Tom Petrocelli's take on technology. Tom is the author of the book "Data Protection and Information Lifecycle Management" and a natural technology curmudgeon. This blog represents only my own views and not those of my employer, Enterprise Strategy Group. Frankly, mine are more amusing.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Personal Storage is now Stupid Cheap

I mean stupid cheap. Like Jack Benny cheap. As in so cheap, I have sneakers that cost more. You get the picture...

A 500GB internal SATA drive goes for around US$100. I just bought a SimpleTech 2.5" 120GB USB drive for my laptop that uses no external power supply for around US$75. At this rate I'll be buying multi-Terabyte drives for my home network soon.

I can't get the economics here. At this rate can these drive manufacturers still be making money? The USB cable alone is worth a few bucks. Add in packaging, support, the cut the store gets, distribution and - oh yeah - the drive itself and what's left? $1.98? I exaggerate a little here but only a little.

I'm just old enough to remember the day when I had to remove programs from my hard drive to make room for more programs. Now, I just plug a new drive into my mini-NAS devices and - voila! - more than enough storage. The bigger problem is starting to be managing the data. I constantly misplace files and programs. I have software on my system that I no longer know what it does. Which is probably a clue that I don't need it. I have software for Mac OS 7 sitting on my network. I don't even own a Mac anymore!

Data storage has come a long way in 10 years. What used to be a valuable resource is turning into a cheap commodity. Who needs to clean off a hard drive anymore? Even with music and video files, it's hard to fill up these big drives. And, if I should happen to get above 60% utilization, I can plug in another massive drive for next to nothing. I'll get bored with what's on the drive long before that happens. The bottom line: for even a power user the growth in data is far below the growth in drive size.

So, there you have the state of personal storage. My first computer has a couple of 5 1/4" floppy drives, my first hard drive was 20MB, and I
am currently sitting on a total of nearly a terabyte at home. I am finally at the point where I can say that I will probably never fill up all these drives. Now that is something I never thought I'd hear myself say.

On an entirely different note, I have stumbled upon what has to be the single best personal technology blog ever! It's from Britain and called Dork Talk. It's written by the brilliant actor (yes actor!) Stephen Fry, best known in the US for his portrayal of Jeeves opposite Hugh Lurie's Bertie Wooster. It is one of the funniest, insightful, and down right entertaining takes on gadgets and personal tech. Go read it NOW! Oh, and I rarely plug other blogs so you know this one is good.

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