Two terabyte hard drives were recently released, which to me means the day is nearing where a single computer with have all the storage space I can imagine ever using. This figures a typical computer with four hard drives. Here’s how I apportion a my complete storage needs:
1 TB, 100,000 books x 10 MB each, every book of which I’ve ever heard (or read).
1 TB, one million photos x 1 MB each, a lifetime of pictures and LOLcats.
1 TB, 200,000 songs x 5 MB each, every song I’ll every hear in my life.
7 TB, 200 TV shows x 50 episodes x 700 MB, complete runs for typical hour long TV shows.
12 TB, 3,000 movies x 4 GB each, one new movie a week for life.
Total: 20 TB
Four 5 TB drives add up to 20 TB, and 5 TB drives should be available in about 2-3 years. Backup and redundancy require extra storage not accounted for here, but becoming progressively easier.
As you can see, books and even audio are only a small fraction of the storage space. Start with a smaller video library–movies and TV seen so far, or only favorites–and four 2 TB drives would satisfy all personal storage requirements.
To use more personal storage someone needs to make some sort of digital diary, an elog, a continuous lifetime audio or video record.