Understanding Mass Storage Device

The divers techniques and devices for
retaining large amounts of data. The earliest
storage devices were punched paper cards,
which were used as early as 1804 to run
silk-weaving looms. Modern mass storage
devices include all types of disk drives
and tape drives. Mass storage is distinct
from memory, which refers to temporary
storage areas within the computer. Unlike
main memory, mass storage devices store
data even when the computer is turned off.

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Main Types Of Mass Storage

Floppy Disks

Relatively slow and have a small capacity,
but they are portable, affordable,
and universal.

Hard Disks

Very fast and with more capacity than
floppy disks, but also more costly.
Some hard disk systems are portable
(removable cartridges), but most aren't.

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Optical Disks

Unlike floppy and hard disks, which
use electromagnetism to encode data,
optical disk systems utilize a laser to
read and write data. Optical disks
have very large retention capacity, but
they are not as fast as hard disks.
Furthermore, the inexpensive optical
disk drives are read-only. Read/write
varieties are expensive.


Relatively inexpensive and can have
very large storage capacities, but they
do not allow random access of data.

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Mass storage is quantified in kilobytes (1,024 bytes),
megabytes (1,024 kilobytes), gigabytes (1,024 megabytes)
and terabytes (1,024 gigabytes).

Mass storage is sometimes called auxiliary storage.

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