OS X Lion

Apple have announced it’s new and most advanced operating system to date. Due to release in July and with over 250 new features, including Multi-touch Gestures. OS X Lion is a snip at around £21, surely the buy of the year so far.

MacBook Pro Woes

There have been some new reports of drive issues in the new MacBook Pros. It seems that the updated Seagate 7200rpm drives are getting a bit noisy at times and clicking. No reports that this causes anything particularly sinister, but after the (still ongoing) MacBook headcrash fiasco, it’s bad news to see another problem between MacBooks and their drives. There are suggestions that the new 7200.4 G-Force drives are noisy due to some new anti-shock technology. It sounds obvious that a drive spinning at 7200rpm is going to generate more noise than a 5400rpm drive. We’ll see what happens with this one. Updates to come I’m sure.

Read More On Engadget

Free Seagate Firmware Recoveries

It appears that Seagate are offering an unusual free data recovery service to customers affected by a recent firmware bug. The bug which affects certain 7200.11 drives, DiamondMax 22 and Barracuda ES.2 drives, makes the disks inaccessible when the host system is powered on. 

The read link has not been working but keep trying as I did get to the page eventually.

2TB WD Drive

Western Digital are apparently set to release a 2TB hard disk in the next week or so. With a 32MB cache and “Green” logo, this drive will spin down from 7,200rpm to 5,400rpm to conserve power. With capacities like this, the gap between SSDs and hard disks is still far from closing.

The Little-Big Drive

Toshiba has just announced the 1.8″, 160GB, 5400rpm MK1617GSG drive. Apparently designed for netbooks and other such small machines, it’s a shame that this drive is a tad on the bulky side. at 8mm thick, this drive would be bulging out the sides of a current iPod or MacBook Air. With a SATA interface though, this drive could make for some fun embedded type devices or mods. I would personally love to see one squashed into an eeepc. I also bet that this little baby will be far cheaper than an equivalent solid state drive.

Fujitsu Encrypted Hard Disks

Fujitsu’s new 80-320GB “MHZ2 CJ” drives come with a nice added feature. Not only do they spin at a reasonable 7200rpm, they also have the ability to totally lock you out of your data (And throw away the key). With AES-256 encryption you you can be sure that a forgotten password would wave bye-bye to your data. Currently, AES has yet to be broken in a feasible way, leaving a lengthy brute-force attack as the only option. I question the implementation, as we have seen a number of problems with hard drive passwords which are stored on the drive in the service area. Quite often the passwords become corrupt leaving the user locked out of their drive.  The only way to overcome hard drive passwords is by low-level firmware repair, effectively removing the password. This is likely not an option with disk encryption as you would expect a much more robust system. 
Whichever way you look at an encrypted drive, it could  cause major problems to people needing data recovery. Is it just a clever marketing scheme in a paranoid market or is there some really secure basis for the new technology. I can’t wait to get my hands on one and find out.

Read More On Engadget

Seagate May Sue Rival SSD Makers

The next battle in the war on SSDs may have just begun. Apparently Seagate are convinced that SSD makers such as Samsung and Intel are violating some of Seagate’s (and Western Digital’s) patents. The wizardry which relates to the way a storage device communicates with a computer is at stake, even though Seagate themselves don’t appear too taken with an SSD based future. CEO Bill Watkins is quoted as saying, “realistically, I just don’t see the flash notebook sell.” I would have to agree with that at the moment. Cost per GB, reliability and speed are among the many drawbacks currently facing solid state drives when compared to traditional hard disk drives. Once these issues are resolved then the need for regular backups will become all the more important in my eyes at least. There are currently many ways in which we can resurrect a failing hard drive but next to no ways to recover a failed SSD.

Read More On Engadget

Hard Drives Vs Solid State Round 1

It seems the backlash may have already begun. As we expected the current batch of SSDs are no match for the long perfected hard drives. Reports of customers returning solid state laptops are apparently hitting the 10-20% mark. I would like to think that a new revolutionary data storage medium gets into the market place before SSDs really take hold. I have an SSD in my EEE pc which is fine but I can’t help thinking a 30GB 1.8″ drive would have been far more versatile. Let’s see what developments appear in round 2. Will the SSDs fight back? (I think not…)

Read More On Engadget

1.6TB Ultra320 SCSI SSD

According to Engadget, BiTMICRO have announced a new solid state drive which packs in 1.6TB of storage into a 3.5″ form factor drive. The E-Disk Altima E3S320 promises sustained data transfer rates of up to 230MB per second and are also expected to be available in more modest 16GB varieties. Engadget suggest remortgaging your house which may not be too far wrong if current SSD costs are anything to go by.

Read More