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Guinness's World's Smallest Hard Drive Record

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the well-isn't-that-tiny dept.

Technology 244

ketbra writes "CNN reports that Toshiba has received the Guinness World record for the smallest disk drive for their new 0.85-inch HDD. (Covered on Slashdot a while back) The technology editor from Guiness made the comment that "Toshiba's innovation means that I could soon hold more information in my watch than I could on my desktop computer just a few years ago". "

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244 comments

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World's fastest troll! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579639)

First post!

World's fastest moderator! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579660)

gotcha!

World's fastest metamoderator! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579906)

$rtbl!

Guiness has no idea.... (4, Insightful)

bobthemuse (574400) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579650)

Imagine what they are getting themselves into. Will companies now apply for largest screen? Fastest start-up time? Fastest processor? Quietest fan? Largest spam mailing?

Re:Guiness has no idea.... (5, Funny)

HD Webdev (247266) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579721)

Smallest market share?

Re:Guiness has no idea.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8580147)

That was already claimed by VA Linux^H^H^H^H^H Software.

Re:Guiness has no idea.... (3, Informative)

betelgeuse-4 (745816) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579776)

I think largest screen and fastest processor (in MIPS not Hz) are already listed.

Re:Guiness has no idea.... (1)

SandSpider (60727) | more than 10 years ago | (#8580012)

Yeah, cause the last thing the Guinness people want to do is go around finding new things to put in their book. That interrupts the beer-drinking time!

=Brian

At last.... (4, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579652)

At last, a hard drive thats also a suppository. Just what we need after a few too many rounds of Guinness.

Re:At last.... (2, Funny)

baywulf (214371) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579948)

You mean those 5-1/2 drives could not be used as suppositories? How do you think Mr. Goatse got the way he is?

Re:At last.... (2, Funny)

stephenisu (580105) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579955)

I have a problem swallowing the need for that. "Good NEWS!, It's a suppository." - the Professor.

You know you're a geek if... (4, Funny)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579656)

You look at the picture and say "Damn, that's a big quarter."

Re:You know you're a geek if... (4, Funny)

sepluv (641107) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579803)

Glad I'm not the only one.

As I'm in the UK, I thought "they have very big coins in the US don't they?"

Re:You know you're a geek if... (3, Funny)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 10 years ago | (#8580050)

In Canada, they're [dynamicearth.ca] even [roadsideattractions.ca] larger [bigthings.ca] :^)

Huh? Where's it go? (5, Funny)

basil montreal (714771) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579664)

The bigger the inside, the smaller the outside. I've already lost 2 hard drives this way... When will they stop?? Is it too much to ask for something at least one cubic foot?

Adorable (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579668)

Is it strange to think that hard drive is cute ?

Not sure why, but it just seems adorable in a little puppy dog kind of way.

Re:Adorable (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579783)

It's just so teensy-weensy!

Damn that sounds gay.

Re:Adorable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579858)

yes

Re:Adorable (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579882)

As long as you don't speak high pitched giberrish to it, you'll be fine.

-B

Computer stereotype (1, Funny)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579998)

And what flavour is your iMac?

upgrade time? (1, Funny)

js3 (319268) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579674)

dude needs a raise to upgrade his 2gig clunker

Odd (4, Interesting)

kneecarrot (646291) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579677)

I find Guiness World Records for computer parts strange. Everyone knows that all parts are in a constant upgrade cycle. 0.85 today, 0.80 tomorrow.

Re:Odd (4, Funny)

tanguyr (468371) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579765)

tomorrow they'll put 16 gb drives *inside* quarters.

Re:Odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8580150)

tomorrow they'll put 16 gb drives *inside* quarters.

I hope so, it would be nice to finally get 16GB for a quarter.

Re:Odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579767)

Uh...all world records are in a constant cycle of improvement. 10 seconds today, 9.95 tomorrow.

Re:Odd (2, Funny)

hasdikarlsam (414514) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579794)

Well, obviously it's all part of the Great Publisher Conspiracy.

Computer parts get better all the time; thus, they can publish "Guiness '04", and then push "Guiness '05" as an essential upgrade two years later.

useless (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579678)

yeah,

smaller drive. Just great.

soon i'll have a phone-mp3-computer-pda-anus cleaner all rolled into one.

screw you all

BSOD (3, Funny)

Mr. Certainly (762748) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579679)

What will we do when our watches have a BSOD?

