Billions and billions

The headline refers to a book I have of the same title by Carl Sagan. He was well known for this saying, apparently, meaning the billions and billions of stars in the universe.

I’m referring to the biilions and billions of bits of data I’ve got. All data is information, regardless of how small or large it is. The amount of information is like entropy: it don’t go down!

I’m amazed at the number of disks of data I’ve got (at a guess, >300), regardless of whether they’re usefull information or not. Once in Bali, I’m going to have to set up a RAID 5 array, I think, so as to be able to develop a taxonomy to classify everything. By that I mean images (primarily); finance data; word processor files; useful programs; spreadsheets; family history; existing slideshows; future slideshows; video; video editing projects; backups; jokes (yeah!) and so on.

It has to be RAID 5 because it’s no longer possible to back everything up to DVDs or even BluRay disks. RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) is easy to set up these days, and RAID 5 is a level where the faiilure of any one disk in a group of four or more will not result in data loss. Disks can be swapped in and out without removing power (hot swapping), so a hard drive failure means a disk can be replaced and the data reconstructed.

Who would have thought we’d ever reach this level in a home situation??!! Yet it’s cheap and perfectly feasible to do now. Astounding. Tip o’ the hat to the Yanks – they developed this stuff.

Here’s an image I noticed today:

1954, I think

How simple life was then. No predatory banking problems, personal service in shops, your petrol pumped for you by a young guy setting out on his road to a mechanic’s apprenticeship, checking your oil, water and tyres too, guaranteed jobs after high school, affordable housing, very little stress, good manners, politeness, no swearing out loud, no fear of being assaulted.

I used to scoff at the “loss of family values” warnings, but I’m afraid I scoff no more. I had to go to the city  yesterday (Sunday) and park in the car park over the railway station. On the way up the ramps, people were detecting a hint of movement and just stopping to wait for a car to back out of a bay. It didn’t matter if it took 3-5 minutes, we were all held up behind them! One Audi driver just wound his windows up and refused all horns and entreaties to move for more than three minutes. Unbelievable. The queue stretched back three floors!

Tempers were let loose, I can assure you, and a very fat young woman (20s) actually got out of her stationary car and abused me because I blew my horn at her to move on. “Go around, you mug”, she shouted. I couldn’t because I was too close and couldn’t reverse either. I had to resort to “Ten, nine, eight, seven,… move or I’ll push you out of the way.” She moved forward, but still stopped and held up the queue behind me. All in the interests of getting a bay on a lower floor! Why? There are lifts. What does it matter?

A woman came up to me after I parked on the next level and expressed her amazement at the awful attitude of these drivers. What is going on? Family values of politeness and good manners HAVE broken down, I’m afraid.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s