Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Compressed

While checking through Evernote for items containing the word, compressed, I came across an article which talked about ten things you can do to improve your computer's performance.  I immediately tried one, that of dealing with some of the items in the start-up of the computer.  Skype has been insisting on starting up when I open up the computer, and getting a call from a relative when you're still in your pyjamas and haven't put your teeth in is a bit disconcerting.  So that's been sorted. 

I've was interested to note however that the article also talked about opening up your computer and cleaning its inside.  Crikey.  That sounds a bit scary.  Making the computer work without opening anything extra up is enough at the best of times; opening the machine itself sounds too technical for words.  Not that I haven't been inside a computer a few times in the past, but that's usually been out of necessity, not for a spring clean. 

Anyway they suggest, among other things, using a can of compressed air to dust the interior parts.  Don't touch anything!, they also warn; just let the air do the cleaning.  You don't need to set out and buy air compressors for the task; that's overkill (or is likely to kill your computer dead, from the inside out).  A small can is all that's needed. 

Continuing on with the subject of compression, I was reminded that there's talk of using cassette tapes as data storage, in this case, big data storage, like all the information that floods through Facebook on any one day, or the 1 petabyte of info (that's a million gigabytes to you) from the world's largest radio telescope.  Now presumably, just as you won't be using a full scale air compressor to clean out your computer, you won't be using one of those manky old cassette tapes you've had stuck in a box since the 80s to store any data on.  These tapes will store "35 terabytes of data - about 35 million books worth of information - on a cartridge that measures just 10 centimetres by 2 centimetres."  The tape will be coated with particles of barium ferrite.  Of course you all know what barium ferrite is, but I had to look it up on Wikipedia, and truth to tell, I wasn't any the wiser when I had. Anyway, this fancy stuff seems set to change the way we store data.   As long as the cat doesn't get hold of the tape, and play at running around the kitchen with it, unravelling it as it goes...

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