Paul Kilfoil's World of Travel, Technology & Sport

Posted on  by Paul Kilfoil.
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In February 2008 I bought a 160 Giga Byte (Gb) portable hard drive for about R750. Just over two years later, in May 2010, I bought a 1 Tera Byte (Tb) external hard drive for under R1000 - six times the space for only a little more money (and possibly less, if one takes inflation into account). [Aside : "R" here means South African Rands ; as at the date of this article, 7 SA Rands was more or less equal to 1 US Dollar, so R1000 equalled about $140]

But since then prices of disk storage have plummeted even further. You can now get a 1 Tb drive for under R500 (see the advert on the right from a well-known South African electronics retailer), less than half of what I paid just over a year ago! The same applies to memory sticks (also called "flash drives") - as storage capacity increases the price seems to diminish. Every weekend there are advertisements in my local newspaper from various stores for ever-bigger data storage media at ever-lower prices. Where will it end?

One thing is for certain - saving data is now so cheap that there is absolutely no reason that you ever need to archive or delete old information ; just keep it. Don't bother with tapes for backups either. Buy one (or more) external drives, copy all your information regularly and put the drive in a safe place like your sock drawer. Forget "zipping" or "compressing" data to save space - what for? With the virtually limitless capacity that is now available, you can save every photograph or video that you've ever taken or ever will take and keep them all for posterity.

  © Paul Kilfoil, Cape Town, South Africa