Re:BSOD (1)

forgetful_ca (554717) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579813)

-1 troll? it's about the article, and intended to be funny. I think the clod mod is a troll.

Re:BSOD (3, Funny)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579992)

Naturally, we'll have to press Inidlo-Start-Mode to reboot it.

Re:BSOD (1)

maxbang (598632) | more than 10 years ago | (#8580138)

We'll reformat it, install slack, and throw in Xclock for good measure.

Already... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579685)

My computer about a decade ago had a 500 meg HD, now I've got a pocket USB drive with about the same capacity.

Re:Already... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8580123)

Is that a USB drive in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

YES (2, Funny)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579686)

Now my porn is more accessible than ever.

Re:YES (3, Funny)

wviperw (706068) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579733)

In the not too far future... [man looks down at watch] "What time is it Pamela?"

AND THE SAME SIZE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579960)

as your penis

Impressive! (0, Informative)

nycsubway (79012) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579687)

I remember reading Guiness Book of World records as a kid, 20 years ago, and things have changed a lot. I'm sure the technology section has expanded considerably. Plus, thats a really cool hard drive. its so tiny!

Re:Impressive! (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579925)

I liked it better in the old days [theknack.net] .

badum *crash* (1)

inkedmn (462994) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579706)

insert your 'size does matter' joke here

Re:badum *crash* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579895)

parent +1 funny

So who will be the first....... (4, Funny)

MrIrwin (761231) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579709)

To set the record for how many you can eat in a minute using a cocktail stick?

What a let down... (4, Funny)

MalaclypseTheYounger (726934) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579714)

Was anyone else supremely disappointed to see the word 'Guinness' (possibly mispelled) and find that the article was not about beer, with this being the day before St. Patty's day and all?

(Offtopic +1, Beer)

Re:What a let down... (1)

Erratio (570164) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579875)

Everything's about beer, just get drunk while you read it (the secret of life). I wonder if Guinness beer is in the Guinness book for anything.

Re:What a let down... (3, Insightful)

beanyk (230597) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579932)

Was anyone disappointed to see people call "Paddy's Day" "Patty's Day"? There's a difference, though it may not sound like it if you slur your "t"s.

Re:What a let down... (2, Informative)

MalaclypseTheYounger (726934) | more than 10 years ago | (#8580022)

Ta an ceart agat.

Sorry. Forgot my Gaelic roots.

(for others not versed in Irish history - St. Patrick is actually St. Paidrig in the local Gaelic language, so the abbreviation should be St. Paddy not St. Patty)

Smallest Drive (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579728)

Am I the only person that immediately thought, "Wow, 1 bit!".

Re:Smallest Drive (5, Funny)

damien_kane (519267) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579797)

"Wow, 1 bit!"

Being about the size of a quarter, wouldn't it be 2 bits?

great.. (3, Funny)

Anubis333 (103791) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579741)

One more thing to lose. I can't wait for the day when I need tweasers and a magnifying glass to replace a HD.

Re:great.. (3, Funny)

Blublu (647618) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579969)

Do you realize what you just posted?

Here in my office (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579746)

I have an old 10 meg drive. You know the kind. Huge and heavy. Looked it up day, it sold for about $700 back in the old days.

Now I imagine how many of these little guys would fit into the same space.

This is the best part of being around computers for me. Watching things change.

Any of you ever look on in wonder while the salesman demonstrated the Sol Terminal Computer?

Imagine a ... (4, Interesting)

Merlin42 (148225) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579755)

RAID array of these things. I'm being serious, really.

Just think in a normal 3.5inch drive case you could probably fit at least 30 of these drives (lets say 1.5inch x 1 inch for each drive with two 3x5 layers, should leave plenty of room for electronics). Given the tiny size of each drive the seek times are probably phenominal) and even if each one wasn't all that fast or even reliable they could be combined to make an incrediably fast drive (using RAID5 or similar internally) with amazing seek times. BUT it might cost an arm and a leg, unless mass manufacturing could bring prices WAY down.

Re:Imagine a ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579849)

Or you could opt out of RAID and use a 120 GB HD.

Imagine a ... (1)

da5idnetlimit.com (410908) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579922)

Consumer market digital camera with 4 gigs to hold the pictures...

