Question of the Day: How Many TBs Is Enough?

Illustration for article titled Question of the Day: How Many TBs Is Enough?

With the news from Seagate today that it had shipped its billionth hard drive, I got to thinking about the mahoosive amount of storage space that all those drives represent. Then I wondered, "How much drive space do I have around the place?" and after opening cupboards and drawers, I tallied the lot to what I think is a surprisingly large amount. You may beg to differ, and you can below. But first, vote in the poll: how many terabytes does one person need really?


Here's my tally:

• 80 GB in my new shiny MacBook Air

• 250 GB in my old faithful iMac (now recovered from a hard drive crash a few weeks ago)

• 320 GB in an old Western Digital MyBook external drive

• 500 GB in a shiny new FireWire MyBook

• 500 GB in an Iomega "Screenplay" connected to the TV, filled with movies

• 40 GB in a CF card reader/storage box

• 30 GB in an unbranded FireWire drive sitting abandoned in the cupboard

• 40 GB in an old iBook with a borked power unit in the same cupboard

• 250 GB in my set-top broadband TV box

That comes to a grand total of 2010 GB, so around 2 TB. That seems a ridiculous amount, to me. And apart from the "dead" gadgets, all those drives are in pretty constant use (some for backup).

• In MP3 terms, that's 3,195 days worth of music—nearly nine years, nonstop.

• A plain text Complete Works of Shakespeare runs to 5MB, so there's room for 400,000 of those.

• A RAW file from my camera is 8MB so there's space to store about 250,000— enough to take 28 photos an hour for the next year, by which time the shutter would've clicked its last.

• A compressed feature film from a DVD will fit in a gig, so there's room for around 2,000 of those.

That seems like plenty, but maybe I'm wrong. Come on, Giz readers, tell me:

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Hmm... I've got my Raptor 150 almost full (windows and apps only!). My 250GB "cache" drive is almost full. My 1TB is ~90% full. I've got another 250GB external I need to clean out. I've also got a 2x200GB and 2x160GB that I need to finish converting into a media server. Oh, there's also a 250GB travel external I've got and a 80GB iPod. This amount of storage has been accumulated over a period of probably 5 years. One can never have enough storage :)