Where to store all those noughts and ones
Posted by Steve Revill Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:35:00 GMT
Join us on stand 15 at the Wakefield show this weekend and witness previously unheard of amounts of storage on RISC OS. We’ll be demonstrating a 2TB (yes, that’s 2,000,000,000,000 or 2 × 10 12 bytes) drive in native Acorn FileCore format attached directly to the disc controller.
Spinning rust still has the edge for storage density
Why this is significant
Modern drives, however they’re connected, are getting bigger every year. FileCore, the software module in RISC OS which manages our native disc format (sometimes erroneously called “ADFS format”), on the other hand has not been keeping up with the drive manufacturers.
The result is that the smallest drive manufactured today, around 128GB, is very close to FileCore’s limit of 256GB. It’s always possible to format the drives down to smaller sizes or use partition trickery, but it’s much simpler to consider these epic sized drives as one flat area.
How does it work?
In 2015 Piccolo Systems, the brains behind SystemDisc and CloneDisc, were co-funded by CJE Micro’s and Elesar to rewrite ADFS from the ground up in the high level language ‘C’ to directly support the SATA drives used in the IGEPv5 and Titanium based computers. This allowed all of the internal size limitations to be lifted at the same time, at least in ADFS.
In 2013, through your generosity, part 1 of the FileCore upgrade bounty was completed which included work to support larger sector sizes as well. The industry maximum is 4 kilobytes, 8 times more than the former 512 bytes.
Together, that has allowed the previous limit of 2 29 sectors of 512 bytes giving 256GB to be raised to a gargantuan 2 terabytes instead. Ideal for storing backups of memory cards, lots of photos and similar large media files.
Other FileCore work we’d like to see
FileCore is a shared component to which all the other native filing systems (eg. SDFS for memory cards, ADFS for ATA drives, SCSIFS for SCSI and USB drives) talk. We have a bounty currently open to help address these larger drives in a way that benefits all of the clients of FileCore, you can pledge on line or in person at the show.