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Adventures in Engineering
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2006-03-23 20:04
  Subject:   [Digg] 4GB hard drive about the size of a postage stamp.
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"Mounting dimensions are 0.94×1.26-inches, with a thickness of 0.197-inches. The drive uses 0.12-Watts in standby and 0.60-Watts during write operations. Running on 3.0-Volts over the 0° to 70°C temperature range, it has one platter, two heads, and a 3600rpm rotational speed."
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osmium_ocelot: Nene Scribble
  User: osmium_ocelot
  Date: 2006-03-24 00:34 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Keyword:Nene Scribble
Now all they have to do is put a tiny dipswitch on it that controls the write/don't write function; and lay it into every computer as the home of your operating system. Or is it too much to hope that they'd have the intelligence to do something like that? I mean, really, isolate your OS so it can't be written over? What am I thinking?
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-03-24 01:21 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Don'tcha know that Windoze needs to write the registry CONSTANTLY, so there's no way to write-protecting it?

Now, Linux on the other hand... I've personally ROM'd a Linux distro so it can't be destroyed short of taking a hammer to the microchip it was on.
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osmium_ocelot
  User: osmium_ocelot
  Date: 2006-03-24 02:01 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Oh, I know... I know... But I was kinda implying it might be good if the OS didn't DO things like that. Ya know, an involatile OS. Might be a good idea all things considered.
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Alex Belits: mona
  User: abelits
  Date: 2006-03-27 01:48 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Keyword:mona
I wouldn't be surprised if that was one of the Vista features that got canned to get it released within 2007. I mean, Microsoft Research did not release a paper on nonvolatile OS storage, so it means, Microsoft didn't decide to never try to implement such a thing.

Or, maybe, I just overestimate their mental capabilities.
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Ohmi
  User: ohmisunao
  Date: 2006-03-24 22:31 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Why would you use one of these instead of a flash drive? (like someone mentioned in the comments).. flash ram is pretty cheap and small these days.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-03-25 02:29 (UTC)
  Subject:   And takes less power.
But Flash has a limited number of write cycles. It's a big limit - 100,000 to a million writes is typical. But it can happen. Magnetic platters have a designed failure rate of 10^-13 to 10^-15. Too put that in more useful terms, you could write to the hard drive ten times per second for 31,700 years before your odds of getting an error became 50/50. Of course, hard drives also tend to be ruined by impacts, which happen when people drop their devices. I like Flash better than hard disks, but the engineer in me acknowledges that in certain situations, hard disks are a better solution to certain kinds of problems than flash memory.
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