ds106 assignment – tell me a story (about an item)

by jm82temple

(photo credit: intel.com promotional product photo)

Assignment: Find an item you have extreme emotional attachment to, and tell its story.

Process: This is a writing assignment, so it’s not really technically demanding. The only thing I really did other than the writing is find a decent photo of my hard-drive to post.

Story: One of my most prized possessions is definitely my 120GB solid-state hard-drive from Intel. I don’t know about some extreme emotional attachment, but I would definitely be sad if something happened to this piece of hardware.

Of course, just like everyone else, I used to have a magnetic disk drive which have definitely come a long way in terms of the storage space they offer:

(image credit: no idea, XCOMP apparently. this image has been shared to many times, if you google “old hard drive advertisement” you can see)

Solid-state drives, which mostly rely on NAND-flash memory (think of the small flash drive you keep in your pocket, or on your keychain) entered the market for mass consumption, and gained popularity in the 00’s. They offer some incredible next-generation benefits in terms of performance. They’re usually at least 2~3 times as fast compared to old magnetic disks, and  so far, they’ve been much more reliable. Although large-scale testing has been spotty because it’s a younger technology, they appear that they may have extremely long life-times (possibly up to 10,15,20 years?) compared to magnetic disks which in general consistently die out at the 5~6 year mark, or much sooner.

But enough with the free marketing for Intel; why do I have emotional attachment to my drive that’s sitting in the computer and holding the operating system that’s allowing me to type these very words?

  • It’s fast as heck so I’m always the first in-game when large multi-player levels load when I game
  • I don’t worry nearly as much about the disk failing, and losing all of my (seriously) precious data.
  • Even living in Tokyo which is hilariously earthquake-prone doesn’t bother me with this drive; SSDs can handle a good shaking while in operation (youtube “SSD shaking” if you want)
  • My system boots up crazy fast compared to my old magnetic disk system, usually around 15 seconds (old system was a minute usually)
  • Programs launch faster; I never wait for a browser to come on screen (compare that to the computer lab browser/computer startup time)

In general, I get a ton of benefits from my SSD, and I would be very sad if I had to switch back to a magnetic disk. I actually do have a secondary magnetic disk for storing video, but I don’t use it that often, and it just keeps backups and video only.

In conclusion: It’s been awesome watching technology develop from the 90’s into the 00’s.

ds106 assignment – tell me a story