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.
July has been a noteworthy month for fans of the not so trivial arts of multiboot and hard disk data encryption, which have been able to profit by the release of updated versions for two of the best utility software out there: NeoSmart Technologies released version 2.0(.1) of the EasyBCD advanced bootloader, while the so called TrueCrypt Developers Association brought to 7 the version number of its powerful, open source encryption software.
One of the things that more took my time, in all these days of guilty and unforgivable absence from the blog, was tinkering with hard disk cloning programs and tools to work with partitions. Actually it would have been better, considering my latest misadventure with magnetic HDDs, to deal with the matter way before - for instance at the beginning of the reinstallation process of my software after having purchased the new laptop. Anyway the fact is that I spent the last week (excluding the weekend) trying backup and partitions manipulation tools, and the previous one integrating the useful documentation already collected about the subject.
Here is my latest e-commerce purchase: a Western Digital branded external hard disk (USB 2.0 compatible) with 1 Terabyte of nominal storage space. The recent mourning still burns and to be sure this time I’ve spent almost 120 Euros (HD + basic case + shipping costs) to buy a no-frills HD doing the only thing I’m interested to, that is keeping my data (partitions images first of all) and keeping them well, as just one of the few storage brands I trust can do.
It always happens so, you get the blow when you expect it the less, the latest backup dated back to half and a month ago and you end up facing the little comfortable situation in which you have to restart from the beginning with a new hardware, a new operating system with its pros and cons, the software - all the software - to reinstall and so on. Two Fridays ago my laptop’s hard disk decided to leave me for good, in the evening I had turned it off as usual and the following morning I was welcomed by a very little encouraging error message informing me about the the impossibility to load the system registry Hives in memory.
In these months the storage market is going through a particularly vivid and interesting period: the SSD technology continues to break speed records still costing however an unacceptable amount of money per single Gigabyte, while the magnetic technology HDDs wink at eco-sustainability and increase the number of Gigabytes, nay Terabytes available for users data.
The tense fight between microchip and the pair plate+head has reached a new high in these days, as manufacturers have announced the introduction of technologies able to make on the one hand more desirable and secure the traditional magnetic hard disks, on the other hand more performing the always expensive solid state disks (SSD) based on NAND flash memory chips.
There’s so much talking about the solid state disks, and how they inevitably are the future of digital data recording. But while the memory chips corporations like Samsung push in this direction, the companies specialized all along in the magnetic drives business don’t give hints of wanting to retreat of a single millimeter, inflaming with the announce of new technological breakthroughs what is prefigured as a tightened battle between microchip and plate for the conquest of users’ desktops.
Flash memories of the next future, or rather what many recognize as the Holy Grail of digital storage within a few years. A technology that would like to sweep away the “old” magnetic induction hard disks by replacing them with drives full of programmable chips, faster and less power expensive. A solution that, insofar as available for years, is still colliding with serious limitations. Limitations that now, it’s announcing, will be overcame soon thanks to the adoption of futuristic solutions.