One of the announcements coming from MWC2015 today was the release of a frightfully capacious flash memory card from SanDisk. Their new Ultra Premium Edition microSDXC card holds a whopping 200 GB of data! With class 10 performance it’s able…
Solid state disks (SSD) are coming down in price and going up in capacity. The attractions are many; lower power consumption, low heat output, mechanically robust, decent write performance and dramatically faster read performance. There’s plainly a lot to like about SSDs.
Last winter I put a cheap 120 GB San Disk Ultra SSD into my aging netbook and gave it another year’s lease on life. Over the summer I saw a deal on some nicely spec’d HP Pavilion HPE desktops I bought a couple for myself and the Mrs. It seemed a sensible way to move us away from Windows XP.
This is a little story about the solid state disk residing in my desktop PC. The device in question is a 128 GB Crucial M4 model that I added to a new HP desktop purchased from Woot.com last summer. The tale is worth telling because the SSD seemed to fail after just a few months.
Back in January I rather impulsively purchased a 120 GB Sandisk Ultra SSD. At $120 it was just too tempting to pass up. Until recently that disk lived in my HP Mini 5102 netbook.
In truth, 120 GB was on the borderline of being large enough for what I need. I have a 50 GB paid Dropbox account. That dictates that s very small disk will present certain inconveniences.
The SSD in the netbook achieved what I had hoped. The little PC booted faster, ran faster and had longer battery life than with the stock WD Scopio drive.
The events of past week or two have resulted in my having a spare 750 GB Seagate Momentus XT hybrid drive. I’ve swapped that into the netbook for now. That leaves the SSD without a home, a situation that I will surely remedy shortly.
If 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.
A 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 $120. Most 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.
VUC regular Tim Panton has been very busy lately. He was at Astricon where he gave a splendid presentation on the current state of Skype-For-Asterisk, including a live demo of it integrated with Google Wave. He later gave a similar presentation at eComm in Amsterdam, including a demo to the Google Wave team! Of course, we’ve been using his G.722 capable Java plug-in for web browser access to the ZIPDX wideband conference bridge for several months. That has been a genuinely useful bit of software, allowing anyone with a headset & decent broadband to experience HDVoice first hand.