Friday, September 15, 2006

Technobabble

I'm downloading iTunes 7.0 right now. I like cover art, and with the CoverFlow feature, I might just have art for my entire library (approaching 30GB now). Being cautious, I crawled the web to read about bloggers' initial reactions. Some are complaining about iTunes 7.0 being a memory hog - one user even provided a screenshot showing a 630MB RAM usage. Other screenshots are in the 100-200 MB range. Some are in the manageable 20-60, just like in 6.0. We'll see.

It has been an exciting couple of weeks for tech obsessed people. Software-wise, there's iTunes 7.0 and the just-launched iTunes movie store (not available in Asia because of piracy, but who gives a fuck). Windows Vista RC1 was also released sometime ago, and before that, Microsoft Office 2007 Beta 2 (I like the new Excel pivots!). The most exciting pieces of software to come out recently however, is Fairuse4WM, which strips Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection from WMA files, and myTunes, which does the same for AAC files downloaded with iTunes 6.0. There was also a similar one, Hymn, released late last year for iTunes 5.0. I won't have any need for them, but I like the idea anyway. And while Microsoft released a patch for Fairuse4WM, the sneaky coders behind the program is still one step ahead, releasing a new version immediately after. Haha!

On hardware, I noticed the first generation Blu-ray and HD-DVD drives sprouting all over the internet. So far, HD-DVD outsells Blu-ray, but it's predicted to change once Playstation 3 is released in November, which boasts of Blu-ray technology. Price: Blu-ray goes for at least $700, while HD-DVD is about $1000. Steep. PS3 will also sell at a starting price of $499. Argh. Format wars looming, reminiscent of Betamax vs VHS. Anyway, I don't have an HD television, so I won't have any use for either Blu-ray or HD-DVD as of now. I just like the the idea of getting to burn 25GB worth of files in one disc (50GB for dual-layer discs). An entire hard drive in one disc haha.

Speaking of hard drives, there's a 1 terabyte hard drive coming soon. Huh? That's 1024 GBs! What will you do with such space?! But with the arrival of the HD format, I guess we'll all be having those hard drives in, um...a decade? Next up is petabyte, then exabyte, zettabyte and yottabyte after that. An unofficial source indicated that 10^33 will be named vendekabyte (hee hee funny, no?) Well, I don't want to muddle this up further by discussing binaries and SI so I'll stick with the popular usage. However, there is a 74MB (70MiB) difference between 1GB and 1 gibibyte (GiB), so computing binary powers, 1 vendekabyte will be half of - oops, I would tell you what the equivalent to binary is, but I can't stop giggling about it - 1 vendebibyte. Good lord, long after we're dead, there might be 1 googolbyte hard drives (where 1 googol is 1 followed by 100 zeroes), or god forbid, 1 googolplexbyte (10 raised to the power of 1 googol) storage space.

Okay, here's 1 googol:
10 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000
Pretty uninteresting, right? Just 1 followed by a hundred zeroes. But imagine this: a standard 60GB hard drive will only have 60 000 000 000 bytes. That's a lot of space! So if you have 1 googolbyte of space...Argh, I'm tempted to compute 1 googolplex. Never mind.

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