WBD Personal Data

Personal Data has Grown One Million Times in 25 Years!

As personal computers have evolved, the amount of data we store on our PCs and Macs has grown exponentially. In the early ‘90s, you probably remember the first time you purchased a computer with a 30MB drive. You thought, “I will never use that much storage.” Decades later, you realize that a PC or Mac with a terabyte drive is barely large enough. Yikes! Your data requirements have grown one million times!

The History of PC Storage

IBM first introduced the hard disk drive in 1956, but found that these drives were too bulky and expensive to use when they introduced the first PC in the early ‘80s. So, IBM and other manufacturers put removable floppy disk drives into early PCs. In fact, the first IBM PC had two floppy drives: users loaded the operating system and applications from one diskette in one drive, and they stored the data on the other diskette.

You might remember how large and fragile the floppy disks were and how they slowed down the performance of your PC? That is why manufacturers quickly developed more manageable, smaller hard drives, which could hold larger amounts of data.

The 5.25-inch hard drive soon became the standard for the desktop and the 3.5-inch desktop and 2.5-inch notebook drives came sometime thereafter. Later on, manufacturers also developed other storage media such as the CD-ROM, DVDs, Blu-ray, and flash memory.

As PCs evolved and hard drive technology advanced, storage prices fell. Over the last 30 years, the price of a disk space unit (e.g., kilobytes, megabytes, and gigabytes) dropped by 50 percent every 14 months. Good thing or you would be paying tens of thousands of dollars to store today’s data!

Why Have Data Volumes Grown?

When IBM introduced the first PC, many people did not know why they needed a home computer. They could use a PC to manage their household budget with Excel, use word processing for writing letters, but that was about it.

Once computers got faster and more memory was added, the gaming market started to explode. Later, with further advancements in speed and memory, consumers started to use their PC for graphic arts. Then… enter the Internet, search engines, document scanning, digital devices, eCommerce, and social media.

Today - 30 years later - consumers use their computers for most everything - email, word documents, spreadsheets, photos, videos, and music. You may have even moved all your paper files, including store receipts and bills to your computer. This is why some individuals find that terabyte drives are now too small.

Why It Is Important To Backup Your Data

Have you ever misplaced or lost family photos? If so, you probably remember the anxiety you felt knowing that the photos were irreplaceable. Most people consider photos their most treasured asset. With digital devices, much of the data that you store on your PC or Mac are family photos and videos. You also store important documents as well, such as your tax returns, diary, letters, journals, bills, and receipts. The truth is, your digital assets are just as important, if not more important, than anything else you own. So the question remains: Why wouldn’t you backup your data?

Data loss occurs more often than people realize or are willing to admit. In fact, it is NOT a question of IF you will experience a data loss but rather WHEN it will happen given the variety of internal and external factors that can happen.