Jon (j_b) wrote,

Update on bandwidth of sneakernet and LoC's per second

So... if the US Library of Congress has 32,332,832 books ... and we assume you type them all up in flat ASCII a-la Project Gutenberg specs ... Let's be generous and assume each book in the collection is about the size of Gutenberg's release of Tolstoy's War and Peace. War and Peace is 3,288,738B, compressed with paq8 is 665,257 bytes.

So the library of congress is about 21,509,643 megs, or 21510 gigs, or 22 TB (hard drive vendor TB, not Tebibytes, before TC says it). An *external* USB 1TB drive is currently $99 ... currently 1.5TB drives are $129.99 (source). So, for $1949.85 (free shipping) or just under $2000, you could have a full copy of every book in the library of congress. (Though for redundancy you'd probably want two copies.)

The Seagate Barracuda ST31500341AS (the 1.5TB drive) is 26.1x101.6x146.99 mm or 390 cc. A Jeep Grand Cherokee has 34.5 cubic feet of cargo room, or 1939704 cc ... let's assume 90% capacity (1745733cc), gives us 4,476 disk drives. (298 Libraries of Congress. 149 for RAID 1).

So a Jeep Grand Cherokee stuffed full of hard drives driving from New York City to San Francisco (2906mi, 43h which is 154800sec ) would move 346976744186 bits per second - or 346 gigabits per second. (half that with redundancy.)

Which is a Library of Congress every 8.2 minutes. Or 2,439 Libraries of Congress per fortnight.

Exercises for the reader:
  • Bandwidth of the 2009 Boeing 747-8F freighter?
  • If a travelling salesman in a Jeep Grand Cherokee stuffed with hard drives with RAID 1 copies of the Library of Congress is driving from the Library of Congress to every public school in the country to deliver them a 30-drive RAID 1 copy, how long would it take?
  • How many joules of energy using Google Maps was burned answering the previous question?
  • How many acres of switchgrass would produce enough biofuel to pay off steps 2?
  • Same question, for step 1, assuming the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee could be converted to run on pure Ethanol with the same EPA combined mileage rating.
  • Extra credit for Finance majors - Outline your projection of how this project would affect Seagate, NewEgg, and UPS' quarterly results.
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