Rumours last week suggested the upcoming “Leopard” release of OS X would use the ZFS file system.

I’d never heard of that, so I asked Wikipedia to fill me in:


It turns out that ZFS stands for “Zettabyte File System” (a zettabyte is equal to one hundred thousand million gigabytes!) and was developed by Sun Microsystems.

It is a 128-bit system, and has been designed to have storage limits which are “so large that they will never be encountered in practice”, so large in fact that it couldn’t be filled up without literally “boiling the ocean”:

“The mass of the oceans is about 1.4×1021kg. It takes about 4,000J to raise the temperature of 1kg of water by 1 degree Celsius, and thus about 400,000J to heat 1kg of water from freezing to boiling. The latent heat of vaporization adds another 2 million J/kg. Thus the energy required to boil the oceans is about 2.4×106J/kg * 1.4×1021kg = 3.4×1027J. Thus, fully populating a 128-bit storage pool would, literally, require more energy than boiling the oceans.”
Source: Jeff Bonwick’s Blog

You’ve gotta smile!