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Data storage device
A data storage device is a device for recording (storing) information (data). Recording can be done using virtually any form of energy. People have been storing data for thousands of years, by pictures and writing. Modern storage device may hold information, process information, or both. Most often the term is used with computers. Data storage devices can permanently hold data, like files.
Electronic data storage is storage which requires electricity to store and get back that data. Most storage devices that do not require visual optics to read data fall into this category. Electronic data may be stored in either an analog or digital signal format.
All information is data. However, not all data is information.
Data storage equipment
Any input/output equipment may be considered data storage equipment if it writes to and reads from a data storage medium. Data storage equipment uses either:
- portable methods (easily replaced),
- semi-portable methods requiring mechanical disassembly tools and/or opening a chassis, or
- inseparable methods meaning loss of memory if disconnected from the unit.
The following are examples of those methods:
- Hand crafting
- Flat surface
- Cylindrical accessing
- Memory card reader/drive
- Tape drive
- Disk accessing
- Cartridge accessing/connecting (tape/disk/circuitry)
- Peripheral networking
- Flash memory devices
A recording medium is a physical material that holds data expressed in any of the existing recording formats. With electronic media, the data and the recording medium is sometimes referred to as "software" despite the more common use of the word to describe computer software.
Ancient and timeless examples
- Any object visible to the eye, used to mark a location such as a, stone, flag or skull.
- Any crafting material used to form shapes such as clay, wood, metal, glass, wax.
- Any branding surface that would scar under intense heat (chiefly for livestock or humans).
- Any marking substance such as paint, ink or chalk.
- Any item that would hold a marking substance such as, papyrus, paper, skin.
Modern examples by energy used
- Magnetic storage
- Optical storage
Modern examples by shape
A typical way to classify data storage media is to consider its shape and type of movement (or non-movement) relative to the read/write device(s) of the storage apparatus as listed:
- Paper card storage
- Punched card (mechanical)
- Tape storage (long, thin, flexible, linearly moving bands)
- Disk storage (flat, round, rotating object)
- Magnetic bubble memory
- Flash memory/memory card (solid state semiconductor memory)
- Bekenstein, Jacob D. (2003, August). Information in the holographic universe. Scientific American.
- Gilbert, Walter (Feb 1986). "The RNA World". Nature 319: 618. .
- Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, 1950, 1953 pp:150-152, ISBN 0345342968
- Aaron P. Nelson and Susan Gilbert, Harvard Medical School Guide to Achieving Optimal Memory, Mar 2005, page 66
- Bekenstein (2003) foresees that miniaturization might lead to the invention of devices that store bits on a single atom.
- Bennett, John C. (1997). "'JISC/NPO Studies on the Preservation of Electronic Materials: A Framework of Data Types and Formats, and Issues Affecting the Long Term Preservation of Digital Material". British Library Research and Innovation Report 50.