Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 20th Jul 2011 22:01 UTC
Apple It's still Apple time over here. Apple has not only released Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, but it has also refreshed several pieces of hardware. Both the MacBook Air and the Mac Mini have seen spec bumps, and most interestingly, the Mini no longer has an optical drive (about time - that thing has become useless for me anyway; not even my workstation has one). They also got Thunderbolt ports, of course. Apple also unveiled a new Cinema display, called the Thunderbolt Display, for which a Thunderbolt-equipped Mac is required. Also... The plastic MacBook is no more.
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Going back over the years, it appears that it usually took around 15-20 units of the removable media of the day for the full (uncompressed) back-up of an average user's hard drive - i.e. 360 Kb floppy and 5 or 10 Mb hard drive, 1440 Kb floppy and 32 to 65 Mb hard drive, 100 Mb ZIP or 120 Mb SuperDisk and 1 to 2 Gb hard drive.

CD-R/W drives started to really become affordable as the typical hard drive capacity was going through the 32 Gb mark. DVD-R/W drives did the same at the 125 Gb mark. The only removable media which could fill this role with a current 500 to 1000 Gb hard drive would be Blu-Ray (the 50 Gb variety).

However, Blu-Ray R/W drives are not yet quite affordable and will likely never be. The historical trend-setter (Apple) has refused to adopt them and now has also obselessed the concept of an optical drive.

Yes, it's possible to go fully for digital software distribution and the "cloud" for content back-up. However, has anybody looked at the global network bandwith requirement when the ~50 million iPads sold per year (and ~100 million other Macs) suddenly dial-in the mother server for the just-announced upgrade to OS X 10.8 (likely a 25 Gb download) a couple of years from now? Would we be getting the digital equivalent of the overnight lining-up at the Apple Store to obtain the just-released Apple device?

Right now, global network bandwith appears unlimited. However, as more and more stuff gets onto it - HD movies, OSes, etc.....the limit will be reached and everybody will be crawling.

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zima Member since:

I don't think ZIP and similar were ever a "removable media of the day" (so, overall, the supposed pattern is much weaker; plus, backing up whole HDD on media of such type would be a bit superfluous - with the amount of disc juggling in any possible restore, you could as well plan for a hypothetical reinstall of most everything and just back up important data)

Bluray should displace living room DVD players fairly soon, just via a "natural" rotation of equipment. At which point economies of scale might mean BD players (recorders?) finally arriving en masse at least in typical "desktop replacement" laptops...

And particularly "historical trend-setter" might be imprecise / Jobs seems to agree
Obsolescence of optical media not being quite here with the bandwidth issues around the world that you mention, vs. very cheap (in production / not like cost reductions would get eagerly passed on "consumers" in any variant) mass stamping of polycarbonate discs. But anyway, when the time for streaming HD movies arrives, we will probably (hopefully?) do it with some sensible approaches to network architecture.

Reply Parent Score: 1