Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Your Data on a Knife Edge

I read this interesting article on the BBC website today. It talks about how two European scientists (Albert Fert and Peter Grunberg) have won the Nobel prize for physics for GMR (giant magnetoresistance). This technology has enabled hard drives to be made smaller and to hold more data. What I liked most was the following comment, used to describe the technology:

"A computer hard-disk reader that uses a GMR sensor is equivalent to a jet flying at a speed of 30,000 kmph, at a height of just one metre above the ground, and yet being able to see and catalogue every single blade of grass it passes over."

What a great description of the (extremely cheap) technology we simply rely on every day to provide us our data. With those kinds of tolerance levels, our information really is on a knife edge.

So next time, you moan about a disk failure, just imagine being on that jet...

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