other points. Anyone who gazes into it can see everything in the universe from every angle simultaneously, without distortion, overlapping or confusion.

It’s like the lines from the great Irish myth of Cú Chulainn,

Everything red is beautiful,
everything new is bright,
everything tall is lovely,
everything usual is bitter,
everything absent is noble,
everything familiar is insufficient,
until all knowledge is known.

Have I gone mad?

Or possibly fallen in love (which apparently biochemically is much the same thing).

I have been in the market for a new PC for some time now and on the back inside cover of Computer Shopper noticed this absolute beast. The company is in Crewe so not far away from me but it means breaking a habit of a lifetime and not building my own. OK there are some issues but as they are custom builders I’m sure a deal can be struck. First, a 2TB HD is insanely large. I’d prefer two 1TB drives (one for back-up) and I really couldn’t give a monkeys about Blu-Ray (and certainly not about a drive that only reads Blu Ray) and I’m not 100% about the screen or the keyboard, mouse or speakers). I have a better set of speakers already and I’m fairly sure they still work. But it’s a good price. Anyway, what do you think? I was vaguely planning on using it with my two CRT Trinnies with and panel in between so it looked like the flight deck of the Deathstar. I’ve never run multiple screens at different rezs before. I have a couple of other machines I could and the Trinnies have two inputs so with “Mouse Without Borders” things could get interesting. Or at least fused.

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