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IDEA: DIY solid state powerbook

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So, I recently found out that you can do a software raid on macs and install to it. That is pretty freakin cool. But then I thought of this little tech jem, and ideas started rolling.


Say you got this from addonics.com ad44mide2cf_diagram.gif


Put two 8GB CF's in there, then use disk utility to software raid them together, for a solid state 16GB drive.

At around 15MB per second read/write speed, double that with striped raid, thats 30MB/s. Not shabby. OOO battery life here I come...


Now, I would have put macbook or mbp in the title, but addonics doesn't have a DUAL sata adapter. So only one CF, and a 16GB CF is $160 at newegg. So that kinda stinks.


Is 16GB practical? probably not, but this would save tremendous amounts of battery life. Hey, just throwing things out there =)



Oh, and before someone says anything like "ooooh this is teh impossible, teh flash drives would wearz outs. Tehy's only gets 100000 writes!" That is not true at all anymore (will find proof of this somewhere...). Plus new CF drives have automatic wear leveling so that no one part gets written every single time. Combine that with striping and thats a pretty durable media.

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I have not heard that they got rid of the write issue, but even with it it is still supposed to last over 5 years with the computer always on.


If you make a minimal osx installation it would be practical, and keep big files externally it would be awesome.

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I know I read somewhere that they have significantly improved the write count for CF, but I can't find it for the life of me. But still, with wear leveling (where sectors are written randomly over the whole drive) and striped data, 100,000 writes isn't bad at all.


Also, if you used your notebook for writing and spreadsheets, this would really be handy. You can install OS X 10.4 in 4 gigs without all the language packs and and full printer support. Less with just a few printers selected.


I think I'll test my 512mb generic card overnight and see how it does.


EDIT: Wikipedia says "Memory specifications generally allow 10,000[1] to 1,000,000 write cycles. Typically the controller in a CompactFlash attempts to prevent premature wearout of a sector by mapping the writes to various other sectors in the card - a process referred to as wear leveling."

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