a computer 'chip'

glossary of computer terms (part 2)

what do those computer words mean,
and what do all the bits and pieces do?

information storage

a bit

information storage

so how do we count all these bits?

information storage

so a byte is...

information storage

so a k is...

information storage

how about Mb?

Whoa! a million bytes?
Enough room for one million keyboard characters?
Who's going to write that much?

Well, any simple text file that you write, still uses up room telling the computer what it is and where it is.
Have a look at a far-from-simple document file one day, say Word 6 [shudder], with a text editor, and you can see how many 'garbage' extra characters the program shoves into the file.

Your documents still shouldn't take up much room, a few k usually.
Look around. You'll find the room-grabbers, the 'bloatware'...
programs, especially big-name and recent programs,
and anything with pictures.

For more information on the text-picture-application saga, see
It started with email...

information storage

now it's getting silly

I've heard of the information revolution,
but now I wonder how much of it is information pollution...

how much of those billions of bytes of info, stored on computer systems all over the world, are original, creative, or essential to the human race?

One of the original marketing slogans for computers in the office was:
"the paperless office", predicting that computers would save trees etc. by cutting down enormously on paper use...
a recent survey showed that we are now using many times more paper in offices, than we were before the introduction of computers.

Do yourself and your hard drive a favour: don't information pollute.
Keep loaded only the programs and stuff that you really need;
avoid 'bloatware' and loading 'anything and everything';
compress (reduce size of) your files with a shareware application like:
and archive (backup, put on other disks) things you don't use regularly.

information storage

efficient information storage

We all want to be able to store our necessary computer information safely and conveniently.
A few years ago, you could store all the files you needed, including programs and your operating system, on one low-storage floppy disk.
This has changed!


[see also glossary (part 1) for background on floppies and for virus-scan links]

information storage

hard disks

information storage

removable media

With the increase in file sizes (e.g. bloatware programs and lots of graphics), some compromise between a large but stay-put hard disk drive, and the small, delicate and movable floppy, was wanted.

CD-ROMs were developed
[again, see glossary (part 1) for info on CDs and CD drives]
but until recently it was too expensive to backup or otherwise write onto CDs.

Other options were:

For very large scale backups, the options are:

  • very large external hard drives (e.g. 9.1Gb) or
  • MO (magneto-optical) tape drives

    information storage

    compact information

    So one way to keep your ballooning information storage in one place and easy to handle, is to use these high-storage, small-size drives.
    They cost money, but they hold the information.

    There are other ways to manage your information, which cost you nothing but common sense:

    How efficient and responsive your disk is, is not just a matter of technology -- it's up to you to learn to manage your own information, and thus save yourself time, trouble and money.

    information storage


    next article: glossary (part 3): technobabble

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