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Is The Hard Drive The Next to Go?

In early 2008, Apple released the Macbookair, an ultra thin and powerful notebook computer.  I really liked the look of the computer, however the idea of a machine with no hard drive was pushing me away.  I really did not think the idea of a computer with no hard drive storage would catch on.  One of the main features I look for when purchasing a computer is the amount of storage space.  However, with the increased use of portable storage devices (ranging from portable hard drives to tiny flash drives) the computer hard drive is becoming a less important feature.

The MacBook Air, Hard Drive Not Included
 Now, with the recent growth of "Cloud Computing," the local hard drive has taken another hit.  Over at Time.com Harry McCracken wonders if Cloud Computing will spell the end of the hard drive.  It is not a crazy concept; when I think of all the changes to computers regarding storage just in the past ten years.  Remember using floppy disks (both large and small) and even those amazing Zip Disks (super floppies)?  All of those storage devices disappeared forever, thankfully, I hated fishing 3.5 jammed disks out of my old computer lab in the Carlson High School Library.

The ZIP Disk, I Was Not Sorry to Sad Them Go


For those unfamiliar with the term "Cloud Computing," it basically means storing your data online via large servers.  Some may already be doing this by using Google Docs or online photo sharing sites.  One day, the Cloud may be your only storage device.  One of the best features of cloud computing, is access to your data (documents, photos, music, everything) anywhere on any device.  Also, no more fear of losing everything via a dreaded hard drive crash.  I also think it is safe to assume that computer costs will decrease with hard drives no longer needed.  The only negative I can imagine is regarding privacy.  How comfortable are you with all of your information floating out in a "cloud?"  Hackers have not had problems attacking large online databases or "clouds," think Sony's gaming network.  I still believe the negatives outweigh the positives regarding the end of the local hard drive.  What do you think?  Would you be comfortable buying a computer with no hard drive?  Would you be willing to have all of your data out on the cloud?  Do you already own a Macbook Air?  I would love to hear from you.

Comments

  1. I think just because of the fact that people will always be worried about privacy, that there will always be some form of storage space on the computer and or at home, cloud is amazing until it comes to the fact of storing your tax records on there....

    I think it will move towards a smaller storage device, no more power draining spinning drives to the solid state drives (flash drive). I have already upgraded my laptop to this drive and I get another hour out of my battery time and have found faster download and upload times to my solid state drive. I have also reduced heat coming from my laptop. The storage sizes right now are the only thing really holding solid state drives back, but within the next year, you can bet the sizes will be doubling due to tablets and phones needing bigger space.

    Solid state drives are one of the reasons why phones and tablets are lasting 10 hours of usage. So I think we might not go storage crazy like we used to on our computers, but I think you can still see a hard drive at home in the form of an external.

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  2. Thanks William, I totally agree. There are some things I really do not want out on the "cloud." A built in spinning drive will probably be a thing of the past. We will probably all be using some personal flash storage for things we don't want out on the cloud. I just love the idea of being able to access everything anywhere. Great comment!

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