Types of Digital Storage

Types of Storage
While many types of storage exist today, one should strive to choose which type of storage is best for the situation. Some types of storage are hard disk, floppy disk, RAM, CD ROM, tape, and flash or jump Drive. While each type of storage is a type of storage that a person can be use to save personal or profession data not all storage devices are the same. This paper will attempt to explain the different type of storage.

First, one should know the difference between secondary and main memory. Secondary storage also referred to as the auxiliary storage that holds information and software programs when the computer operator is not using the data. Secondary storage is more stable than the computer’s main memory, retaining information and software programs even with the computer powered off. Main memory also called primary storage refers to the physical memory that the computer retains inside the computer. The computer can only use information that is in the main memory bank. As a result, all software programs that the computer implements and all folders that are used are first copied from a secondary storage device into the computers main memory.

Hard disk
A hard disk is a magnetic disk used to store data from a computer. The expression hard is used to make a distinction the disk from a floppy disk. A hard disk can also referred to as the hard drive of a computer. The hard drive holds more data and is faster than a floppy disk when accessing saved data. The maximum storage for a floppy disk is 1.4 megabytes where the maximum storage for a hard drive can be 10 gigabytes and up. In most cases, hard drives are not as mobile as a floppy disk, even though detachable hard drives are in existence today.

Floppy disk
A floppy disk like the hard disk is also a magnetic disk used to store data from a computer. A floppy disk is made-up of a thin and floppy magnetic disc encased in a protective plastic shell. The floppy disk though convenient is easy to destroy or contaminate the data on the disk. The disk sometimes fails for no apparent reason and if the computer user has not backed up the data on the disk, they lose all information saved. The floppy disk has become increasingly obsolete since the invention of flash drives.

Random access memory (RAM) requires electrical energy to maintain the stored data. The expression random therefore, refers to the thought that every section of data can be returned in a timely manner, despite the position of the data or if data is connected to the preceding portion of information. The acronym RAM is mainly instructions or data that can be temporarily stored memory but that lose their contents if the current is turned off or disrupted (Stair & Reynolds, 2006, p. 51).

Compact Disc Read-only Memory (CD ROM) is a disc that can contain information data a user can access but is not able to write information to the disc (2008). CD ROMs can store different types of data from music, games, and even software programs. Even though CD ROMs are a good source for receiving data, they cannot store any data unless they are rewriteable.

Two different forms cartridge or a cassette knows magnetic tape also called tape storage. The tape storage most common use is to perform backup of a large amount of information either nightly or on a weekly basis. Tape storage is generally low costing and has long shelf life making it the storage device of choice for a business. Tape drives allow for access of data in the sequence that the information was saved to the tape, while the hard drive that allows for random access to saved information. Tape drives are slower since they have to spend a large amount of time winding the tape to read they piece of data.

Flash or Jump Drive
Jump or Flash drive is a portable storage device integrated with a Universal Serial Bus (USB). Most operating systems support plug and play devices making the jump drive a popular choice for data storage. Jump or flash drives allow the user to backup files, store programs, music, and photos. The jump or flash drive is compact, allows for faster retrieval of files, holds extensive data and is rewriteable. The jump or flash drive has little or no moving parts making the drive more dependable. Since most computers manufactured today do not have, a floppy drive installed, and USB ports appear on almost any computer and laptop that are manufactured today.

In conclusion, after researching the different types of storage devices the jump or flash drive seems to be the one that is growing to be the most widely used for storage. The jump drives allows for easier access to stored information. The jump or flash drive is easier to carry from place to place with out the fear of damage to the data.

(2008). Glossary of Terms . Retrieved October 12, 2008, from http://www.stiltonstudios.net/glossary.htm
Stair, R. M., & Reynolds, G. W. (2006). Fundamentals of Information Systems (3rd ed.). (M. Mendelsohn, Ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: Thomson Course Tech