The race between sequencers and computers

Monday, March 14th, 2011 by hinrich

Moore's Law for sequencing

While computers still follow Moore's law and double their processing power every 18 months, sequencers increase their data output about 5x per year (see graphics shown in the article "DNA Sequencing Costs" by the National Human Genome Research Institute here. This obvious discrepancy triggers the question: will we rely on technological advances in processing power to close the gap?

I don't think so. Even if we could make leaps in computing power, we are still faced with the signal vs. noise problem. We have to make serious jumps forward in the development of algorithms that enable us to increase the power of our filters.

And ideally we would be able to close the loop. We should use our experience in data filtering to guide future technological developments. Designing technology in such a way that makes it easier for data analysis algorithms to discriminate the signal from the noise will be the future.

Currently we are trying to cure a disease. We better start looking for ways to prevent it. This could be one approach.

Posted in Science

My first experiences using the N3200PRO NAS from Thecus

Saturday, March 05th, 2011 by hinrich


Since one month I have started to organize my personal data (photos, music, videos, pdfs, etc.) using the NAS N3200PRO from Thecus. I have installed 3x 1TB disks from Seagate (ST31000528AS) inside the NAS and configured them as RAID 5. These models have been tested by Thecus to be compatible with the N3200PRO.

Initially I have used a setting of 60 min. for disk power management. After the specified time the hard disks should go from an active state to standby. This should spin down the drives, reduce power consumption, lower the heat inside the system and result in the system fan slowing down to well below 1000 rpm.

The above settings worked quite well. I then decided to retire my NSLU2 as the machine that was running my Twonky Media server and install the official Thecus Twonky Media module for the N3200PRO. No problem. However, now the hard disks do not spin down anymore. Changing the disk power management to 30 min. did not do the trick.

I have contacted the friendly European support and got a prompt reply. Hopefully I will be able to adjust the setting so that the Twonky Media server will work in such a way that the hard disks are not continuously accessed. A setting of "Rescan in minutes:" to "0" under"Sharing" in the configuration menu did not help, even though this should disable automatic rescans...

Posted in Computer