The world’s been shrinking ever since the computer was born. But with the struggle to store everything — well, almost — in our lives into its memory, jostling for space was obvious. But thanks to the number of external storage devices in the market now, carrying your world is as easy as logging on to mail.
Room for more
Five years ago, owning as less as one gigabyte made its owner beam with pride. Those were the times when DVDs were at their peak. But soon, music and movies started to speak the space-language and everyone was downloading them by the dozen. “The need for space is ever-increasing, with people wanting to store more music, pictures and movies,” says B Rajesh, assistant manager with Buffalo Technology. Storing stuff in CDs and DVDs meant going through the whole process of burning it on a writer. So, in came flash drives or pen drives, which just needed to be plugged in to transfer data.
“We graduated from the paper age to electronic media, but storage did not graduate at a rate that fast,” says Pravin Sahay, director Sales, Iomega India. “So, the need for advanced external storage devices was obvious.”
“Earlier, I used to buy a 50-CD pack, and now I carry a small pen drive in my pocket,” says Ranamit Banerjee, a London-based Law student, who has been saved of carrying fat books and journals on his flights, thanks to the tiny carriers.
According to Rajesh, it’s the 18-30 age bracket that makes for the most active consumer group of electronic storage devices, followed by children. “Kids carry their projects in flash drives,” says Manisha Sood, country manager, SanDisk. “And the best thing about these are that they are light and don’t heat up easily.” Adds Sahay, “Our fathers always maintained a file for important documents, but we are always at loss. This makes these devices even more significant.”
An estimated 20,000 units of various types of external storage devices are sold sell in Delhi every month, says Rajesh. Sellers support his estimate. “Nowadays, we have to refresh our stocks every week, for there’s always a new model more storage, in the market. The public is also very aware of these,” says Nadir Hassan, an electronic retailer in Nehru Place. As electronic space expands by the millisecond, so do your storage options.
So much in store! Bigger the better: The pen drives and flash drives available these days can support a maximum of 32 gigabytes. But external hard drives from companies like Seagate and Iomega, among others, come with a space of 500GB and 1 terabyte - that's 1000000000000 bytes! Calculate for yourself, if a normal movie takes anything between 800MB to 1.40bytes, how many movies can you carry in that little piece!
Plug-n-Play: You usually need to plug in the USB drive to play the content. But thanks to plug-n-play drives now, you don't even need a medium — just play your music or movie directly from these.
Like it liquid? Research is on to make 'liquid' chips, where even a drop can store 100TB of data!
a) Always buy USB drives from an authorised dealer.
b) Check the warranty before handing over the buck.