- The size: I need more, more...

- Very well, nice...: and bargain sale?

- Interface IDE

- Who needs SCSI?

- To turn and to rotate, everything is to start...

- UltraDMA/66

- Do not be ancient: be updated!

- Conclusion

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Hardware for the summer - autumn 1999

Part 1: Hard disks


Photo of a hard disk without the protective coveringLet's begin this revision of the actuality of the computer market alluding to this old partner who is the hard disk, which despite the appearance of multitude of new technologies of storage, does not seem ready to leave us even inside a good number of years.

The size: I need more, more...

It will seem incredible, but we still exist on the Earth "veterans" that we knew those hard disks of: 20 MB! that it seemed impossible that they were going so far as to fill; and it would have been fearsome that were doing it, because they were costing more than 50.000 pts of the epoch; that is to say, more than 2.500 pts / Mb (15 euros / Mb, for the modern ones).

Nowadays, the hard disks are taken into account by GBs, coloquialmente "jigs", which we remember for less advanced that they are equivalent to 1.024 MB (technically, although commercially they usually use multiple of 1.000 to turn a disc of 8,2 GB into 8,6 GB "for publi-magic art").

The smallest hard disk that can be at present is that of 4 GB, while the biggest is of 15 GB... not, 20 GB... not, not, 25 GB. Well, in fact, it might be said that hard disks of any size exist, although if we are supported in a few reasonable prices, the scale goes of the 4 to the 15 GB. Obviously, with these numbers, any of these discs can serve to us if what we want is to install Windows, Office and an accounting program, and capacity still will remain us for, let's say, approximately 50.000 letters and several million bank notes. So the user ofimático can despreocuparse of the size of the aparatito in question.

A different case is that of the domestic user; theoretically, scarcely he would need a little more of capacity that the user ofimático, but he does not doubt it: the reality is that his son (or you) soon will saturate the hard disk yourself with tens or hundreds of games, some with needs for the order of hundreds of Mb. So it has two options: or it gets accustomed to being ordered and erases those games that it never uses, or it is realistic and there buys to itself a hard disk of 6 or 8 GB, which fortunately will suppose a small economic payment.

As for the professionals of the CAD or the edition of video, the capacity that they keep on needing keeps on being quite high, although in this case the size must not be an obsession; simply, study his concrete needs and buy a little more than he needs, but remember that in these applications the hard disk is an only one work tool, never of file. For that there are the magneto-optic ones, the Jaz or the omnipresent tape recorders of CD.

And to end, a comment about the users of portable: what is the suitable size of a hard disk for portable? It does not even design, but less than he could need in the future ever. To extend the capacity of storage of a computer of dessert is something so simple and economic difficult and expensive is to do it in case of a portable one.

Very well, nice...: and bargain sale?

Why was it so categorical on having affirmed that the hard disk will not disappear of the market in the nearby future? Is so good technology? No, for nothing. The hard disks have relatively serious problems as for the safety of the information (theoretically the average time between mistakes will be able to be 500.000 hours = 57 years, but I have seen MANY broken hard disks and have not even half of these years), the maximum speed of attainable transference, the consumption, the heat generation... But they have a BIG advantage: they are cheap.

Approximate average hard disks price (July, 1999)

Capacity - Interface

I boast with VAT


19.000 pts


22.000 pts


25.000 pts

10 GB - IDE UDMA33

31.500 pts

13 GB - IDE UDMA33

39.000 pts

4 GB - Wide SCSI

44.000 pts

9 GB - Wide SCSI

77.000 pts

4 GB - Ultra-2 SCSI

50.000 pts

9 GB - Ultra-2 SCSI

88.000 pts

In fact, very cheap. At present it is possible to acquire a hard disk IDE of 8 GB for approximately 25.000 pts VAT included, that is to say, scarcely 3 pts / Mb, something unattainable except for the CDs regrabables, but I do not believe that the speed is comparable by no means.

Even the discs SCSI have an "accessible" price, despite costing approximately the double that one IDE and to need a checker SCSI. True it is that in return they are usually slightly more rapid, it is a technology more advanced than IDE (or not? we will return on this) and they usually have guarantees of several years.

I wanted to come to this, to the guarantee: I insist that a hard disk cannot give any problem for 10 years... or break to 367 days of his buy. That's why, always bear in mind 2 things: try to buy hard disks of mark, which usually offer guarantees of 2, 3 and up to 5 years, and DO SAFETY COPIES. No, if I know that he me is not going to pay attention with that thing about the safety copies, the indolence is stronger, but the day does not complain that it loses all his information: this time the fault is his, not of Bill Gates (or yes, it is never known...).

Finally, buy with the head: GB does not install a hard disk of 10 to itself only because he can pay it, but if the difference between one of 4 GB and other of 6 GB is only of 3.000 pts...: what demons! One day is one day.


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