“Get Perpendicular” amarcord

February 1, 2012 · Filed Under Babel fish, Media & Multimedia 

Babel fish - A mental interface between Sir Arthur's sensibility and the events from the outer world. And for all the rest, too What happens when a big company dealing in hard disks decides to explain the benefits of a new technology to the mainstream public in an unconventional manner? In such a case what can happen is that the aforementioned company ends up with something like the following animation, a lump of nerditude like few have been probably seen in the entire commercial history of consumer storage.

The animation is named “Get Perpendicular”, dates back to a few years ago (2006, 2007?) and has been created by Hitachi Global Storage Technologies to spread the clear message that the technology known as Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (or Perpendicular Recording if you like) would have allowed HDDs to make a huge leap forward as for the storage space available per single drive. HGST, that in 2011 has been acquired by Western Digital and should disappear as an independent brand within March 2012, had evaluated the representation of bits shaped like cartoonish characters as a nice way to express the idea that the PMR technology was a good and right thing for the future of magnetic storage devices.

There is no doubt that the PMR system (which records bits in perpendicular orientation to the plate’s surface) has been an important technology innovation, and the proof is the current availability of the huge 4 Terabytes HDDs (4,000 Gigabytes, more or less) on the market. What I am doubtful about is the mental health of who decided years ago to set the Get Perpendicular operation in motion: in addition to being nerdy, the animation by HGST is stupid, dumbed down (”Up to 10x capacity!”, oh please…) and simply ugly. It’s unavoidable: we nerds must always differentiate ourselves from the outsiders :-D

P.S.The Hitachi Etc. site hosts the original version of the Flash animation, even though I don’t think it will be still there (I mean on the original server) for long…

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