How much storage is 3 Terabytes? (That's 3000 Gigabytes). Seagate claims that the drive can store up to 120 HD movies. The cost of this new (June 29, 2010) hard drive? $250.
Quoting from the announcement, "The drive is compatible with a Windows PC or Mac. Each drive includes an NTFS driver that's installed on a Mac, making it possible for the drive to store and access files from either system without reformatting. In striving to produce higher capacity drives. Seagate and competitors are trying to stay ahead of the growing need for storage as people use their computers for storing high-definition video, pictures and music. Seagate says its latest drive can store up to 120 HD movies, 1,500 video games, thousands of photos or "countless hours" of digital music."
Now, why would a genealogist need all that storage capacity? Digital copies. My camera and my scanners make wonderful tools for digitizing all of my paper files, but all those images really add up to a fair amount of storage. My current iMac computer has a 1 TB internal drive, but I presently have a 2 TB backup drive. The reason for the extra capacity is a program called Time Machine from Apple. To back up all my images and the rest of the stuff on my computer, presently takes 1.84 TB! It will not be too long before I will "need" a 3 TB drive just to make one backup of my files.
Even if you cannot imagine ever needing a 3 TB drive for your computer, be thankful they keep coming out with newer, larger capacity drives. That makes the smaller drives that much less expensive. The release of this new drive will undoubtedly drive down the price of smaller capacity drives. The present price of a 1 TB drive is about $79 and 2 TB drives are about $129. As other manufacturers release drives with equal or higher capacity the price will probably drop.