Hello, and welcome to week 2 of our Virtual Exhibit Walkthrough! Due to COVID-19 and Rose Library being closed, we’ve decided to do a virtual walk-through of our current exhibit, Born Digital: From Kilobytes to Terabytes.
For a more in-depth “tour,” see below for up–close photographs and exhibit text. Be sure to click through photographs of each case to view the entire thing!
Case 2: Storage
Storage: As storage for born digital materials has evolved, so has the different file formats found on them. This WinDirStat image shows all the different types of files found on a hard drive in our collections. Each color represents a grouping of similar file formats (documents, photographs, videos, etc.), and the size of each square shows how many there are in relation to the other types. Can you guess what type is taking up the most space?
Answer: text documents (.txt, .doc, .docx, etc.)
Growing Bigger: As people started to work more with computers, storage became an issue. Where could they keep their documents once the computer was turned off? Floppy disks, produced starting in the 1970s, were the most popular storage format for decades. Each 3.5” floppy held only 1.4 megabytes but could be installed sequentially to form entire operating systems.
Data storage has evolved: from 8-inch floppy disks in 1971 holding only 80 kilobytes of information (think a very tiny text document) to SD cards and flash drives holding up to 1 terabyte of information today. Over four decades, technology has made it possible to store more data in smaller and smaller physical spaces.
“A CD. How quaint. We have these in museums.” ― Eoin Colfer, The Eternity Code
Collections in this case:
Thank you for visiting the exhibit via our virtual tour! Walkthrough the tour with us every Monday in April! See you next week when we will explore Case 3: The Future/Where We’re Going.