PDA with 4 gigs to put you data

Ultra-Micro-Itx with a full computer the size of a Marlboro pack, and that just to accomodate 4 usb ports and a power adaptor...

Smallers disks means ultraportability up...

I, for one, Welcome our Masters Microlords 8)

Re:Imagine a ... (4, Interesting)

Have Blue (616) | more than 10 years ago | (#8580141)

Some reasons this wouldn't work:
  • I don't think the seek time is necessarily all that great. The actuator is also minaturized and the precision of movement required is likely higher than a normal hard disk.
  • The overhead, in processor time in the controller and accounting on the disks themselves, involved in a 30-way RAID configuration would be enormous and probably well above the point of diminishing returns.
These things really are designed for applications where space is a premium; you could get orders of magnitude more space for the same cost or less with physically larger disks.

Reliability? (5, Interesting)

hasdikarlsam (414514) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579757)

Smaller disks generally mean smaller margins of reliability, whether that's because of missing safeties or just smaller margins for error.

I bought an MP3 player a while ago (iRiver iGP-100), which has a "reduced" HD. That worked well for a while, but recently I've lost everything from the 300MB mark and up.

I don't know why this happened, and frankly I don't care; I'm just happy that I have a three-year warranty, and they're letting me upgrade to a newer model which uses a larger, and thus safer, HD. For free. (Apparenly they didn't have replacement drives in stock; the law is the law, though.)

Well, enough about me. Now, about these drives: Would you trust your data to one of them?

Re:Reliability? (1)

ajohnj1 (534707) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579952)

Is the drive physically larger? If not, then it would probably be less reliable. This is because when the capacity increases in hard drives, they don't make the platters bigger or anything (as the drives would have no standard). Instead they find ways to cram more data into the same physical space. If you have a ton of data in a tiny space, you are going to have a larger data loss if something like a head crash were to happen.

Re:Reliability? (1)

Neophytus (642863) | more than 10 years ago | (#8580070)

Are you sure the label didn't read "Repaired"?

russia (0, Offtopic)

matlantis (686027) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579764)

In Communist Russia, the hard drives shrink YOU!

Mod down this karma whore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579843)

Just do it

Re:russia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579916)

That's Soviet Russia to you, you insensitive clod!

but... (2)

Roger Keith Barrett (712843) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579766)

does it run linux?

i guess.. more on point... how do you access it? It would seem a ribbon cable would be bigger than the HD!

Anyway.... IDE, SCSI... is it something I could put in my box right now (if it were out)? Wow... imagine a RAID array full of 15000 of those or so....

Re:but... (-1, Offtopic)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579845)

I find it sad and hilarious at the same time that you say you are "groupthink incompatible" yet you go on with the same stupid jokes and commentary that 99,9% of slashbots put out. Why don't you embrace your slashbotness instead of living in a dreamworld, thinking you are a beautiful, unique snowflake? Or change your .sig, perhaps, instead?

Re:but... (1)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | more than 10 years ago | (#8580086)

Thank you comrade.

Magnetic mixing technology limits. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579785)

What most people keep forgetting is that the magnetic coercivity for various "hard" metals
(see: http://midas.npl.co.uk/midas/content/mn042.html ) is increasing at an exponential rate due to premium compounding of basilic materials such as Voxnobium and Permidiite from Argentina and a couple of other smaller central-American mine sites. The sources are NOT consistant and when you add the likelyhood of rejecting glass bonding agents such as Anser albifrons (from Colitus, Greece no less), we are reaching the maximal limits of the technology.

We have come a long way from manual soft-iron core wound with copper sheathing, though!
Calculating Rho for that could be done with a simple saucer calc box. The rare earth metals are nearly impossible to grade due to the Rufus index and this also makes manufacturing a CONSISTANT base to be problematic.

Ohura

Not a troll - basic physical chemistry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579959)

whoever modded the parent as a troll needs to go back to university and get some basic Geophysics & chemistry.
The parent post was RIGHT ON the mark.

IDE or SCSI (1)

CrazyDwarf (529428) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579788)

I didn't see anything big enough to connect the cable to... :-)

Apostraphe error (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579795)

That would be Guinness' not Guinness's or I would accept a few pints of the stuff.

