[FoRK] Two bits (for Ken, Sean)

Sean Conner sean at conman.org
Tue Feb 2 23:27:15 PST 2010

It was thus said that the Great Jeff Bone once stated:
> Sean says:
> >And never underestimate the bandwidth [1] of a station wagon loaded  
> >with tapes [2].
> Yeah, that's the standard argument.  Realistically, in all these years  
> in the industry, I have yet to see any significant *data transfer*  
> accomplished via such means (or a FedEx full of CDs, etc.)  I have  
> seen (and actually been party to) shipments on the order of a truck  
> full of pre-configured server racks, but the point there isn't really  
> data transfer.  Offsite data storage, yeah, but not particularly for  
> bandwidth reasons (cost-vs-bandwidth, perhaps, arguably.)

  That bit about the USENET feed to Australia may have been true (at least,
in the 80s).

> SneakerNet is SneakerNet no matter what form it takes.  If that's all  
> you've got, or you can't afford something better, then you make do.   
> But for my own time and money, I prefer my bits online and have for  
> some time (like, about 25 years or so ;-)  In fact, at Sun, I was  
> always amused by the "Network is the Computer" slogan.  IMHO, it  
> should've been "the network is the hard drive."  (Particularly given  
> that a large part of their success was due to NFS.)

  A friend of mine had 700G of files he wanted to give me.  Assuming both
our computers were on 100Mb/sec networks, it still would have taken nearly
10 hours to transfer the data:

	Approximately 2^39 bytes, or 2^42 bits.
	100Mb/sec is approximately 2^27 bits per second

	2^42 / 2^27 = 2^15 or 32,768 seconds, or 9.9 hours.

  vs. an hour and a half driving time to hook the external drive up to my
system.  How many here would *love* a full duplex 100Mb/sec Internet
connection?  How many here *could* afford a full duplex 100Mb/sec Internet
connection? [1]

> You shouldn't have to move bits around *as if* they were atoms.

  No, you shouldn't.  But still, in some cases, FedEx is still faster.

  -spc (Actual mileage may vary ... )

[1]	We're a webhosting company, and we can *barely* afford one.  Did I
	mention we're a *small* webhosting company?

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