Tag Archives: SSD

Media centre saga continues

SAMSUNG SSDAfter much chasing, the saga of my media centre PC continues. SSD failure. Who thought that happened, ever? Well… I know it happens, theoretically. I just never thought it’d happen to me. Wonderful as these devices are I guess they’re not necessarily as durable as I thought, despite the lack of moving parts.

I have been distinctly unimpressed by Tranquil PC’s response times; despite promising to return the machine within 10 working days, they’ve had it for the best part of three weeks and I’ve had to write to the company MD to get an update on where it is. I know how long it takes to swap out a drive… so not sure what they’re doing with it.

The failure is going to prompt me to accelerate my "personal cloud" strategy and choose one of the cloud providers out there to mirror my filing system. Dropbox is too expensive for the volume of data I have (50GB music, 40GB pictures, 2GB docs etc), but given that most of that data lived on the secondary SATA drive (which I’m hoping is intact) – with luck I won’t have lost anything too substantial.

What I will invariably have to do is go through the unique displeasure of reconfiguring a Windows install from scratch, including setting up the fiddly and frustrating Windows Media Centre software to receive HD, something that took a not insignificant amount of fiddly hackery to begin with. Google Chrome being the hub of a lot of what I do, and the fact it syncs stuff, will make it marginally easier, but there are other bits and pieces that need sorting too.

Laptop advice – get a SSD!

As the unofficial tech support for a number of my friends, colleagues and most of my family, I’m always, *always*, asked what Laptop people should buy.

After a couple of weeks using a new machine with a Solid State Disk (SSD), my advice is fast becoming: get whatever you like the look of, but make sure it has an SSD in it if you can. Sacrifice the storage space for the speed…

Hard disk technology has been largely static for the last 10 or so years – platters spinning like super-condensed long-play records. The things that have moved along include reliability, energy consumption, storage density and the like. However… speed wise, they’ve not progressed substantially. Most consumer drives have platters that spin at 5,400 (slow) or 7,200 rotations per minute (rpm). The read/write and seek times on these disks (which determines, by and large, how fast applications respond when they need to access the disk) are limited by these spin rates.

With SSDs, there are no moving parts – we’re talking the same storage technology used in USB keys, iPods, etc. So a) read and write times are often much, MUCH, faster, b) performance doesn’t degrade over time (no platters to get worn down), c) energy consumption is reduced and d) they deliver much awesomeness. They’re totally worth the extra money if they are an option from your laptop vendor of choice… Oh, and if you get Windows 7, it’s written to take advantage of them…