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Hardy hard drives

People are demanding creatures. It’s not enough that we have computers small enough to carry around in backpacks, and powerful enough to launch rockets to the moon (or something like that). We want them to be indestructible, and quibble when they’re not. We want to be able to use our computers anywhere, from the relative safety of our offices and homes to the wastelands of the Arctic and the monsoons of tropical rain forests. We don’t like to be denied our technology fix, and we’re most put out when we are.

Take, for instance, this request found on “I was wondering which portable hard drive was good enough to stand up to the life of a student. Something that can take a few bumps and not be harmed. It doesn’t have to be huge in capacity, but I need one larger than 80GB. I’d obviously like FireWire and USB 2.0 if possible, but I’m not trying to spend a fortune here either.”

The creators of the first computer would probably die laughing at his demands, once they’d figured out what he was talking about. From computers the size of basements to students demanding speed, top notch applications and durability, computers have certainly come a long way.

And it’s probably because we’re so demanding that it is in fact possible to use computers in a variety of outlandish situations and locations that, 20 years ago, would have been inconceivable. We now live in a world with LaCie’s Rugged Hard Disk, which is packaged in a scratch-resistant aluminium case and surrounded by shock-resistant rubber. With 500GB and USB 2.0 ports, as well as FireWire 400 and 800 sockets, it meets the requirements laid out by our demanding student. Its price tag, unfortunately, does not. With versions ranging in price from $300 – $400 (R2387 – R3183 or £153 – £204), it’s definitely not suited to a student’s pocket.

Alternatively there is MobileDemand’s xTabletPC. As reported in Engadget, MobileDemand has gone to great lengths to prove their new Tablet PC’s durability. They have created a video in which the xTablet is used to hammer a dozen nails into a board. They even added an accelerometer so that you can see exactly how much impact the Tablet PC is capable of withstanding.

While very few people would use their PCs as carpentry tools, no matter how great the frustration or temptation, it’s comforting to know that they’re available should the world ever experience a mallet shortage.

Some people who may not be taking comfort in the increasing durability of hard drives and computers in general are data recovery specialists. Although there is probably no real need for concern. After all, if people are going to insist on using their PCs in increasingly risky (and silly) situations, the chances are that data recovery business will continue to experience a boom.

This entry was posted on Friday, July 25th, 2008 at 9:52 am and is filed under urgent data recovery. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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