Shrinking hard drive

My computer desk is wonderful. In the sense that it stays standing, despite all the crap I load onto it. When it comes to my computer, I own a ton of stuff. I have four external hard drives. My computer’s hard drive only stores a terabyte.

A terabyte can store 2000 hours of CD quality audio, or over a thousand good quality feature length movies.

This should give you an idea about how much data storage I need. I spend way too much time on the computer and download way too much stuff (all legally, as far as you need to know).

If any one of those hard drives were the size of the first commercially available hard drive, I’d have no computer desk and a big hole in my floor, plus some very angry people in the apartment under my own. IBM’s original hard drive from 1956 could store up to five megabytes of data, and it was the size of two refrigerators.

Luckily, technology is prone to shrinking, especially when it comes to computers. A terabyte is more than a million megabytes, but my terabyte external hard drive is only five centimetres wide, 16 cm tall, and 13 cm long.

If you own a digital camera, chances are it has a slot for an SD card. It may have internal storage as well, but I’m hard pressed to think of a digital camera that doesn’t take SD cards.

I own quite a few SD cards, and one micro SDHC card. I think they’re incredible, especially the micro one, which measures 15 by 11 mm and stores four gigabytes of data.

The best micro SDHC cards can store up to 64 gigabytes. Need more space? Find an SDXC card – the best ones can hold up to two terabytes.

All this on something that isn’t much bigger than my fingernail. Stop and think about that for a minute. Just for fun, I’ve got one more neat little fact. The genetic code of a single person is roughly 800 megabytes when converted into data.

That two terabyte card I mentioned could store the genetic code of over 2000 people. If that isn’t amazing, I don’t know what is.

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