The Evolution of Data Storage

Time cards, floppy disks, zip drives, and GoCanvas, we’re all a part of the evolution of data storage. Today, we’re taking a look back at the ways we’ve collected and stored information. 

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The evolution of data storage

A look back at the last 134 years of data storage.

1880s punch card – a device that helped analyze the 1890s US census data more efficiently than by hand.

1950s magnetic tape – originally made to record audio, became the new storage method of choice.

1962s cassette tape – the Philips company of the Netherlands invented and released the first compact audio-cassette

1963s removable hard drive – IBM brought out the first removable hard drive, which had six 14-inch platters and held 2.6MB.

1971s floppy disk – IBM introduces the first floppy disk which greatly increased the convenience of data handling.

1982s CD-ROM – Sony and Phillips were the first to bring CDs to the market.

1990s CD-Recordable – Sony comes out with a compact disc that can record and erase as well as playback.

1994s Zip Drive – Introduced by Lomega, it was never popular enough to replace the floppy disk nor cloud ever match the storage size on CDs.

1995’s DVD-R – Digital optical disc storage format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic.

1999 SD Card – by Panasonic, Toshiba, and SanDisk, had the ability to store and encrypted data from music to use in phones and cameras.

2000 USB Flashdrive – A rewritable plug-and-play storage device first sold by IBM and Trek Technology.

2013 The Cloud – More than half of the business use could be storage. As of 2013, 1 Exabyte of data is stored in the cloud (that’s 1,073,741,824 GB).