Small Size, G(o)B(s) of Storage

The hard drive in the latest iPod mini from Apple currently holds six gigabytes (GB) of data. The largest hard drive available for desktop computers is now 500GB. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies announced today that new technology will allow them to create a 20GB hard drive for the iPod mini and a one terabyte (TB) hard drive for desktop computers, by 2007 (just two years from now). The technology, called “perpendicular recording“, will eventually pack 230 gigabits of data per square inch of media. Compare that to current “longitudinal recording” technology that will soon top out at a data density of 120 gigabits per square inch.

All those bits and bytes may be confusing. There are 8 bits in one byte. The more bytes you have, the more data you can store. Blu-Ray Disc media set to replace DVDs beginning at the end of this year will store about 50GB per disc, or four hours of high definition video. With the 1TB hard drive enabled by perpendicular recording, a consumer-level camcorder is on the horizon for shooting approximately 80 hours of weddings, birthday parties, and inappropriate adult activity in high definition.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a fiction writer and poet, with his first published poem forthcoming later in 2017 from Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (, on Goodreads (richardleis), his (@richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).