Re:Apostraphe error (-1, Offtopic)

Gramie2 (411713) | more than 10 years ago | (#8580065)

Apostraphe error

Speling erur

P.S. According to the style guide you follow, the possessive can be formed using just a final apostrophe, or an apostrophe + "s"

I miss the bar bets. (5, Insightful)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579816)

It's one thing to have a book of records that's based on bar bets, and things that just involve getting a bunch of semi-skilled people together to do.

Does anyone care about corporate achievements in the Guiness record books? (other than the corporations, that is).

If they want in to the book, get 1139 people with golf carts, and break the record for longest golf cart parade [sptimes.com] .

I just think about the Guiness book being about things that are done almost solely for getting into the book, with no significant redeeming qualities other than getting someone's name in print. You know -- longest toenails. Worst smelling shoes -- the types of things that the average person could pull off with a bit of dedication, and not needing a multi-million dollar research facility, and not being directly linked to a company's product development.

How about 'shortest MTBF' for the next hard drive record?

Re:I miss the bar bets. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8580066)

"How about 'shortest MTBF' for the next hard drive record?"

IBM Deathstar wins by de-fault.

Re:I miss the bar bets. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8580095)

How about 'shortest MTBF' for the next hard drive record?

Um. That would be "0", would it not? ie, every DOA hard drive ties for first place

Good for mp3 players (2, Insightful)

RichM (754883) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579823)

Apple, Creative and other people who make these HD-based mp3 players really should use hard drives like this. One of the main reasons that I haven't bought an iPOD yet is because of the size of the thing...

Re:Good for mp3 players (3, Informative)

Pumpernickle (720937) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579980)

They have miniature iPods [apple.com] now, that are quite a bit smaller than the big ones. I don't think it's the storage medium on the iPods that's the limiting factor, a lot of it seems to be the interface - there's a minimum amount of control surface, screen, etc. that people need to comfortably use the things.

Re:Good for mp3 players (2, Informative)

rraiford (735032) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579983)

uhh they do. iPod Mini uses microdrives

Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579827)

This is fantastic, right? I mean, I'm sure this is old news to the Slashdotters here (but for me its new, and I'm just an anonymous coward)

What affect will this have on robotics architecture? if any?

I imagine the applications for digital cameras will be excellent.. no more paying through the nose for limited run CF cards.

I guess I'm being unrealistic, but I eagerly await the day when extremely powerful computers will be the size of my cell phone and monitors can be rolled up like a piece of paper. Any step forwards towards that, however small.. is excellent :)

Have a great day!

The next wave is comming (3, Funny)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579839)

Thousands of geeks applied to Guinness for creating the smallest linux distro. At the end of the day, only 3 were left standing.

I win! (1, Funny)

drwtsn32 (674346) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579846)

I have a 5MB MFM drive in my garage.

Wristwatch pr0n! (1, Funny)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579851)

Wow! Now I can bring my own pr0n collection with me all the time, and I can use it...
Wait, no, I can sure watch it, but I certainly won't be able to use it!!!

Re:Wristwatch pr0n! (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579949)

Well DUH you couldn't use it, the screen would be moving too fast.

That's nothing... (4, Funny)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579853)

The first hard drive I ever bought was only 5 megabytes (no, not gigabytes). That's way smaller than the one in the article.

Re:That's nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8580153)

The first hard drive I ever had was only 6". That was before the internet.

article text (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579873)

Guinness record for world's smallest disk drive
Tuesday, March 16, 2004 Posted: 11:23 AM EST (1623 GMT)

Toshiba is expected to sell the tiny drive later this year.

TOKYO, Japan (Reuters) -- Japan's Toshiba Corp said on Tuesday that Guinness World Records had certified its stamp-sized hard disk drives (HDDs) as the smallest in the world.

The electronics conglomerate's 0.85-inch HDDs, unveiled in January, have storage capacity of up to four gigabytes and will be used in products such as cell phones and digital camcorders.

Toshiba, whose 1.8-inch HDDs are used in Apple Computer Inc's hot-selling iPod digital music players, for example, aims to start producing the 0.85-inch HDDs by the end of 2004.

"Toshiba's innovation means that I could soon hold more information in my watch than I could on my desktop computer just a few years ago," said David Hawksett, science and technology editor at Guinness World Records.

