Miscellaneous Magic

Hello happy reader,

This installment of The Bitstream simply aggregates a few news pieces that came across my desk, and makes a brain dead simple prediction about the future of computing. OK, let’s dive in…

Yesterday, Seagate Technologies announced a new line of disk drives, the Constellation. “The Constellation 2.5-inch hard drive is offered in capacities of 160GB and 500GB with both 3 Gbps SATA and new SAS 2.0 interface running at 6Gb/s speeds.” So, half a terabyte in a 2.5″ form factor is good thing but the real news is the ES…“The 3.5-inch Constellation ES hard drive will be available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities, and with an enterprise-class SAS interface (6 Gb/s SAS 2.0) as well as a SATA version…” Yup, you read right; 2 TB in a 3.5″, 7200 RPM, SAS 2–attached mechanism. The inexorable march toward a petabyte on the desktop seems feasible within my lifetime…crazy. These drive also represent, for me, the first instance of a family of drives that offer “…optional self-encrypting drive (SED) technology and provide government-grade data security (they mention AES in passing but I can find no details) through the drive’s life cycle.” Seems this SED option has been around for a while but I never noticed.

Next up, solid state memory…On my birthday, electronista.com reported that Samsung had developed the world’s first 4 GB DDR3 DRAM chip. This low power (1.35 V) chip “…can be produced in 16 gigabyte (GB) registered dual in-line memory modules (RDIMM) for servers, as well as 8GB unbuffered DIMM (UDIMM) for workstations and desktop PCs, and 8GB small outline DIMM (SODIMM) for laptops. By applying dual-die package technology, this new device can deliver modules of up to 32GB.” Sheesh.

Last up, let’s talk operating systems…NetApplications.com recently released their web–only numbers for OS market share. Last month, Mac OS X was running 9.93% of the machines accessing the Web, while Microsoft’s Windows dipped to 88.26%. BTW, all other web–enabled OSs combined, including Linux, Solaris, BSD, iPhone and Playstation, didn’t even crack 1%. If you stuff NetApplications’ numbers from March 2008 to January 2009 into Excel and project the trend into the future, you’ll find that, around the end of 2020, Mac OS will have achieved market share parity with Windows, while all other OSs will not have yet cracked 4%.


Predicted OS market share based on NetApplications.com data for 2008-2009

Predicted OS market share based on NetApplications.com data for 2008-2009

Kinda makes you wonder, especially with the slow but steady progress of cloud services and the increasing dependency of consumers worldwide on IT–based products, spaces where Microsoft is weak. Anyway, that’s all for now. Enjoy your day and, continue to geek!

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