Technology Advice from an Electronics Guru

When I was a teenager, I collected broken electronics and repaired them in my free time. I greatly enjoyed making broken electronics work again. However, as I performed research on how to fix new broken electronics I found, I became fascinated at how quickly technology was changing. While I still fix up broken electronics here and there in my free time, I enjoy learning about the latest technological advancements even more. It seems like there is always a new "gadget" on the market that helps solve a problem that many people have. I recently decided to create a blog to share my technology knowledge, tips, and research on, so come back often if you enjoy technology as much as I do!

Old Media Doesn't Last Forever

Technology Blog

Stone tablets, papyrus scrolls, paper sheets, books, magnetic tapecobalt-alloy hard disk platters, and floating gate transistors. All are temporary, but all can be converted at some point to another, newer, or sturdier format. The newer format isn't always the sturdiest, but it's possible to figure out the best way to keep your information safe for longer amounts of time. Here are a few considerations for computer-age data conversation to figure out what you need to do:

What Formats Are Out?

Aside from archival or hobby purposes, there's little reason to continue using old standards. Some old standards are revived and enhanced--such as magnetic tape being used in hard drive and solid state drive (SSD) times for cheap, bulk backups--but these are still considered newer standards.

If you need to convert any kind of data, here are the standards that shouldn't be used:

  • Floppy disks. These were early items used to save text documents, pictures, programs, and personal files on mass-market personal computers. It was unknown or under-reported at the time, but floppy disks have a fairly short lifetime before the material begins to separate, leading to the understood, but not yet well-known term tape rot.
  • Video Home System (VHS) cassettes. VHS cassettes (and their music tape predecessors) suffer from tape rot as well, but with easier recovery options. Floppy disks save information in binary or similar code that can be ruined and unrecoverable with current technology without government-level investment, but videotapes can be spliced with only a few frames lost if any.
  • CDs. Compact discs (there is a difference between disc, as in discus, and disk, as in diskette, but it is not completely agreed upon) suffer from a form of film rot as well. The film is pressed between layers of polycarbonate, and these layers can be scratched. Rot is not the reason for abandonment; there are simply higher-capacity discs using similar technology, such as DVDs and Blu-Ray discs.

Physical Versus Digital Backups

Your best bet is to use the following storage to convert and transfer your data:

  • DVDs or Blu-Ray discs.
  • Portable memory sticks/thumb drives.
  • Hard drives.
  • Solid state drives (SSD).

The point of using these backup formats is because the reading devices are still relevant. DVDs and Blu-ray discs may be a bit more effort than other formats because fewer laptops come with disc readers and desktop computers must opt-in to add a drive in many cases, but disc readers are fairly affordable additions.

Thumb drives are a good option but easily lost. As an earlier, slower, but rapidly improving predecessor of SSDs, these can store a lot of information and be kept in many convenient places. They're also easier to lose.

Hard drives and solid state drives will be your big, bulk data storage options. You can connect them to external drivers or use an external drive from the beginning and hold multiple terabytes of data, or use an internal drive as a way to always have access.

Online storage is another great option but is temporary like everything else. Companies rise and fall, and the hardware can fail at the storage facility as well. It's rare, but even companies such as Google have lost customer data.

Contact a data conversion services professional to discuss ways to convert and store your information. Contact data conversion services for more information and assistance. 


29 October 2017