Sunday, December 25, 2016

drive space and network speeds have flatlined?

This chart, from Matt Komorowski's Cost per Gb Update page, confirms an inkling I've had...
Hard drives ain't getting bigger, the right side of that line is flat. Compare that to Komorowski's 2009 post, when things were a bit more rosy...

I'm feeling this now because I'm been looking for an excuse to replace my 2013 Macbook Air (apparently I'm a masochist when it comes to ports) I had my current model's HD space goosed up to 500Gb when I acquired it. If I got a new "Macbook" and if storage was my major concern over processor speed and memory (which it is), I'd have to pay at $1400 vs $1000 for the base model.

Some of that's the Apple Tax, but they're also an industry pacesetter, and the situation doesn't seem better in PC land. (Not that I consider it a serious option for me right now.)

(Phones have had similar flattenings. Apple finally shook off some its old "16 Gb might be good enough for cheapskates" illusion, but the asymmetry of their storage math, offering models at 256Gb, 128 and then 32 rather than 64 shows that they are playing the game of artificial incentives to not go with the cheapest model.)

And like that first Komorowski link suggests, some of its the cloud, people don't generally aren't storing as much locally as they used to. For me, I feel the pain mostly with photos and videos from my own phone (especially since I've been doing One Second Everyday for a few years) and other cameras - that's what pushes me to want larger capacity on my laptop, I'm old and curmudgeonly enough that I don't trust any cloud service, or any system more complex than "cleverly named nested folders I can see are backed up properly".

But even if I embraced a cloud service - it's not like network speeds have gotten that much better either! Objectively, home speeds feel like they've flatlined as well, and most people don't have unlimited data on mobile.

And Moore's law has hit some rough limits itself; having to be so aware of the quantum is a real pain for chip designers.

After a century of astounding technological progress, and with some of our proudest achievements in space being half a century ago, you wonder how badly things are going to stall. Combine that with a political situation that seems rather retrograde, and it's tough to keep all parts of the the old optimism going...

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