More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Its All Ones and Zeroes

I was just talking to my friend Patrick and he was saying how he was installing a new hard drive. He asked me to help him copy a disc, which I happily did. However, the disc got stuck in the cd writer and when I tried to pull it out, it got scratched and was wrecked. Luckily, I had already made a copy and hence could make another copy. This little accident prompted me to back up my computer data which I have been meaning to do for months.

Nowadays, our computers contain so much important information, meaning that everything is just a series of ones and zeroes rather than physical things you store away. The problem is that these digital files are so easily lost. You may accidentally erase them, or your computer gets a virus, or the hard disk just crasehs. Whereas physical items are generally harder to lose if you don't take them out of the house, and it isn't too often that there is a fire or flood in your house to destroy those items.

My computer contains work stuff, all my digital photos that I have taken but hardly print out, all my music files and all my personal files. If my hard drive were to crash today, I would be very upset and in quite a state of confusion. Losing music files is one thing, they can slowly be replaced, but losing all my photos and personal files would be tragic. I don't know what I would do, panic or start throwing things around and cursing. Even when I lost the really bad resolution photos from my mobile phone, I was very upset.

Hence, I have begun to back up my files right now. However, the problem is that files are so large now, they are hard to place into one disc, even if its a DVD. This means that there are multiple disc flying around the place. Just before, I was looking for a specific DVD with my stuff on it and couldn't find it. After searching for a while, I eventually found it. Backing up onto DVD is not the perfect solution. DVDs are very easy to lose, they can get scratched and damaged, or just deteriorate over time. They may physically deteriorate or maybe in a few years time, we will have moved onto another digital medium and nothing reads them anymore.

Whereas things such as printed photos can last up to 100 years, our digitally stored photos and data may only last a few years. This means that people will need to constantly change the media where they store things or be willing to lose those things. So has the digital age actually made things better or worse. Due to the ease of keeping things, we tend to keep way too many things. Most of my photos, probably at least half of them, are not great shots and could be thrown out. But since its so easy to keep them, I think that I might as well keep them. This means that I need to find more and more hard drive capacity constantly. I have already filled up my 120GB drive and am now looking to buy an external hard drive.

I guess the correct strategy is to treat a computer like your house. When rubbish starts to build up or it gets crowded, you throw things out. But its just so easy to keep it, I might just back them up hahaha. Most of the time, I never look at those files again but it seems a waste to throw them out, so I will keep them just in case.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Backing up your "personal" images and videos are a priority over everything else.

1/31/2008 11:52 AM  

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