Past to future – the evolution of digital storage

After seeing the picture below, does it bring back memory of the old days? It might be difficult back in the days to imagine a future where everyone owns a smart phone and tablet computer when computers used to be the size of an entire class room. In 50 years, computers have evolved at an incredible pace and digital storage is of no exception. Like computers, digital storages have continuously pushed for new breakthroughs throughout the years not only in overall storage capacities but also in different and more efficient formats.

Let us travel through time and see how storage devices have helped us shape our digital life!

Punched Tape:

When looking at this picture, many might think this is the typical time card used to clock in at work; however, this is actually one of the earliest ways for computers to store data known as punched tape and is actually the first attempt on digitalizing data. Punched tape can store 80 lines of digital data and is used mainly for census and communications related data. Even today this type of data communication method is still being used which most will recognize as scantron used for school exams.

Magnetic Tape:

During the 70s, magnetic tapes have been all the rage in the world of data storage. Similar to tape and VHS, magnetic tape is a type of storage method that is based on traditional magnetic wire recording technology. Made up primarily magnetic materials, magnetic tape can be used to store large amount of data yet can be winded up for easy storing. Remember back in the days where the tape needs to be re-winded back to its original state after we listen to music or watchmovie so it can be enjoyed again.

Floppy Disk:

Floppy disk is the earliest mobile storage device available for the mass market. Thin and light in nature, floppy disk was widely used back in the days by many computers such as IBM PC, Apple II, and Windows PC. In addition, the floppy disk drive in either 3.5 to 5.25 inch configuration is among one of the computer standard features. Floppy disk can store up to 1.44MB of data and up to 250MB for certain industrial grade configurations. Floppy disk was in its prime during the 80s~90s and it was not until 1998 when iMac first decided to abandon the format completely did floppy disk started to fade out from the computer world.

Compact Disk:

Floppy disk eventually became obsolete with the introduction of compact disk, also known as CD for short. Compact disk utilizes laser technology by reflecting the light onto the pits of the disk where the data can be read and transcoded into digital signals by using a photodiode to measure the intensity change of the light. Since CD has with a protective layer design and is a not a touch basedstorage device, it is difficult to interfere the process of reading/writing data making it a very ideal form of storage device and is why it is one of the standard features most computershave on the market even today.

Hard Drive:

Hard drive is the most common type of storage device in today’s world. It primarily consists of rapid rotating discs that are coated with magnetic material and is accessed by magnetic heads for writing and reading data. The benefit of such technology is large amount of storage spaces, fast read and write speed, and affordable. Hard drive is available in two different configurations, 3.5” for the desktop and 2.5” for the laptop computers. Even to date it remains as an irreplaceable storage device for computers.

Solid-State Drive:

SSD is the newest type of storage device available on the market today and primarily consist of a control chip and flash memory. The concept of SSD is the incorporation of a controller that controls the locations and ways data are stored onto the flash memory. The result is significant increase in read/write speed, thin and light, energy saving and shock resistant due to lack of mechanical parts. Since SSD typically have less storage space and higher price than a hard drive, it is primarily used in mobile devices such as smart phones, tablets, and ultrabook computers.

USB Drive:

USB flash drive is the most commonly used portable storage device today. The benefit of a flash drive is its portability, large storage capacity, fast read/write speed and plug-and play capability. As a result, flash drive is most commonly used by portable music devices such as iPod which replaced the early CD Walkman and forever changed the digital music industry. By any chance, have you ever owned a MP3 player?

Cloud Service:

During the 1980s, someone predicted that Network is the computer and digital data can be relayed to computers around the world through such Network. The benefit of network is the unlimited amount of storage and computer resources available but the downside was the lack of internet speed to use the full potential of such technology. Throughout the years, wireless technology and now fiber optics have become the new standards allowing for faster internet access than ever. Cloud Service is slowly becoming a part of every individual’s daily life and ASUS WebStorage is introduced for this very reason.

ASUS WebStorage is designed to help connect people and their digital life closer than ever and eliminate data compatibility limitations across devices. Through internet and cloud, data can be freely transferred across devices and accessed on the go without compatibility limitations making it ideal for individuals’ daily, work, and multimedia needs.

No matter where you are, ASUS WebStorage can automatically sync your data to your smart phone, tablet, laptop, even to futurerefrigerator and TV. Data will no longer need to be stored on separate devices and will always be accessible on the palm of your hand!

Life is this simple and good so hurry.
Register for ASUS WebStorage and experience it for yourself!


2 thoughts on “Past to future – the evolution of digital storage”

  1. The punch tape you show is a wide “modern” one. I used 8+ holes tapes on a PB 250. Then punch cards on an IBM 40. I also used recording tapes, including commercial cassettes. The first hard disk I used was a 5 Mb, the size of a washing machine. And the first I bought was a 20 Mb. I got it from the factory in Taipei, paid 500 USD.

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