It took something pretty big, and it took a direct hit. For example, Moore's law itself looks to have continued without noticeable interruption  through Katrina, the financial crisis, and the Japanese tsunami.
But now, for the first time in recent memory, real storage costs will be increasing rather than decreasing for a fairly prolonged period. Fortunately, the knowledge required to resume the exponential curve after these floods remains undamaged.
 Moore's Law for storage: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Kryder#Kryder.27s_Law
 Moore's law through 2011: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Transistor_Count_and_Moore...
PS: Look for 1 month where the prices increased 180%.
"""Scarcity, as that term is used in social psychology, is when things become more desirable as they appear less obtainable.
Buyers for supermarkets, told by a supplier that beef was in scarce supply, gave orders for twice as much beef as buyers told it was readily available. Buyers told that beef was in scarce supply, and furthermore, that the information about scarcity was itself scarce - that the shortage was not general knowledge - ordered six times as much beef. (Since the study was conducted in a real-world context, the information provided was in fact correct.) (Knishinsky 1982.)"""
If you normally buy a pound of beef per week, and you believe that the price will be much higher next week, it's rational to buy extra and freeze it.
HDs are somewhat of a special case, because it's really just a supply interruption. By the time I need another hard drive, the prices will probably be back to normal or perhaps even lower. But it's still not irrational to think: "should I try to get one of those while I can?".
If you have a use for one, you could think "is the current price still good enough value for me", and if you have no use for one, then you could ignore it.
It's when you have no specific use for one and weren't planning to buy one, but now you're thinking "should I try to get one of those while I can?", that it seems like a psychological flaw.
It's about the future, too. If you think that the value to you in 2 months will exceed the price today, then it is rational to purchase it now (even if the value to you today is zero). It becomes more urgent when you think that the price in 2 months (when you need it) will be significantly higher.
Additionally, humans are risk-averse, and a known price today is less risky than an unknown price in the future.
After a popular evening talk show host made a joke that there was an acute shortage of toilet paper in the United States. The next morning, 20 million viewers bought up all the toilet paper they could find. By noon that day, most stores were out of toilet paper for months.
Quick to rise, slow to fall. The real crisis will be at the end of November. But the market won't recover until next year.
Good for SSD I guess which already had falling prices.
ps. HD103SJ is a fantastic drive but bad for price comparisons since it almost never went below $50 - Seagate also bought Samsung's HD division so who know what is going to happen to those great drives now.
Isn't that what should happen? When there is a supply interruption, then the local inventory needs to last longer. The primary way to make that happen in a market economy is for prices to rise.
I was using the word "need" loosely ("needs to last longer") to mean that it's the economically desirable result for the population at large. If the limited supply lasts longer, then it's still available to those who have the greatest desire for the product (e.g. a company with disks failing in production).
The rising prices during a supply interruption seem to be the market working. By that I don't mean it's perfect; I mean if you don't like prices to rise when supply is interrupted, you probably don't like market economies at all.
If you think about this for a minute, how could it work any other way?
edit: even cheaper: http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-FreeAgent-GoFlex-External-STAC... 3TB for $132 compared to $250 for the naked drive.
I had a 1TB WD MyBook I picked up some years ago, eventually installing the drive in my tower some time later, and just under the 3 year warranty it started failing. When looking into getting it replaced the drive's serial number would always return the MyBook product, not the WD10EACS that was inside it. If I was to return it, I would have to re-install it into the enclosure, and make sure the "warranty is void if broken" sticker which I naturally broke removing the drive, was unbroken. I've also seen similar with Seagate FreeAgent bundled external drives.
Not sure they'd be able to connect flood in Taiwan with, say, Seagate stock based on Seagate NOT having plants in TW. Shorting stocks of the companies in electronics industry or some index like NASDAQ is feasible, though.
I'll be the other side of this trade.
Supply / demand is pretty slanted and it will take probably take while for things to work themselves out:
HDD Demand: 180 mm units
HDD Supply: 130 mm units
That's the big downside to having these lean supply chains, a slight hit to one manufacturing site can have a big effect globally.
what I found interesting was that prices shot up almost immediately if you buy on line or through a distribution channel, but at Fry's? it took over a week, and even now, prices are lower at Fry's than at newegg, if fry's has stock.
That's the kicker; 'enterprise' stock at Fry's is hit or miss at the best of times.
On the other hand, Fry's quickly started getting serious about the 'limit X' - normally, if you want ten hard drives marked "limit 2" you ask a sales person, and they print you out five quotes. You take it to the front and get your ten drives. Not anymore. Now they actually limit you to the limit.
I was able to buy enough 2tb RE4 drives to hopefully carry me through the end of the year.
The other thing I did right away was test my stash of used and questionable drives, and return the bad ones. That's another 10 or 15 drives right there, The testing took a period of days (and I returned bad drives as I found them) - the replacements are trickling back, and it looks like all of them, at this point, are in the mail. But if this behavior was common, e.g. people that had large stashes of broken drives laying about that they returned all at once when news of the shortage hit? I can only imagine that the stresses on their stock for warranty returns are making the problem worse.
Oh, also note, I have some 3tb, 7200rpm 'consumer grade' drives (hatachi and seagate) new, sealed, that I bought for a storage project that is suddenly looking not as realistic. I'd be willing to trade them for 'enterprise' drives of smaller capacities; contact me if you have 500g 'raid edition' drives or similar and want to trade.
SSD manufactures could use this to put a large nail in the HDD casket. Drop prices so the difference in cost per GB is less and start up a big marketing effort.
I have just enough stock to ship customers until end of November (a couple hundred terabytes) then...
Pathum Thani, where these factories are, was hit hard by the floods.
SSD prices also might not be affected at all by these floods: the fabrication process for silicon is almost certainly completely different to that for magnetic drives, and likely to happen in completely different factories (in other locations not dependent on the local resources that attract manufacturers to build magnetic fabs in Thailand).
1TB drives were first announced in Jan 2007, nearly 5 years ago, is that long enough to push them out of the main manufacturing effort?