And it looks like OCZ is no more

Last night I saw reports that OCZ’s main creditor is forcing it to liquidate, and OCZ has an agreement to sell most of its assets to Toshiba. Its manufacturing plants and its Indilinx controller technology make Toshiba a good fit; Toshiba makes some controllers and they make flash memory, so this would allow them to expand their SSD business and/or compete with Sandforce by being able to sell a broader line of controllers and memory chips to companies like Kingston. Tuning Indilinx designs to match their own chips would likely improve both speed and reliability.

OCZ was an early contender and was one of the first companies to market a consumer SSD that had a reasonable mix of performance and affordability. The problem was that many of their designs were buggy and they had a poor reputation for customer service. They didn’t get a lot of repeat customers. I had a couple of 40 GB OCZ Vertex drives and they were OK. The problems with subsequent drives scared me away from buying any more.

It will be interesting to see what Toshiba plans to do with the acquisition.

Don’t read too much into the PC sales drop just yet

If you’ve been paying any attention at all, you probably know that new PC sales are in the toilet–out of the five biggest vendors, the only one whose sales managed to hold steady in Q1 2013 was Lenovo, while the other four saw a sales decline. So now Slashdot linked to a ZDNet piece stating that Windows is over, and said it must be true because ZDNet always sides with Microsoft.

Let’s not read too much into that. The author of the piece is a longtime open-source advocate. The points he raises are completely valid, but if there’s one person who’s going to take Microsoft to task, it’s Steven Vaughan-Nichols.

Microsoft has a long road ahead, but there is precedent for salvaging the boondoggle known as Windows 8. And I don’t think Windows 8 is the only factor here. Read more

SSDs might be getting less interesting, but that’s not necessarily bad

Ars Technica has a story about SSD news coming out of CES.

Basically, they’re predicting that the big news this year will be consolidation and lower prices. That may be bad news for someone who writes about SSDs for a living (I don’t), but good news for consumers. Read more

The Samsung SSD 830: A user review

I didn’t need much convincing to purchase a Samsung 830 SSD; I was in the market for a bigger SSD, and my short list consisted of Samsung and Intel drives. So when I found a good price on a 128 GB Samsung 830, I bought two.

The laptops I put the drives in aren’t able to fully take advantage of what the 830 brings to the table, but it’s still a worthwhile upgrade. I thought that two months ago when I installed them, and two months of living with them hasn’t changed my mind. Read more

Remember Plextor? Now they’re making SSDs.

Those of you who’ve been around as long as I have–which is probably most of you–will remember Plextor as the maker of the very best SCSI CD-ROM drives back when there was a market for SCSI CD-ROM drives. I had one, and I haven’t used it in years, but I relied on it, especially when I was doing A/V work. And it never, ever let me down. Read more

Egg on my face

I dragged my computer back over to Micro Center this afternoon. It took three of us, but we got the computer working.

It’s a long story. It would have been a much shorter story if I’d remembered my rule #1. I won’t bore you with the details, except to say the second technician, upon hearing the only thing we hadn’t swapped out was the power supply, dragged a power supply out of the back. We plugged that power supply in, and heard the sweet gimme-some-memory scream from the motherboard failing to POST. Incredible. So we powered down, reinstalled the memory, and watched the system POST.

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