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Implications for mobile computing raised by flash hard drives

Lots of buzz surrounding the recent announcement by SanDisk of a new 32GB NAND hard drive for notebook computers. Kevin Tofel at jkOnTheRun offer his four quick thoughts. I thought the fourth was the most provocative.
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Written by Marc Orchant on

Lots of buzz surrounding the recent announcement by SanDisk of a new 32GB NAND flash hard drive for notebook computers. Kevin Tofel at jkOnTheRun offer his four quick thoughts. I thought the fourth was the most provocative:

As mobile users, we'll need a new way of comparing and choosing our storage options. We can't just sit there and say "I'm buying a standard hard drive because I can get so much more capacity for less money". There's a subtle paradigm shift here and that's the speed of information access with the solid state drives. There's also the added benefit of device stability. Drop a hard drive-based device from too high a point and good bye hard drive (among other things). Flash drives have no moving parts, use less energy and access information faster, so these attributes need to be factored into the price premium. There's still the open question (in my mind) of how many reads & writes the flash equipment can stand, but my gut tells me that I don't keep my devices long enough for that to be a factor. 

I could not agree more and want to add that as we store more information in the cloud and seek to reduce the weight and extend the longevity of our mobile devices, a similar shift in thinking will need to take place in how we organize, store, and access our information. As an inveterate backer-upper, I tend to offload archival information to an external hard drive or optical medium on a regular basis to keep lots of virtual memory swap file space free on my regularly defragmented hard drives. It's not much of a stretch to think that some of this material could just as easily go up onto a server where I would enjoy the additional benefit of ready access from wherever I might be working.

I know I could configure a notebook or Tablet PC that would hold all of the really important applications and current data I need in 32GB. I just have to engage in a little "subtle paradigm shifting". 

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