Wednesday, January 05, 2005

What the World is Coming to

today on npr i heard about the closing of "the last american audio tape manufacturer" (note that it is audio not data tape and it is american not world wide). i remember wanting a walkman (the tape variety) sometime when i was young. i think i did get one eventually and i actually owned like two tapes, maybe. it seems that one of them was copland's appalachian spring. this reminds me that i am approaching the category where kids would classify me as old (actually they probably already do, but i still pretend). i mean i remember renting a vcr from blockbuster when we rented a movie because we didn't own one since it was too expensive.

anyways, back to the magnetic tape. i find it fascinating that some data backup and recording is still done using magnetic tape. i wonder if magnetic tape will ever really die or if it will merely hibernate and we'll be seeing it in a similar form years from now.


k2h said...

to an extent the audio tape technology is still with us. the way I see the Fe solution that they put on plastic to make it hold a magnetic signal becamse the basis for first the audio tape in real to real format, then 8 track, then casette tape. we then used as far as I can tell the exact same technology in video cassette tapes, which we still have.

video casettes were beta, then vhs, and now we use the same basic technology in 8mm, and dat tapes. the newest video cameras use the exact same tapes, just record digital instead of analog.

so.. follow the technology with me and I think you will find that this Fe solution was probably the basis for hard drive platters. put this junk on an Al or glass disk and it becomes a hard drive. now I know with blue ray and the like there is projections of up to 200gig in the foreseable future for consumer optical disks, but magnetic disk drives still comprise the bulk of computer memory. flash memory is still too expensive and may never be as cost effective as spreading some magic goop on a piece of glass.

I think magnetic storage, in what ever form is here for a very long time. but hey.. its been 30+ years, we are due for a paradigm shift, maybe someone will get some type of cube or 3d rewritable memory perfected. wouldn't it be ironic if the next generation mass storage was indeed bassed on the same Fe goop, just implemented in a different form.

first it was put on a long sting (linear)
then it was put on a disk (circular)
now we just need a 1 inch by 1inch cube of it (cubic) and given the storage density per volume, this 1inch cube should give us terabytes...

forkev said...

i'll wip out my iron nugget and watch a movie.