Mar 31, 2013

Hitatchi Hard Drives

The Global Storage Technologies department of Hitachi (Hitachi GST) is pushing the limits with hard disk drive technology. Hitachi has developed a new technology that will allow the company to create 4-Terabyte drives that are expected to be put in production in 2014.

Hitachi drives utilize magnetism to read and write data to their drives. Their breakthrough technology for the new recording head is called “current perpendicular-to-the-plane giant magneto-resistive (CPP-GMR).” On Monday, this new technology was unveiled during the 8thPerpendicular Magnetic Recording Conferencewhile at the Tokyo International Forum in Japan.

Hitachi will accomplish this by reducing the recording head size of the hard drives. Some of you might not understand completely how this works: if you compare the size of a big Sharpie marker to a freshly sharpened pencil, you quickly realize that the marker will take up a much bigger area when compared to a pencil while writing. This would mean that the new pencil (recording head) has an ultra-fine tip, and this results in allowing the writing and reading of more data on the same surface area.

The risk for data failure is potentially higher than with drives available today. If any of you have had the painful experience of a HDD failure, then you would quickly realize why this could be a double-edged sword. The good coming from all this is that other companies like Western Digital and Seagate are likely to develop new technologies to rival that of Hitachi, and will drive prices down further in the future.
The bottom line: this is good for consumers in the future, and for driving down the prices of current hard drives.

Mar 13, 2013


Miro icon
Miro, one of the best applications and multimedia players combined for downloading and managing online video, is being prepped for an official Miro 1.0 release. The Participatory Culture Foundation is also in the hunt for a good PR consultant; this is clearly to provide as much good exposure for their big release happening within the next few weeks.

Miro, which was formally called Democracy, has been going strong with over 200,000 downloads in the last month alone. The application could use some great PR as the non-profit company which supports it is in need of donations to keep the project maintained well.

Both new and returning users will hope to see many improvements and features to entice new users. My primary complaint is the fact that there is no way to throttle your download speed within the application. This ranks as a significant problem for me, and possibly for others who need to use their computer while Miro is working.  However, that does not take away from the greatness of this application.

That one issue aside, Miro is a wonderful project that everyone should try. No other project gives you the ability to find, download, and manage video content so easily. I wish great things for Miro and the Participatory Culture Foundation. For now, you can check out the 2nd public preview which is completely free and available for most operating systems today.

When I get my hands on the final release I will be sure to break down the new features, and possibly even give it a review.