Sunday, February 1, 2009

Think Big, One Byte At a Time

Well, my old PC here at the house is just about to give up the ghost. I probably could get it fixed, and get another year or two out of it - but I am not sure how much sense that would really make. I went down to the Best Buy Store and looked at their offerings and really couldn't decide what I wanted. So instead I bought a new external hard drive.

Holy Catz!!! For the princely sum of $119, I got a drive with 1 Terabyte of Storage. What the heck is a "Terabyte" you ask? Me too, I had to look it up. To the right you'll see what I call Mike's Little Big Byte Table. Turns out that a Terabyte is 1000 to the 4th power bytes. Or said another way, a terabye equal's 1000 Million Bytes. For Little Nancy, Big Ike, and my sister DeAnna, who have on occaision, struggled with higher mathematics A Terabyte is a "shitload of bytes".

OK, you ask, "how much is a Shitload of bytes, Mike can you please be a little more specific?" Yes I can! Here are some specifics:

1. I took all the data that I had accumulated in the past 7 years on my old computer and put it on the Terabyte Hard Drive. I dumped all of the pictures, music, spreadsheets, listing of all of my friends, and the entire Let Go Journal onto the new drive. Still over 98% of the Bytes are remain available on the new drive. To be really specific, the drive has 982,416,056,320 bytes still available for use.

2. As of May 8, 2008 the Library of Congress held only 82.6 Terabytes of Data. So as you can see, I am catching up quickly with some of the larger institutions.

3 claims to have 600 Terabytes of geneaology data. This includes the U.S. census data from 1790 - 1930. Wow, I'll bet that's a good read. Can't be sure how it will come out, I am only up to the year 1811 at this point.

4. All internet traffic in 1993, was around 100 Terabytes a year. Right now it is around 150 Terabytes.....a second. I wonder how much data that is in a day? Let's see, 24 hours X 60 minutes X 60 seconds = 86,400 seconds per day. So 86,400 seconds X 150 Terabytes = 12,960,000 Terabytes per day. See, that ain't so much, less than 13 Billion Terabytes daily. I think I better stop before I hurt myself.

5. I remember when Big Al, (my boss in the Rockwell days) and I got started with our Apple 2E computer, we had 64 kilobytes to work with - we eventually expanded to 128 kilobytes. In those days we built the entire annual plan for Rockwell with 128 bytes. Of course, we put in a lot of overtime in those days.

In summary, my suspicion is that 1 Terabyte will hold every single thing that I will know, and there will still be a lot of space left over. In fact, everything I know now, plus everything I might learn, + everything I forgot, + everything I ever even suspected could be stored on this drive, and still it would be like storing a BB in A Boxcar. Finally, if I culled all "my knowledge and wisdom" down a little bit, and just stored the things that I am sure of, they would fit easily on one page of paper. Let me know if you need some space, I think I have plenty.

All the best,


  1. Where (and maybe sometimes why) do you come up with all this stuff. Interesting reading!!

  2. This post gave me something to think about. I have a 500 gig external, along with 100 gig inside my hard drive and a 32 gig flash drive. They are all nearly full, with me at times deleting some things to make space. Alot of it consist of movies and tv shows, with entire seasons being complete. Compare this to my word documents of past papers and "real" knowledge, and the difference is huge. Seams I fill too much of my time with entertainment instead of things with substance.

  3. That's because you don't have anything substantive to say Jake.

    Now mind you I have a 80 gig hard drive that is about half full, and most of that is pictures and music on the ipod.