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News HGST boosts hard drives with helium filling

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 14 Sep 2012.

  1. b1candy

    b1candy New Member

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    A single modern MRI or NMR machine at most would lose a litre per day.

    The issue with Helium is that the US decided to sell off all its stock (90%+ of the world supply) by 2015. That drove the price right down. If there were restrictions, I once read (YMMV) that a single balloon should cost £150 or so.

    Bring on fusion quick. Then we'll have too much of the stuff.
     
  2. Action_Parsnip

    Action_Parsnip New Member

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    Do you honestly believe a single MRI machine won't get built for the want of helium with this hard drive on the market? ...If it the supply was that critical, you would see toy balloons at £25 a pop at the local fun fair.

    Toodle pipski,

    Parsnip
     
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  3. XXAOSICXX

    XXAOSICXX Member

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    "The gas is becoming a scare commodity" <- scarce?
     
  4. kenco_uk

    kenco_uk I unsuccessfully then tried again

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    Will all my songs sound like those wretched chipmunks have destroyed them? I hope there's something in the warranty about that.
     
  5. Guinevere

    Guinevere Mega Mom

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    The balloons at the fair are so 'cheap' because the US is selling off its helium stockpile! The "Helium Privatisation Act" decision to sell it off kept the price artificially low which meant it was deemed by many uneconomical to try and recycle some of the wastage. It was cheaper to just let it leak out and buy some more.

    Helium is rare. We can't make any more of it. We can't catch it when it escapes.

    At the moment we need it for our MRI scanners. We need it for radiation detectors. We need it for many industrial tasks. We even need it for our space ships... and Nasa wastes so much of the stuff it's quite sad really given how damn clever so many of them are.

    Using up helium so we can all have fractionally faster hard drives is terrible. Not as bad as a silly helium balloon.

    You have nobel prize winning boffins (famed for their helium 3 work) saying "helium is far too cheap and is not treated as a precious resource. It's being squandered."

    Disclaimer1: sitting at my side is a 90% deflated helium balloon my daughter was bought about six months ago. I know I shouldn't have allowed my other half to buy the balloon but when all her friends were getting balloons what do you do.... you over-consume like everyone else.

    Disclaimer2: My daughter has had an MRI and will have more. I'm thankful for our NHS (and the helium they have for cooling their MRI scanners). She has a hard life at times and I'd have to have a heart of pure ice to force her being the only one of her friends without a balloon.

    Last point: Next time we're at the fair, I'm going to stop everyone I know from buying the balloons!


    The 1996 act is a terrible bit of legislation
     
  6. PingCrosby

    PingCrosby New Member

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    I like the Platters, especially if they're on helium
     
  7. PingCrosby

    PingCrosby New Member

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    I thought the biggest use of helium was for students nights out
     
  8. MrJay

    MrJay You are always where you want to be

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    Another case of plundering our resources for immediate gain.

    ' What we have drilled into our heads...your driving force in life is to maximize your own wealth. Therefore it is perfectly rational to maximize your own wealth and destroy the world in which your grandchildren live. Of course, its also pathological' - Noam Chomsky
     
  9. Madness_3d

    Madness_3d Bit-Tech/Asus OC Winner

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    Helium leaks out and your drive fills up with air and burns out... Sounds great :D Surely they should just keep working on aerial density, or create a double height form factor drive with double the platters? Or perhaps have a lower density of air inside? Won't help the cooling but will still reduce drag
     
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  10. John_T

    John_T Member

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    Reading through the comments, I think maybe it was right first time...
     
  11. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

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    It's always been scarce, it was just easy to get hold of.

    Helium is extremely common in the galaxy as a whole, because stars fuse hydrogen to create it. However, it's comparatively rare on earth. Mainly it's created here by nuclear synthesis, when (I think it's) lithium and boron isotopes break down. This happens incredibly slowly, so the only worthwhile places to actually obtain helium are natural gas reservoirs, where it collects over millions of years and is obtained by us as part of the purification steps. Of course, it's no secret that there's a problem with the availbility of natural gas.

    But unfortunately it gets worse. You might think that we'd be enriching our atmosphere with helium which might conceivably be recovered in the same way that other rare atmospheric gases - such as xenon - are recovered. Unfortunately, being light, helium doesn't work that way: it rises to the top of the atmosphere and is lost into space.

    So what we're doing now is going through a resource that has always been scarce, and throwing it overboard. This is not smart.
     
  12. Cei

    Cei pew pew pew

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    Yeah, instant boycott from me due to Helium use. They need to put the price up for ridiculous uses like this (and balloons).
     
  13. SlowMotionSuicide

    SlowMotionSuicide Come Hell or High Water

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    Color me educated - never knew we will be having helium crisis in near future. Shouldn't come as a suprise though, when you put some thought into it. My kid just got her last cartoon helium balloon, that's for sure.

    It's about time we finally get over our Hindenburg-induced fear of hydrogen and really start utilizing it to a good effect. After all, given our case here it should work even better than helium, with an added bonus it won't slip out the casing as easily, thus crapping your drive.
     
  14. Tangster

    Tangster Butt-kicking for goodness!

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    I don't get it.:brrr:
     
  15. sb1991

    sb1991 New Member

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    ****, dudes. Don't complain about the helium being used for hard drives, complain about the vast amounts being thrown away during natural gas extraction. It isn't that there isn't any helium left, the problem is that there's so much that it isn't economical to extract from natural gas. Once the US reserves have been sold off (which will happen soon enough), the price will go up and the gas companies will start producing it again.
     
  16. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    IIRC air-bearing drives have vent holes to equalise them with atmospheric pressure (so you don't end up with the casing distorted by the difference). Are companies going to have to tell HGST with the ambient pressure and temperature of their datacentres whenever they place an order?
     
  17. Ross1

    Ross1 New Member

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    What about if it was used in a hard drive that stored MRI images? would that be more acceptable for you guys?
     
  18. technogiant

    technogiant New Member

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    If they would just hurry along and workout how to do fusion commercially to make energy then will will have an ample supply of helium......and energy.
     
  19. Gradius

    Gradius IT Consultant

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    It will explodes!
     
  20. Omnituens

    Omnituens New Member

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    Why not just pull a vacuum on them instead?
     

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