In the early 1970’s, IBM released its first portable storage device, 8-inch floppy disks. Then in the mid 70’s, 5 and ¼ floppy disks were introduced by Shugart as portable media storage devices. These floppy disks initially held a capacity of 100 kb up to 1.2 mb. At this age, only word documents could be saved to a floppy disk. PowerPoint presentations, digital movies and music still did not exist and even if it did, 5 and ¼ floppy disks would not be able to hold such large information. The last of the floppy disks were 3 and ½ inches and was released in the early 80’s. These disks could hold up to 400 kb but this amount of memory would still prove to be lacking. The biggest problem with floppy disks was that they were easily corrupted and destroyed. Exposure to heat, water, magnets and mechanical stress would most of the time end up with you losing your data.
The next media storage devices to come out were the Compact Discs or popularly known as CDs. CDs are better than floppy disks since it can save more data. Current CDs can hold up to 700 mb of information and are more resistant to water. CDs can also tolerate more heat. However, CDs are prone to scratches and dust. Despite this, CDs are still not obsolete but it is slowly becoming so with the advent of DVDs.
DVDs or Digital Video Discs look exactly like CDs but are better. DVDs were introduced in 1995 and can hold up to 6 times more data than CDs. DVDs are now a popular choice of media storage device and is still widely used to hold full-length movies. DVDs are also prone to scratches and dust like CDs but these can be avoided with proper storing.
The newest and most popular media storage device of the moment is the flash drive. Flash drives are small, portable media storage devices that can be connected to your computer through USB ports. These devices are very handy and efficient and don’t require CD or DVD drives in order for you to use it. It allows for easy transfer of files. However, these devices are very prone to being infected with viruses and worms and these can sometimes infect other computers that you plug your flash drive into. Flash drive capacities are still being improved on. First generation flash drives could hold up to 256 mb but now, there are flash drives that can hold up to 20 GB.
We can expect this trend to keep on moving forward since in this generation of information technology, there is an increasing demand for media storage devices with higher capacities.