What to look for in a USB flash drive

What to look for in a USB flash drive

USB flash drives are pretty much a necessity these days. They’re far more convenient for moving files around than optical discs, and they make good backup devices. But not all USB flash drives are created equal. Here’s what to look for in a USB flash drive.

Here’s a tip: I don’t just use USB flash drives for transporting data and backups. I like to keep a modest-sized USB flash drive plugged into my router, turning it into a small NAS. It gives me a convenient, reliable place to back up data from any of my computers.

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When will SSDs be cheaper than hard drives?

When will SSDs be cheaper than hard drives?

When will SSDs be cheaper than hard drives? Based on history, it’s possible to make an educated guess, and I’m going to do it.

Back in 2011, I noticed that historical hard drive pricing fell in line pretty nicely with Moore’s Law, and predicted that SSDs would do the same. I predicted that SSDs would reach 25 cents per gigabyte sometime in 2016, and was wrong. They hit that price in 2015. So I was late by a few months.

But I’m still willing to try to predict when SSDs will cost less than hard drives. I’ll predict when they’ll hit parity too. SSDs work differently from hard drives but their pricing trend is frighteningly similar.

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What happens when you write a petabyte of data to an SSD

If you’re concerned about SSD reliability, Tech Report has good news for you: They attempted to write a petabyte of data to six SSDs, and three of them survived. Considering the drives were rated for a 200 TB life expectancy, that’s impressive. In fact, even the worst drives outlived their 200 TB life expectancy. And all started behaving oddly long before their demise, giving you ample warning to do something in advance–something you can’t say about evil nasty platters of spinning rust–perhaps better known as traditional hard drives.

The first drive to fail, if you’re wondering, was the Samsung 840, which uses cheaper TLC memory. But even the Samsung 840 outlived its projected life expectancy. Since other companies are undercutting the 840’s price even with MLC memory these days, I’m not sure what Samsung’s plans for the 840 are. For the time being, I doubt you’ll be buying one. One of the drives that’s still going after a petabyte of writes is a costlier Samsung MLC drive.

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How to increase the capacity of a Log Logic appliance by 45%

My 9-5 gig revolves primarily around Tibco LogLogic (I’ll write it as Log Logic going forward, as I write in English, not C++), which is a centralized logging product. The appliances collect logs from a variety of dissimilar systems and present you with a unified, web-based interface to search them. When something goes wrong, having all of the logs in one place is invaluable for figuring it out.

That value comes at a price. I don’t know exactly what these appliances cost, but generally speaking, $100,000 is a good starting point for an estimate. So what if I told you that you could store 45% more data on these expensive appliances, and increase their performance very modestly (2-5 percent) in the process? Read on.

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12 PC tasks you should be doing and aren’t

Here’s a jewel from earlier this month from PC World: 12 easy, crucial PC tasks you should be doing and aren’t. They’re mostly related to performance and security. No wonder I like the article.

A couple of the items won’t give the kinds of gains they used to–in this era when everyone thinks they need a 3 TB drive and they’re using less than 1 TB of it, cleaning up unused data isn’t going to do all that much to improve performance. But there’s some benefit to removing unused programs, especially unused programs that run at startup.

Most critically, the article tells how to automate a lot of these tasks. Automating it so that it just happens without you having to think about it is even better than doing it. If you’re not doing these 12 things because the computer is already doing them automatically for you, then that’s OK.

The 1 TB-ish SSD: The Micron M500

Anandtech has a review of the Micron M500, which is the first 960 GB SSD to retail for less than $600. Micron had to make some decisions to get that combination of capacity and price, so it’s not truly a no-compromises SSD, but like the article states, it’s a not-quite-a-terabyte capacity at the price that the best 80 GB drive was selling for in 2008. That’s a long way to come in five years. At $599, the price is high, but it’s not out of reach. If you really need that much high-speed capacity, you can probably come up with that sum.

And the drive’s reception has been very good. It’s backordered everywhere I’ve looked. Read more

Yes, SSDs are “finally worth the money.”

Slashdot asked today if SSDs are “finally worth the money.”

I’m wondering since when they haven’t been. I’ve been buying SSDs since 2008. And their price has been falling at a rate faster than hard drives did, historically. Read more

Umm, no, that’s not Commodore, and that’s not an Amiga

Some stories floating around are suggesting that Commodore is still around, and they just released a new, overpriced Amiga.

Well, there’s a company slapping “Commodore” and “Amiga” labels on PC cases that look kind of like Apple Mac Mini cases and stuffing off-the-shelf components in them, but they’re Commodore Amigas in name only. Read more

Message digests for forensic purposes

I found a question in my studies whose answer I didn’t like. So I’ll repeat the question and the choices, and state what I think the answer should be and why I think that way. Any experts out there who might be reading can feel free to chime in.

Which of the following is a potential problem when creating a message digest for forensic purposes?

A. It’s an extremely slow process
B. The message digest is almost as long as the data
C. The last access time of the file is changed
D. One-way hashing technology invalidates message digest processing Read more

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