A Day Early? (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579876)

Nearly everyone knows that St. Patrick's Day is the 17th, and a day many people tip a pint of Guinness in tribute, in a pub, for which (ta-da) the Guinness Book or World Records was created to settle bets and disagreements.

Consider two geeks in a pub (yeah, it's a stretch, usually one pint and they're under the table babbling about some OS or Kirk&Spok or making Monty Python references before passing out, ..):

Geek 1:
"So then I visualized a tiny Beowulf cluster with a slew of IBM microdrives, the smallest drives in the world and it was..."
Geek 2: "Whoa, Cowboy, Toshiba has the smallest hard drive in the world."
Geek 1: "No, it's IBM, you're wrong romulan breath!"
Geek 2: "NOT! It's Toshiba!"
Barmaid: "Hold on boys, I'll get the book to settle this."
Geek 1: "Awe crap, OK, so it's Toshiba!"
Geek 2: "Facial burns on you!"
Geek 1: "So I filled out a request for the parts."
Geek 2: "What did purchasing say?"
Geek 1: "They said they couldn't understand it because I filled it out in spanish."
Geek 2: "Ah ha! They didn't expect the spanish requisisition!"
Barmaid throws the book at them.

Re:A Day Early? (1)

cybermace5 (446439) | more than 10 years ago | (#8580019)

I would like to buy some Funny futures on this one.

Re:A Day Early? (1)

Mr Guy (547690) | more than 10 years ago | (#8580035)

I tried to resist posting this, but then I read your sig and gave up.

NO ONE expects the spanish requisition

No more iPod battery problem (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579892)

Great! Now some company can put this in a music player that is smaller than the iPod but doesn't have the "toss it in the trash if battery dies" iPod problem.

DUDE! (0, Redundant)

Wraithy (758481) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579898)

That is absurdly impressive. A 4 GB HD that tiny... You just know that thing's going to be in every single MP3 player 2 years from now.

Not actually innovation (4, Insightful)

leandrod (17766) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579911)

Am I the only one irritated when improvements get called innovations?

Now what we need are camera watches. (3, Funny)

demonic-halo (652519) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579920)

Yes,

We can all be super spies. With gigs of data in a watch, we can sneak into foreign embassies and video tape almost everything in sight.

HD vs Flash memory et al (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579926)

I wouldn't buy a small HD if space/weight was my concern... I would go for flash memory or equivalent technology. The HDDs will stay a bit longer, but I would be surprised if we still use it in 15 years from now.

Capacity? (1)

kryocore (629960) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579935)

How many MB/GB can this thing hold? How does it compare to IBM's (or is it Hitachi's) microdrive?

Re:Capacity? (1)

Papillon3111 (655288) | more than 10 years ago | (#8580131)

IBM sold their HDD Division to Hitachi but maintain a 30% stake, I believe.

Nice watch (1, Interesting)

sbeast702 (447699) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579937)

As much of a geek as I am, I really could do without 40 gigs on my wrist. Especially since it's not solid state... I can't even imagine the problems this drive will have on small wearables... I have a hard enough time keeping my regular watch from not breaking, I would hate to have to worry about gigs of data as well.

Where is (1)

larry2k (592744) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579966)

Where is the imagine a beowulf or in soviet Russia joke?

Never use scissors and glue to manually edit documents. The data is stored much too small for the naked eye, and you may end up with data from some other document stuck in the middle of your document.

Re:Where is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8580175)

So far the closest we've come to a true "imagine a beowulf or in soviet Russia" was "Imagine a RAID array..". It's a cold day in hell indeed.

Linus Torvalds receives Guiness Award (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8579968)

For world's smallest penis

Mini*Mini Ipod? (1)

Lord Haha (753617) | more than 10 years ago | (#8579987)

So does this mean I will be able to get a mini squared ipod? that will not only play music but be able to get lost even easier! cool sign me up!

Capacity...2 - 4 GB (-1, Informative)

braddock (78796) | more than 10 years ago | (#8580015)

The article didn't mention the drive's capacity. Apparently Toshiba claims the initial drive version will be 2-4GB, to be released in 2005. Whether their prototype is already functional at that capacity I don't know.

Braddock Gaskill

Guinness has been duped! (3, Funny)

tmhsiao (47750) | more than 10 years ago | (#8580112)

Everyone in the industry knows that Toshiba hasn't made small hard drives, they've bred huge people [richinternetapps.com]
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