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Another Hard Drive Bytes The Dust, But Is It A Momentus Moment?

HP dc5750 desktopIf I may take a moment to anthropomorphize…hard drives are not immortal. I was reminded of this very fact when overnight on April 11th a drive in my primary desktop failed.

Given that I was just one day away from my making annual forced trek to Las Vegas for the NAB Convention, and the fact that our income tax return was on that media, it certainly could have been a a problem. However, it wasn’t a catastrophe. Not at all.

The two computers that Stella and I use as our primary desktops sport internal RAID 1 disk arrays. Both desktops came that way. In fact, that was part of their appeal. I was concerned that Stella would have a drive fail one day when I was travelling. Such a failure at an inopportune moment would surely heap calamity upon my very existence.

These desktops are now getting older. Last fall Stella’s system did lose a disk. She told me about the event, advising that she received a desktop prompt noting that “Logical Drive 1 had become critical.” I said not to worry, if it was still running it wasn’t being critical of anything she had done. All would be well until I resolved the trouble.

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Mini-Me And The SSD

SanDisk-SSD & HP-5103A couple of weeks ago one of the daily deals emails from New Egg made an offer that I found I could not resist. I am weak, it’s true. The offer in question was a 120 GB SanDisk Ultra solid state disk (SSD) drive for a mere $120Most SSDs of that size are $180+.

The appeal of SSDs is rooted in the same kind of sensibility that had me building Asterisk appliances that boot from flash media. Flash offers an attractive combination of performance and reliability.

The trade-off presented by SSDs is very high cost-per-gigabyte of storage. This offer, which was basically $1/GB, seemed like a nice chance to try an SSD for the first time. I wasn’t really certain how I’d use it, but I ordered one anyway.

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Who Can Resist The HP Touchpad For $99?

hp-touchpad5 ….not I, as it happens. When the demise of the Touchpad saw it’s price drop to $99 and $149 for the 16 GB & 32 GB models respectively it seems that world+dog wanted them.

From the time the price drop took effect Saturday, August 20th in the early am hours retailers & e-tailers who had stock saw huge demand. By Sunday afternoon most were simply sold out.

Even HP itself resorted to building a list and promising to inform prospective customers when they had more available. Sunday morning I put myself on HP’s list, noting that I’d take a 32 GB model if they had some.

Then Monday morning I saw by way of Twitter that Barnes & Noble had stock and was taking orders. Acting quickly, I managed to place an order for a 16 GB model.

I have an account with Barnes and Noble, stemming from when I purchased the Color Nook for my wife last Christmas. Of course, I couldn’t recall the password for that account at the moment.

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CBC Radio’s Spark On Soundscapes: Cutting Through The Noise

I’ve recently discovered a CBC Radio program called Spark. The CBC is a bone fide national treasure, and Spark is their program on technology in society. They describe it as:

Spark is a weekly audio blog of smart and unexpected trendwatching. It’s not just technology for gearheads, it’s about the way technology affects our lives, and the world around us.

…sounds interesting, non?

I recently loaded my phone with some Spark podcasts in a effort to catch up on the program. I was especially taken by episode 128 from November 2010 which considers the impact of noise on people. From the calming influence of bird song to the stress induced by using a cell phone, it’s profoundly interesting stuff.

Our personal and collective productivity often hinges on the soundscape of the working environment. Your personal stress and anxiety level can also be impacted. To be blunt, noise matters…and yet it’s often completely overlooked.

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