Be vewwy vewwy quiet... I'm fetching bits!

Sun engineer Brendan Gregg has discovered that hard disks are more susceptible to minor vibrations than we thought...

We all know that conventional rotating hard disk drives aren't the sturdiest gizmos in the world. We're trained to treat our laptops gingerly when they're running, and many laptops are equipped with motion sensors that move the disk heads away from the data tracks if the machine is bumped or dropped.

But I've just learned that disk drives are more sensitive to minor vibrations than I thought. A blog post titled "Unusual disk latency" by Sun engineer Brendan Gregg describes how disk drives can go idle for relatively long periods of time-- over half a second-- when someone shouts at them!

The post even includes a video demonstration of the discovery.

Suddenly I no longer wish for more volume from the speakers on my MacBook Pro, and I'm reconsidering the position of the subwoofer under my desk next to the Power Mac...

Featured Video

How Pixar created the world of 'The Good Dinosaur'

Pixar's upcoming new film imagines what it would have been like if dinosaurs never became extinct.'s Lexy Savvides reports on how real-world data helped make the movie's prehistoric landscapes look incredibly authentic.

by Lexy Savvides