Subject OT : I think Jim Starkey is right about tapes and in memory db's
Author Marius Popa
A Conversation with Jim Gray

JG We are at a stage now where disk media and tape
media have approximate price parity, which is to say
it's about $1 a gigabyte per disk and per tape
cartridge. So, you can think about writing to disk and
then pulling the disk out and treating it as a tape

The disk has properties that the tape doesn't have.
Disk has higher bandwidth and is more convenient to
access. You can just plug in the disk. You don't need
a tape drive and you don't need a bunch of software
that knows how to read tapes. You're actually mounting
a file system. You've got no extra software, no extra
concepts. You don't have to find the part of the tape
that has your file, and you do not need those funny
tape management systems.

I've been working with a bunch of astronomers lately
and we need to send around huge databases. I started
writing my databases to disk and mailing the disks. At
first, I was extremely cautious because everybody said
I couldn't do that�that the disks are too fragile. I
started out by putting the disks in foam. After
mailing about 20 of them, I tried just putting them in
bubble wrap in a FedEx envelope. Well, so far so good.
I have not had any disk failures of mailed disks.

The biggest problem I have mailing disks is customs.
If you mail a disk to Europe or Asia, you have to pay
customs, which about doubles the shipping cost and
introduces delays.

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