Who can meet the terabyte challenge?

Who can meet the terabyte challenge?

Summary: Fitting a terabyte onto a DVD is clever. Finding what to do with it will be cleverer still

TOPICS: IT Employment

It is deeply unfashionable to admit it, but when used appropriately patents are still doing a good job. Away from the febrile software wars, hardware is still being invented, protected and revealed. Iomega's latest wheeze, which uses nanotechnology to push DVD capacity to a potential 800GB, very nearly a terabyte, may and probably will, turn out to be just another bright storage idea swept aside by politics, timing or physics. If not, though, the products will beg one question. What needs that much space?

800GB is the equivalent of 1000 CDs, a figure that immediately rules out any role in commercial music or film distribution. Even at their most generous, the licensing organisations are unlikely to let such huge compilations go for under the equivalent of a fiver per CD or DVD. However, as the explosive success of online media sharing systems such as Flickr shows, there is no storage too big when people are encouraged to create and conspire rather than consume and confine.

For software distribution, there is a fighting chance that by the time the technology is mature Microsoft might have shrunk Longhorn II enough to fit it onto a couple of the new discs. In reality, though, it's hard to see what commercial product would simultaneously need so much storage while being cheap enough to develop and sell at a reasonable price. Try collating a few of the hundreds of Linux distros out there, though, and space no longer seems so plentiful.

The only world in which enormous amounts of single-disk storage makes sense is one in which free creativity and distribution are encouraged — the same forces that have made broadband so popular and useful. Whether or not Iomega's invention is anything more than a footnote, when the technological history of the early twenty-first century comes to be written it will be the free movement of good ideas that maintained the momentum of growth.

Topic: IT Employment

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  • That story was written very short sighted. Why question what could possibly fill such a "vast" space, such as 800GB's?
    If a drive is designed and built to handle such a capacity, all they have to do is produce media that limits the storage space, but still leave the potential for expansion. Produce media in sizes such as 200, 400 and 800 GB's and let the consumer decide which they wish to purchase. 800GB within 3 years will be mediocre at best. Or are you still in awe of your 1GB drive that you never thought you could fill?
  • I hope they do release high volume storage like this, with HDD sizes getting bigger, it becomes harder and harder to do simplified backups. how good would it be to just dump the contents of an entire harddisk onto a dvd for backup. no need to be selective in each discs contents. (I am relating to home storage not business storage solutions)
  • LMAO!

    The question should be "Who can't meet the terabyte challenge".

    The upcoming Seagate Barracuda 7200.9's are 500Gb. Two of the and there's your first terabyte for filling.

    The megapixel count on digital cameras is rising year on year and now Microsoft Longhorn is set to support RAW images. Anyone remotely 'snap happy' it going to see the Gigabytes eaten up fast.

    Then there's DV Camcorders - If I recall, using Mediaplayer eats up 500Mb a minute. Three hours of 'Marge, Homers and the kids at Duffworld' and you can kiss goodbye to 90Gb straight off.

    Then there's using then to record your favourite soaps from the new HDTV...

    As someone who can remember 10Mb harddrive being state of the art and costing nearly a