Let me conclude my little sequence of posts on new features in KDE Partition Manager 1.1 with some small yet useful features that were not spectacular enough to warrant a post dedicated to any of them exclusively.
GPT Partition Tables
There is without a doubt something to be said in favour of applications that cannot be configured: If they work more or less exactly the way the user wants them to they are simply perfect. Now, KDE Partition Manager 1.0 was maybe not quite perfect -- but at least it could not be configured in any way.
Anyway, this is about to change with KDE Partition Manager 1.1: The new version comes with a fantastic new two-page configuration dialog. The first page is for general settings and looks like this:
In KDE Partition Manager there are three dialogs dealing with a partition sizes, all of them using the same code base internally. These dialogs are: the dialog to create a new partition, the one to resize an existing partition and the dialog to insert a copied or imported partition.
Hard drives are getting bigger and bigger, a trend that leads to some technical challenges hard to overcome without user-noticable changes. The increase in hard disk size means that the areal density (the number of bits stored per square inch on the drive) also increases heavily, which is a good thing at first glance: The higher the areal density the faster the same amount of data can be read and written. Thus the drives not only get larger, they also get faster.
Larger, Faster And Less Reliable?
KDE Partition Manager 1.1 gains support for reading, analyzing and reporting the SMART status of disks. SMART (sometimes also written as S.M.A.R.T.) is an acronym for "Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology". In plain English it is a monitoring system for hard drives and its intention is to give the computer user a chance to take action before an impending hard drive failure -- the action being to copy his data to another disk, of course.