Monday, April 7, 2008

computers: relentless storage progress

Here's the picture from my old storage media post.
90 3.5" floppies plus a 5.25" floppy and a 2GB microSD card
That speck on top is a 2GB microSD memory card for my phone.

close-up of 2GB microSD cardIt holds 1,360 of these floppies, or a stack 15 times taller (4.5 meters—14 feet tall!). Or 5,555 times more than the 5.25" “IBM” floppy in the picture.

When you just switch letter prefixes around you lose sight that 2 gigabytes is an insane number. It's roughly 2000× a megabyte, 2000000× a kilobyte. 2,000,000,000 characters! If you write pure ASCII text, you could never, ever fill it up. But of course the computer industry finds a way to inflate simple sequences of letters. The text of my post on old floppies was only 1,647 characters; Blogger turned into a 16,000 byte web page; it's 100,000 bytes including the two images; it would have been 4,200,000 bytes if I had used the original photos instead of resizing them for the Web. If I had made this a presentation in evil Microsoft PowerPoint it could easily be 1,000,000 bytes. If I had made a video zooming in from the pile of floppies to show just the memory card, it would have hit 100,000,000 bytes. But it wouldn't be 10,000 times more information.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home