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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

January, 2007

 

Moving from 2006 to 2007, Part 1
By Michael Hart

Can you imagine carrying all the books from a public library on your keychain?
That became possible in 2006.
How about carrying the entire Library of Congress?
That will become possible well before 2020.

At prices we can afford, here is the timetable: 2000 = 32 Megabytes, 2010 = 32 Gigabytes, 2020 = 32 Terabytes

32 terabytes is larger than anyone's estimation of how much a collection as large as The Library of Congress would take for every word to be stored in your personal computer.

32 gigabyte thumbdrives made their appearance in 2006, enough memory in a flashdrive to carry tens of thousands of books on a keychain. While these are not year affordable to an average person today, they will be by 2010.

32 megabytes was the size of my own first USB memory stick in about the year 2000, now pretty much of only antique value to someone such as myself, but they still sell them at Target on the "impulse buy" racks next to the checkout lanes for $5.

32 terabytes is the obvious trend for the year 2010, giving a person the ability to carry the entire Library of Congress on a keychain at an affordable price.

Today the average person can buy a RAMstick for so little the price doesn't even really matter for the smaller ones at cost levels of $5 and up right over the counter, and even less, if you are willing to buy four at a time via mail order, even to get RAM drives up to 256 megabytes the prices can be so low as to not really be a factor.

By the way, at the time of the writing of this article, flash drives as large as 64 gigabytes were on the market for $5,000 and I couldn't find a discount even on buying 100.


A Personal History, and a Few Added Details

I bought my first USB flash RAMstick well under 10 years ago, not so many of us could have afforded one a whole decade ago.

This 32 megabyte RAMstick of mine still works fine, but is an antique in the sense that today you could buy one to hold one thousand times as much data. . .again, not to many people can afford 32 gigabyte memory sticks today, but by 2010 you could have one of your own without too much difficulty.

32 gigabytes is enough to carry every word in an average book collection in the average public library, over 30,000 books.

My first one of these was enough to carry a few dozen books.

Today's 32 gig versions carry tens of thousands.

By 2020 they will carry tens of millions without any increase in their rate of growth from 2000 to 2010 to 2020.

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