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What If Mass Storage Were Free? Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131513D
Original Publication Date: 1982-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Document File: 16 page(s) / 55K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

George Copeland: AUTHOR [+3]


With computer hardware prices plummeting, system designers will no longer have to worry about reusing expensive computer memory. It's the ";human"; costs they'll have to control.

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What If Mass Storage Were Free?

George Copeland,

Servio Logic Corporation

With computer hardware prices plummeting, system designers will no longer have to worry about reusing expensive computer memory. It's the "human" costs they'll have to control.

The cost of computer hardware -- including mass storage systems -- has been decreasing at a drastic, yet consistent, rate for at least three decades. In the past, system designers have had to compromise functionality, reliability, and other human-oriented costs in order to achieve hardware efficiency. But as the price of hardware continues to plummet, thresholds are eventually reached at which these compromises must be rebalanced in order to minimize the total cost of a system. Consider the current trends in the industry from assembler languages toward higher-level languages, from large monolithic programs (with unrestricted use of the GO TO instruction) toward structured programs, and from all-purpose, primitive human interfaces toward application-oriented ones. In each of these cases, emphasizing human over hardware costs has required some significant changes in overall system concepts.

This article takes the idea of ever-decreasing mass storage costs to its absolute limit and examines the hypothetical effects that free mass storage would likely have on the design and use of future data-base systems. Unfortunately, because of the broad scope of the topics discussed herein, it is not possible to describe each of them in depth. Instead, the goal here is to provide an overall picture of mass storage systems so that the reader can see how the pieces fit together in a compatible and consistent wa9. By doing so, the author hopes to stimulate research in this area. I

A nondeletion strategy using surrogates and timestamps

Data-base systems deal with the inclusion, modification, removal, and retrieval of descriptive data about realworld objects. For example, data about an individual may be included in an employee file when he or she is first hired

by a company. During the period of time that this individual is employed by the company, his or her descriptive data may undergo several modifications. Naturally, this individual's data will eventually be removed from the active employee file when employment is terminated; however, it may be necessary to retrieve descriptive data concerning this individual either during or after employment. In short, information about this person will likely remain in the data base for a long period of time. One of the main contentions of this ar...