Saturday, August 18, 2007

Caution: Boring Techie Stuff

Let's suppose that you make really, really fast hard drives, but it turns out that older computers can't handle the speed at which the information travels to and from the drive. You could put a little switch "Slow/Fast" so that users could set it one way or the other before they install it.

But, there is no slow/fast switch on hard drives. Instead these potentially really fast drives have a jumper (see picture)

It's not that I have a huge penny - don't I wish - but that the jumper is small.

Here is the jumper in place on a hard drive (I know it's not a SATA drive, but it was the only drive that wasn't in an enclosure).

When the jumper is in position, the data moves at half speed. But, if you pull the jumper off (it ain't easy once the drive is in the computer) the data moves at full speed.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I got a new computer. It has three SATA drives. I decided to put in a fourth. During this process I discovered that all three drives had been installed with the jumper in the SLOW position!

After I removed the jumpers the computer ran much faster. Actually, it sat on/under the desk at the same speed, sort of in one place all the time, but it functioned more quickly.

Imagine if services or products we purchased arrived only half functional, and we never even knew it?

"You mean, if I COOK this artichoke it will taste better?"

Yep, like artichokes and hamburger meat, some hard drives are not fully ready to use the moment you put it in your shopping cart.

It's more like you buy an ipod, and a year later you find out you are supposed to have TWO earbuds. Or, on your fortieth birthday you find out that all this time you could have been eating hot dogs IN A BUN, instead of holding the dog, mustard and catsup in your hands!

It's like you meet a really nice, totally in-style guy who makes photography really fun at your wedding, but after you have been married for six years you discover that the guy didn't know how to light, compose, or even get people to look good and natural.

The moral is, do your research, even down to the tiniest little piece: get me to photograph your wedding.

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