Monday, 22 September 2008

Why Can't the HDD Industry Publish True Size of Disk?

Why can't the Hard Disk industry publish the true size of the disks they are selling? This is the big question! I recently purchased two drives from Seagate from their Momentus series of laptop 2.5 7200 rpm line. To be specific, I have the Momentus 7200.2 in 160Gb and the Momentus 7200.3 in 320Gb. From the product title you would expect to be getting 160Gb and 320Gb respectively from the drives.

However this isn't exactly true. I don't know what the number represents but it's not the size of the drive once you plug it into your machine. I only get 149Gb from the former and 298Gb from the latter, which on the latter is a significant loss of space (close to 10% but more like 8%). It goes to say that this is beyond annoying! When you buy a hard disk, you buy it based on advertised size (hoping to get that maximum space possible) at least that's the general idea. If you advertise the size of something it should be the real size you will see when you start to use it! Not the theoretical size based on platters and cluster sizes!! BTW this is true for almost every hard disk vendor not just the one mentioned here.

Don't get me wrong the drives are fantastic. I bought them for that reason, they perform extremely well and have some interesting laptop usage safe guards. I am just feed up of expecting something and getting a different value in return... For crying out loud! Change your attitude, the industry needs to change its methodology and start giving us the real sizes - didn't this happen with TV to!

So HDD Industry wake-up, smell the coffee and stop lying to us about the size of your products! Gives us the real size...

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Change of Plans

So, I was supposed to be in Houston right now but the damage caused by hurricane Ike has put a hold on that. Now the thing is I was hoping to get some tech shopping in ( before all my Euros are gobbled up by the tax collector) while over there giving me a significant savings. Maybe this will happen next month!

So in the mean time, I am thinking of passing the time by either getting a Dell Inspirion mini9 or upgrading my home PC a bit with the following components:

  • ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro - 45 CFM
  • ASUS P5Q Deluxe - Chipset Intel P45 / ICH10R
  • CRUCIAL Ballistix - 4 Go ( 2*2G ) - PC6400 - 800MHz
  • INTEL ® Core™2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz FSB 1333MHz 6Mo cache socket 775

This upgrade would give a nice all purpose machine good enough for some good gaming. Money wise, this would cost roughly the same.

What's your vote?

Update 20080921: Looks like if I buy the kit in the US I'd be saving anywhere between 20% to 30% - so going to wait.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Integrating Web2.0 Solutions in the Corporate Env. A Challenge for Innovation!

I was in a very interesting discussion with a colleague responsible for the IT Innovation process in our company today.

The company, where I work, has for awhile now had a big focus on bringing Web 2.0 type solutions into the corporate infrastructure via the innovation process . Some current projects include looking at integrating internal social networking (ala facebook, dopplr and similar) or microblogging (ala twitter). There are many reasons behind these ideas and a lot them have to do with attracting young blood into the company & keeping them interested.

There are however a number of fundamental issues behind this logic, a primary one being that these types of solutions can be easily adopted into the user's daily business workflow to bring him/her added benefit and ease to complete their professional goals. Even more difficult in a company like ours which is not an IT focused company. Another important issue being that a majority of new recruits are indeed heavily involved in the use of such solutions! Let's face it there have not been that many studies that indicate that a majority of university graduates expect to see such tools in the work place. Yes! They want access to the solutions but at a more global and personal level - a primary goal being to be able to keep in touch with friends and acquaintances as well as continue to exist in the webosphere as they did before.

There is in fact a macro versus micro distinction that needs to be made in this domain. An internal corporate social network or microblog actually only serves a microcosm of users that already have the primary means to achieve essentially the same things with e-mail, corporate directory & IM. In a more than typical internal business environment you already communicate and share information with your colleagues and don't necessarily need to push or publish information via a web based application. Think about it what additional information is a social network going to allow you to serve more than a corporate directory or sending e-mails. One theory is to stay that in a large 50k employee company, it will allow you to discover or facilitate contacting people when you travel to a different site. I question this! As how is different than looking up the colleagues you need to visit or are based in the site you are visiting? Will a social network really bring additional benefit in that sense?

For me a lot of these Internet level solutions function and provide benefit as they permit disperse people the ability to keep in touch without requiring a formal linkage (such as sharing of e-mail or IM) as well as bringing a platform to meet new people outside of your usual domain of influence. I think the whole point here is the ability or drive to expand you domain of influence however in your work environment you already basically have the recognition and access to your domain of influence based on your experience and responsibilities. Microblogging is another good example of this and can be seen as the summum of this ability by allowing you to broadcast updates and thoughts to all your followers in a quick and dirty interface. But how does this fit into a typical business day workflow.

I am in IT and for the moment, I don't quite see it. To be honest, I already have trouble juggling my job responsibilities and keeping my Internet presence up-to-date. And this is for me and more importantly and as mentionned before the key factor: how do you fit these tools into your daily job workflow. Honestly, I don't have the answer and I still fail to see the business benefit. I am open to suggestion and hope this post will open the floor for discussion...

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Why We Need Google Chrome

On Sept. 1 2008, Google announced their plans to release a new intiative in the web browser market ( of course it will be free - sort of) called Chrome. Some of the technical reasoning behind the browser was laid out in a home brewed web-comic. I have no intention of re-commenting this as plenty before me have [Google it!].

My apropos on this subject has to do with the fundemental reasons I think that a new browser paradigm or technology is deeply required!

Browsers today are stagnating in the form of a monolithic giant that are required to perform too much in order to support everything from scripting to multimedia to web2.0 & beyond. The problem is that the main contenders today have been adding and adding features forgetting that to keep performance you also need to optimize! This holds true even for the more recent versions of FF3 & IE8. Unfortunately performance has not gotten significantly better and this is a fundamental quagmire...

Let's face it the web is getting slower and slower and I am not inclined to accept the blocked tubes excuse. A fair bit of the slowness is coming from the iffy responsiveness of the browsers. I've seen this too many times even when trying to load local web pages (i.e. on the same LAN). Now this is a core problem because the web applications are becoming more and more complex as providers start to bring services that encompass more features. I, personally, feel like I spend more time waiting for the pages to load and respond to my request than actually using the features provided by the application.

Believe or not, this situation has already been seen when mobile operators started pushing the mobile web and the WAP standard and simplified web pages had to be developed. Look at the iPhone, despite its «full featured» browser, it still prefers to have special formatted web pages. This is equivalent to a tacit recognition that current solutions are not responding in a user-acceptable manner to expectations and something needs to change - we need the features but with the performance that makes them useable.

Chrome wants to try and resolve this issue by bettering the performance of the browser, a good start! But is this really enough, is there a need to look at changing the way these applications are delivered? I think this will remain a very open question until someone re-invents the web2.0/web3.0 paradigm!

Update 2008-09-08: So I've been using Chrome for 6 days now! It's fast... brings back the punch on web sites! However I am going to stop using it until Google fixes a number of security flaws that have been discovered since launch [IMHO some of them are inexcusable considering they had already been identified in the webkit platform]