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Digital Data Storage: Past, Present and Future
Erik Moore
Professor Bryan Jensen
American Military University

Digital Data Storage: Past, Present and Future
Computer technology has been ever-evolving since the creation of the first microchip.   As the computing age headed into the future, so did the advancements in speed, storage, size and portability of these amazing machines.   As we grew dependent on information systems, we put more and more data into them, resulting in larger requirements for storage.   What used to take rooms full of filing cabinets now takes virtual space on single hard drives, at least in most cases.   The technology for storing data has evolved considerably, lending new and innovative ideas toward future advancements.   More and more companies are involved in research, development and manufacturing of new storage methods.   At the same time, there are regulatory issues to consider, whether they are business laws or legal rulings.   With the advent of “Cloud Computing,” data is stored all over the world, so there are global implications in how data storage technology is developed, deployed, maintained and secured.
Data storage technology has come a long way throughout the years.   It is hard to believe we can trace the roots back to 1881, when Herman Hollerith (later formed IBM) designed a paper punch machine used to compute the 1881 national census.   (Maximum PC, 2009)   That ground-breaking discovery led to other ideas, such as paper tape, magnetic tape and even audio cassettes.   After the IBM PC was introduced, the eight-inch floppy disk was introduced, with a whopping 1.2 MB capacity (double-sided, double density versions).   Those gave way to the smaller 3.5-inch floppy disk, tape drives, and even ZIP/JAZ disks.   As storage requirements grew, so did the media on which they were stored.   Internal hard drives picked up where floppy disks left off, allowing for megabytes and even gigabytes of data to be stored in one place....

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