Storage Space

The purpose of this paper is to shed some light on computer storage devices. In order to understand how computer storage devices work, I will have to discuss bits and bytes. According to About. com’s contributing author, Bradley Mitchell, bits and bytes can be simply defined as “A bit is a single numeric value, either ‘1’ or ‘0’ that encodes a single unit of digital information. A byte is a sequence of bits; usually eight bits equal one byte. ” Then there are kilobytes (which are 1024 bytes), megabytes (1024 kilobytes) and gigabytes (which are 1024 megabytes).

All computers have hard drives in order to store information on its system. The hard drive allows the computer to remember or store information even while it is turned off. All computers need at least one hard drive to store all operating systems, user information, and programs. The hard drive is the largest storage device on the computer (measuring the size of a paperback book). Some computers have more than one hard drives which the computer will label them as being “C”, “D”,“E”, and so on. You can also choose to use an external hard drive for mobility purposes without having to carry a whole desktop computer around.

Most users have external hard drives for extra storage space. Some users also store their most sensitive and confidential information on them and store them in secure places. Another hard drive that is becoming popular in homes and is already used in businesses is network hard drives. A network hard drive connects directly to the computer’s network (multiple computers linked up to share information). This is beneficial for households with more than one computer. Another means of storing information without lugging around (or paying for) an external hard drive is to use a USB flash rive.

These drives are extremely convenient, light weight (the size of a stick of gum), and easy to use. Many students have cut down on paper usage due to the invention of these lightweight devices. The newest addition in storage is cloud storage. This is the new trend in the technological field. Cloud storage allows the user to never carry anything physical, and the user can access his or her information using a remote database that is maintained by a third-party. The internet is your computer’s access to the information that is stored.

This product is still being researched by many users wanting to rid themselves of losing USB flash drives and spending several hundred dollars for an external hard drive. Some users are even debating on who is holding or maintaining the information they are storing. “Is it safe? or How long will the information be stored” is just a few questions that users are researching. So what is next in computer storage? Holographic data storage will potentially be the largest storage device known to man. Fitting on discs the size of a CD or DVD, recent holographic media successfully stored 500GB on single disc.

GE is currently at the forefront of the holographic storage research and states that it took about the same amount of time to burn 500GB on a single disc as it does to burn a Blu-ray disc (8 minutes). According to Webopedia, “holographic storage is a mass storage technology that uses three-dimensional holographic images to enable more information to be stored in a much smaller space. The technology uses holograms which are created when a light from a single laser beam is split into two beams; the signal beam (which carries the data) and the reference beam.

In holographic storage, at the point where the reference beam and the data carrying signal beam intersect, the hologram is recorded in the light sensitive storage medium. ” Holographic storage memory is a new product of technology and is extremely pricey (disks costing $180 each and the drive $18000). Storage Media has come a long way from floppy discs to holographic data storage. I am still unsure of what is to come in technology. After seeing a hologram of a rapper in concert, and now knowing about holographic data storage I believe the future hasn’t heard the last of this amazing new technology.