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Linus Torvalds, Linux Creator, Talks Storage Technology, Compares Hard Drives To 'Satan'

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LINUS TORVALDS
Linus Torvalds, Linux creator, says hard drives are comparable to Satan | AP

The creator of the Linux open source operating system loathes hard drives so much that he has compared the data storage device to the supreme master of evil -- Satan.

On Thursday, Linus Torvalds chatted with techies on Slashdot, answering a series of questions on "computers, programming, books, and copyrights."

While Torvalds made a number of scathing remarks in the Q&A (when discussing his views on software patents, for example, Torvalds declared that "there are a lot of f*cking morons on the Internet"), he reserved some particularly scalding comments to express his vehemence for hard drives.

Wired.com writes
:

[Torvalds] says he only uses desktops and laptops that store data and applications on flash memory, the same stuff that holds information on your smartphone. Whereas hard drives store data on spinning platters, flash is a solid-state technology that can read and write information at significantly higher speeds.

“Rotating storage is going the way of the dodo,” Torvalds wrote. “How do I hate thee, let me count the ways. The latencies of rotational storage are horrendous, and I personally refuse to use a machine that has those nasty platters of spinning rust in them."

“Sure, maybe those rotating platters are OK in some [network-attached storage] box that you keep your big media files on (or in that cloud storage cluster you use, and where the network latencies make the disk latencies be secondary),” he continued. “But in an actual computer? Ugh. Get thee behind me, Satan.”

Torvalds, who won the Millennium Technology Prize in Finland this year, is "not alone" in his views, says Wired.com.

"Hardcore software developers have long preferred flash solid state drives, or SSDs, on the machines where they’re building stuff, and in recent months, these drives have even spilled into the mainstream, by way of laptops from the likes of Apple and Google. Flash has even made significant headway inside the data center," writes the tech magazine. "All the leading web companies -- including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon -- now use flash technology to drive portions of the enormous computing facilities that underpin their online empires."

However, though many leaders in the tech world, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, believe that flash-based storage is the future of storage technology, some still contend that the hard disk drive will be sticking around for some time yet.

According to website Tom's Hardware, Wozniak -- who is the chief scientist at Fusion-io, the enterprise flash drive maker -- explained that the "cost advantage of HDDs will remain, which will position them as low cost data backup devices."

"You can still use disk drives for low speed archival storage, not the stuff the enterprise data centers need," Wozniak said at a Fusion-io company event in September.

For the full Slashdot Q&A with Linus Torvalds, click here.

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