The DBA’s addiction

I confess. I have an addiction. Recently I have observed the symptoms in a work associate (also a DBA). I cautiously broached the subject with him and he confessed with a big leering grin on his face. Absolutely hooked.

The particular vice I refer to is the marvelleous hard disk drive.

They are wonderful things, these addictive objects of our desire. Shiny, varied, formatable, stackable, raidable and available from a multitude of sources at a price range to suit any budget.

However, like any other addiction, the craving for more comes again, usually sooner than one would like.

I remember once upon a time, when big 8″ floppy disks were still in use, a genuine propellor head techie telling me they used to write disk access routines that would cause the big IBM washing machine sized disk cabinets to wobble walk across the computer room floor. What a hoot. Something to do with achieving the right sort of oscillation. I think the capacity of that early commercial spinning platter was 4 meg. I wish I had thought of the IT Crowd TV concept back then. The comedy material has been there for decades.

Nowadays us techie types are counting our storage in terabytes. Its all very justifiable, high speed connected storage vital to back up and maintain our Virtual Machines, video, music & photo collections etc.

If you are a SQL Server DBA you could be talking orders of magnitude more for testing and evaluation, honing your skills before proposing the next range of improvments at work.

Nothing to do with the coloured LED lights and racing stripes. Whoops, sorry wrong group of people.

Just when we thought spin speeds and storage density were peaking, along came the SSD. Solid State. Has a ring to it doesn’t it. It was stuff of labs and scifi for so long. So was Dick Tracy’s wrist watch (check out the pebble kickstarter project).

None of this waiting around for 1 or 2 minutes for my MacBook Pro to boot up. No way. That’s for the average Joe. I cant afford to wait more that 20 seconds. I need to rush out the door at 5:30pm (its okay, its all right now cos Sheryl says so) so that shutdown or VM suspend needs to fly.

Then there is the equivalent of the guys standing around your car with the hood up, admiring the chrome, the turbo charger, injectors etc.

In the end, it always comes down to speed and grunt. I wonder if neandertals compared their clubs in a similar fashion.

So our other half’s might think at best its an indulgence, at worst a complete waste of money. However, the skills acquired do pay dividends. Those in this fields who don’t keep up their professional proficiency risk their careers.

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  1. Wolly 2012-05-02 at 22:21 #

    Moss would be proud of you.