For those of you not aware, we are starting to see a subtle change in the core technology for computer hard drives. For the last 20 years, mass storage for computers has been based on the spinning magnetic disk. The evolution of price/performance over that timeframe has really been incredible. You can go to you local Best Buy and purchase a 160Gb hard drive for less than $80.
Recently, the major manufacturers have made some breakthroughs in high-capacity ‘Solid State Drives’ (SSD). These SSDs are similar in some ways to the USB thumb-drives except they are much higher performance and capacity. As an indication of the coming changes, Fujitsu is stopping the production of magnetic drives and starting production on 30 GB SSDs that offer 6x the read/write performance and use 1/4 the energy of an equivalent ‘platter’ hard drive.