Discussion of large systems
feedle at feedle.net
Wed Nov 1 10:54:54 CST 2006
On Nov 1, 2006, at 9:31 AM, Warren Wolfe wrote:
> That would be six, I believe. But, why? Just to say one did it?
> In today's world, the way to implement the same algorithm would be to
> use disk files; MUCH faster. With a TERABYTE of screaming fast disk
> storage available for a desktop machine for about 500 pounds (around
> $750 US) the REASON for a multi-tape sort has gone away. (Unless, of
> course, one finds spinning tape reels exciting in themselves...)
$750? You're getting ripped off.
Two SATA drives and a reasonable RAID controller can be had for $500
street in the US if you're willing to shop around. Considering single
750GB drives cost just under $350 in most major US markets, for
around $800 you can get two of them, an inexpensive RAID 0/1 capable
SATA controller, and have 1.5GB.
Hell, I carry a terabyte around with me now when I travel (a 500GB
Firewire drive, and a 500GB-equipped D-Link NAS box.. hey, I got to
have my movies and mp3s with me, right?).
As to WHY you'd want to do a sort onto tape, my To: field says this
is the classic computer mailing list. It sounds like a fun project
for somebody who as an old PDP (and the space for six tape drives) or
similar lying around. Heck, it might even make a fun programming
project to "emulate" it using a bitty box and some virtual "tape
drives". Lastly, it would make a great academic project for teaching.
My 2 cents. Unfortunately, it's in Canadian coin.
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