Hard Drives on a Diet!

Recently I bought a new Hard Disk Drive (HDD) to replace my old one, which had started making suspicious noises. I have always followed a simple rule – if you hear funky noises, replace it as it may be a sign of impending failure. Luckily, I don’t have personal experience with this, but I hear that recovering data from a failed drive is not a great pastime.

I have to say that I’m impressed by the improvements in HDD technology in the few years that have passed. My old one was a Western Digital (WD) Black 1.0 TB SATA drive with 32 MB cache, with manufacturing date of 11/21/2009. The new one is a WD Green 1.0 TB SATA drive with 64 MB cache, made on 3/26/2013. The fact that it was made in Thailand and then sitting on my desk two weeks later was amazing.

Before comparing the two, I have to mention that the Caviar Black series is supposed to be more on the “performance” side, while the “Caviar Green” series is more on the quiet and energy efficient side – so not exactly apples to apples.  Nevertheless, the new Green drive is performing just as well if not better, while maintaining low, almost non-audible, noise levels. I couldn’t be happier with it.

The part that really hit me was the drastic difference in weight! While they have the same storage capacity, the new drive is almost half the weight! The old drive weighs 1lb 9oz (0.71kg), while the new one is only 1lb 0.2oz (0.46kg) – that’s about a third less!

This is great on many levels. First, as a consumer, you have a lighter product, which is nice even for a desktop. As a manufacturer, there are savings in prime materials used as well as shipping and handling costs. This results in the society as a whole benefiting as fewer resources (including fuel) are used, reducing pollution and overall environmental impact.

Good work WD!

HDD Comparison

Littering or Service?

Recently I received a little present at my doorstep: a brand-spankin’-new copy of the yellow pages.


Now, 15 years ago, this would have been rather useful. I would have been happy to receive the latest copy with all the updated contact info for the local business. However, in year 2013, I really don’t know what do with these pounds of paper. Maybe use it as a doorstop? Or keep around for next bonfire on the beach? I could also just ignore it and leave it there for a few weeks like some of my neighbors did..

I went for the “environmental” choice, and just dropped it into a recycle bin. What a waste of paper, and labor & energy to make it and distribute it.

Anyway, this got me thinking – could I report this as an instance of littering? Going by the book (or Wikipedia to be exact), “Litter consists of waste products that have been disposed improperly, without consent, in an inappropriate location.” Maybe I’m stretching the definition here.. but to me that pile of paper was no different than someone dumping a bag of garbage at my door..  In fact, the delivery man rang me, asking to be let into the apartment complex.. and I politely declined, stating that I do not need a phone book.

Anyway, I just wish marketers and the like stopped wasting paper on advertising (which the phone book really is) that just ends up in a trash can.