Nov 302010

Today I turned on my first 1TB hard drive – I’m consolidating multiple systems into one to lower administrative hassle and reduce power usage. It’s striking to see that big, round number and a huge swath of free space. I’m excited at the possibility of keeping my data more organized, better protected and finally keeping the kids from destroying all our DVDs. However, I could have added these hard drives years ago – this is about the puniest computer I work on.

At work, we have systems with hundreds or thousands of cores and hundreds of terabytes of storage. I feel I’ve become jaded, as it’s been a long time since I was truly impressed by such numbers. Nevertheless, there are even larger systems being used by governments, universities and research labs.

I’ve come to realize that being envious of bigger hardware is quite childish. Almost all computers are under-utilized, so a good portion of the hardware is just going to waste. Particularly with home desktops and servers, the systems spend the majority of their time running idle. Rather than obsess over the several hundred dollar upgrade that would make your computer just a little faster, why not get something done?

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