Just when you thought that the hard disk drive might be a dead duck, they come out with a new method to increase the performance and capacity of the devices. See: BBC News – New magnetic material could boost electronics.
The more we work with HDDs, on their repair and understanding how they function, the more we think they are just amazing devices that most people take for granted (until they fail that is).
Take some time to read up on how digital storage works. We all need and use it these days. There are many innovations regarding the development of HDDs. See this New Scientist article on the use of bacteria and HDD electronics, or information on the 2007 Nobel science winner who helped discover giant magnetoresistance which applies directly to the development of HDDs. In short hard disk drives are REALLY exciting. Well, we think they are.