Macro-economic consequences of Moore's law?

By: Ireland (boh.delete@this.outlook.ie), April 20, 2017 5:58 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Ricardo B (ricardo.b.delete@this.xxxxx.xx) on April 20, 2017 5:02 pm wrote:
>
> So, your claim is that replacing a 3.5-4 watt 5400 HDD by a 5.5
> watt 7200 HDD will cut a laptop's autonomy to 10 minutes?
>
>

Ricardo,

I don't mind so much, if it cuts the laptop's autonomy down to ten minutes. That's something I can totally deal with (as I try to explain, below). What I'm concerned about, is that the laptop system itself doesn't start to overheat and misbehave. I'm delighted to learn, that you inserted the solid state drive into the cheap laptop, and it worked so well for you over a year. I'm encouraged by that, I really am.

I'll explain a little more though, if I can.

Where I have tried to re-tool laptops in the past, is for use as server networking laboratories. Just to try out certain things, with a couple of systems, running trial server operating systems. With a few laptops, and a small amount of power consumption, in a restricted space, you can test out certain ideas easily and cheaply.

But this is what I've come across.

I've seen all sorts of problems with trying to introduce even the most modest hard drive upgrade to laptops. I've seen new hard drives inserted into laptop systems - sata drives, start to heat up almost to melting point. I'm not kidding. Like you touch the hard drive to see how hot that it gets, and it's so hot that you could cook an egg almost on top of it. Now, I emphasized earlier, I don't understand enough about laptop power distribution schemes, to understand why something like that would happen. No, I'm not talking about the laptop CPU, almost going on fire. I'm actually talking about the hard drive component itself, heating up to such a level that it almost melts the bottom of the laptop, or goes on fire.

Now, in two decades of using desktop systems, servers, can you ever remember something like that happening with a hard drive component? Because, for the life of me, I can't imagine it happening. Fans, on cpu's stopping and that sort of thing okay. But never, hard drives starting to 'boil' inside a system. What's that all about? Honestly, I'm not making that up. I'd love to get an explanation of why that happens, and I've witnessed across a lot of models now.

But where I have successfully upgraded the hard drive to the 7,200 rpm models as described, what it has done is it has eliminated 'battery life' completely. And I'm okay with that, because as explained, I think it brings back into focus what role or value the 'battery' in a laptop is providing in general. And it's not really a 'battery' function, it's more of a UPS function. The reason that I opted mostly for 7,200 rpm mechanical drives - rather than solid state drives - is where the laptop is supplying 'bad power' to components such as drives - I tend to believe, that the 7,200 rpm mechanical drive if well designed, stands a better chance. Mechanical drives, and firmware have been around for a long time, and they have technology that allows them to 'cope' in situations where power supply just isn't at a great standard. I tend to think that solid state drives, are much more fussy, where something goes wrong with the 'juice' that they're running off of.

But I could stand corrected on that.

Folk who build their own networking labs in order to train for certification for network administration, are thrilled to bits with cheap laptops. People who are used to working with servers a lot and UPS devices attached - never really looked at laptop batteries as batteries. They're just there to give you your ten minutes of shut down time. That's all. The 'battery' acts more in the role of a safety device, so that the laptop can shut itself down in an orderly manner. That means that you don't lose as many hard drives, owning to sudden shut-downs. And I think that that's an important value-added, in the laptop system - because people can tend to hoard important profile stuff - and personal files on laptops, and get lazy about backing things up. So the battery with the one/two hour life in that situation, is definitely a value added.

If you can get an hour or two, over and above the ten minutes shut-down time, then great. And if you can pay a bit more and get four to six hours, even better. But even at four to six hours battery life, or 'autonomy', that's not a battery. That's something else. Would you not agree? I like the word 'autonomy' that you used to describe what limited autonomy that laptop systems have. Like twelve hours, twenty four hours. That's a 'battery', I think, or ought to be. Palm pilots had it about right in the old days - they gave around a week, albeit with ink crystal screens. Or even Kindle devices today, give up to a fortnight I think. Those are real battery powered, autonomous devices. I think that Palm pilots did, and Kindle's do, have autonomy.
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