Memory devices have become an important and crucial element in these modern days. Either we want to store our music, documents or any other data; somehow we always will need somewhere where to store our data. Digital storage devices always have existed since the beginning of modern computing. Back when the first personal computer came into our world, there were a few storage systems. The three basic computer data storage types are primary storage, secondary storage and tertiary storage.
Basically, primary storage is the memory part of the computer itself. Primary storage includes the Random Access Memory (RAM) and Read Only Memory (ROM).
- Random Access Memory (RAM)
Random access memory is used as a scratch pad by the computer processor to store information temporarily. The random access memory is a volatile memory that loses information as soon as you turn off the computer.
- Read Only Memory
Read only memory (ROM) is a type of storage that is used to store information permanently. Either the data is stored in this type of memory at the time of manufacturing or is stored by the computer user.
Hard disks, magnetic tapes and all other storage devices are included in the secondary storage. They are external to the processor and are used to increase the storage capacity of the computer. The secondary storage is non-volatile and can retain information even after the computer is switched off. Following are the devices that are secondary storage devices:
- Hard Drives
Hard drives are essential secondary storage devices that are used in a computer. Again, there are different hard drive types. Hard disk drives are non-volatile and data is stored in a digital form on the platters that have magnetic surface.
- Blu-ray Discs
According to the physical dimensions, the blu-ray discs are similar to that of the CDs and DVDs; however, the only difference is that the capacity of a blu-ray disc is very large as compared to CDs and DVDs. Blu-ray discs are optical storage devices.
- Compact Discs
Earlier, CDs were used to record audio files, but later on they started being used to store every type of information like video, audio and data.
- Digital Versatile Disc (DVD)
DVDs store data in the same manner as that of the CDs. However, DVDs have a greater storage capacity than the CDs.
- Flash Memory
Flash memory is a further advancement in the read only memory with the difference that the information in the flash memory can be electrically erased within seconds. Also, the data that is stored in the flash memory can be changed according to the use.
Tertiary storage is the third type of data storage. This includes the devices that are connected to the computer in the form of removable mass storage devices. It is often used to store those files that are rarely accessed by the computer user.
New tendencies for memory systems
The new systems consist in a third party service which stores our data in dedicated servers. Nowadays, these online data storage is becoming very trendy. In my opinion, this new tendency is kind of overrated as you are trusting data that can be important to someone else. Some of these services have become very popular for file sharing. Some other services have kept a low profile by providing personalized storage services without becoming a social network.
The world has changed over time, and this is the time of the information. In the past we were living in our small community unaware of the rest of the world. Now, the entire world is combined by amazing communication systems by the blessing of technology. In this information era, we need more storage unit where to store our data. These data are precious to us as it is the legacy of what we have done, what we are doing and what we are planning to do.