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QotD: Innovation

Question: Where do you want to see the next innovation in computing, big or small?

My Answer: I want to see hard disks that are 10x faster than they are today. Hard drives are by far the biggest bottleneck we see today. After that, I'd like to see everyone's Internet connection become 10x faster.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

17 Responses to "QotD: Innovation"

  1. Yes, and if they could be just three times more reliable as well, that would be good news. I've only used S.M.A.R.T since recently so I cannot say if it improves matters but hard disks tend to break down without notice.

  2. While I hope that the base technology does get faster (speaking of hard drives), I think that there is technology now that could be used to make very noticeable gains in hard drive speed–striping. Hard drives are relatively cheap and RAID technology (both hardware controllers and software controllers) are similarly cheap. So, putting striped drive arrays in machines as a standard are very doable today.

  3. Taking one look under my desk, I'd wish for extending the use of wireless technologies. I'd still have to deal with power cables, but it'd be nice to get rid of Firewire, USB and other communication-related cables. I guess for that to happen, the main innovation required would be increased bandwidth on wireless channels (which probably means use of a higher frequency spectrum).

  4. Before my internet connection downcap becomes any faster, I'd like for upcaps in general to become faster. We need more bandwidth piping into the system first.

    As for the Next Big Thing, I'm looking to see how distributed computing pans out for the rest of us. Rendezvous + Xgrid could be awesome for things like slow iMovie renders.

  5. Two things:

    (a) Global wireless network.

    (b) Wireless electricity.

  6. In reply to Olivier, SMART doesn't make hard drives any more reliable. I just had my second Maxtor 80G drive die a few weeks ago. Both were less than a year old when they suddenly died. This one was being used in a server that was running 24 hours a day.

    I'd like to see more universal use of Rendezvous and plug-and-play on all platforms with automatic download & installation of necessary drivers (like we had in OS 9) when a new printer or other device is recognized.

  7. No, SMART doesn't make hard drives any more reliable but isn't it supposed to give some sort of notification when the drive is about to die because it starts reallocating bad blocks like mad?

    Anyway, the last disk that died in my hands was because one head almost broke and stuck to the disk. I don't think SMART would have seen that coming.

  8. I'd like to see an innovation in teaching about computers. We're all so ignorant even the most knowledgable user has such limited knowledge when it comes to using the different programs available. I'd even say that many people don't know about the availability of programs.

    After that I would also like to see spyware die and have more security and stability of all operating systems.

    Perhaps a little digital justice would be cool too.

  9. I'll vote for faster disks. They are just way too slow, which impacts an awful lot of things.

    Just one example: backups. If disks continue to grow in capacity as fast as they have without corresponding speed increases, then at some point the time needed to copy all the files on a disk will be so large as to make full backups completely impractical.

  10. I'll second the faster disks, and let's make them all solid state, and the size of a Compact Flash card while we're at it. Speed, stability, portability. Can you imagine a 200 GB solid state hard drive the size of the CF card that's in your digital camera?

  11. Disks, for the me anyway, don't limit my computing experience. Size does. I'm an avowed PowerBook user, and wouldn't even consider a desktop with the limitations it contains. I love the freedom of having all of my data on my available all the time and the ability to take it anywhere.

    But the size of portable drives is sorely lacking. My PowerBook has a 60 GB drive, and if I were to upgrade it, the largest I could get would be 80. To augment that, I use a 300 GB external Firewire drive for video editing (for all those movies I take of my kids). I've considered getting an iPod as primarily portable additional space (including the 15 GB of music I have), but the ideal solution would be to just be able to get a 300+ GB drive that will fit in my PowerBook. That's the inovation I'm awaiting with baited breath.

  12. I'd like a technology which catches spam, spyware, adware and other some-such before it gets to me, traces it back to the sender and fries their system(s) and/or the senders.

    (Is annoying somebody until they see red really conducive to making a sale?)

  13. I think we really need to get away from primary storage devices that involve something spinning or moving parts at all. This makes everything slower and less reliable. I get really tired of waiting of looking at the spinning rainbow while I'm waiting for a disk to become available.

  14. More letters in the alphabet to support more TLAs.

  15. I want a direct brain interface! No more typing or mouse clicking, f*** speech recognition!

  16. The Next Big Thing: 3D Interface

    What will be, or rather, what should be, the next innovation in computing? This is a question Erik Barzeski recently asked on his blog, and his own reply expressed the wish for hard drives that are 10 times faster than today's drives -- and also a 1...

  17. i would have to agree with RAID arrays being standard.

    ...maybe a touch-sensitive keyboard that automatically bolds when you hit it really hard. 🙂


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