Two Roads

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 As a famous poem goes, two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and long I stood looking down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth. We are again, at this point in time, at a crossroads in the world of technology where particular innovations of the past are fast becoming obsolete and new inventions are now becoming mainstream applications. Today, the most traveled road may not seem to be the best option anymore, and the one less traveled by is becoming the more popular choice. Let us take a take a look as far as we can down both roads and make a wise choice today on which one to take towards tomorrow.

Portable Storage 

Far the past decade or so, the most used portable storage is the 3.5” diskette that replaced the floppy disk which, during its time, was the only option for portable storage. The emergence of optical media such as the CDR and CD-RW also made an impact as it provided greater capacities in a more versatile device compatible not only to computers but also to other optical media playing electronics such as CD and VCD players at an affordable price. Other manufacturers such as Iomega opted to create their own portable storage media which gain some popularity as well. With the launch of the Zip disk and Zip drive, Iomega offered consumers simplicity of using the 3.5” diskette with larger capacities starting from 100MB to as large as 2GB depending on the Zip disk. However, Zip disk usage is limited to the Zip drive.

New media such as the flash drive and new optical media storage DVD-R, DVD-RW, Blu-ray and HDD are becoming more popular as the days go by. Flash drives not only offer greater capacities at more compact and portable sizes, but they are also becoming more affordable with a 1GB flash drive selling for less than a thousand pesos. The new optical media not only offer GB capacities, but are compatible to new technologies that are sure to be part of everyday lingo when the day comes (and I’m sure that day is not far away). The only down side to the new optical media storage, for now, is that since it is still relatively at the early stages of development, they are rather expensive as compared to CDR and CD-RW, and is limited to specific players.

The choice here is not that difficult, but not as simple as well. The days of the 3.5” diskette are obviously numbered, evident with the choice of some PC manufacturers and Apple to no longer include a diskette drive with their latest desktops and laptops. The question with regards to which optical media storage to choose is a bit more difficult. If you want to invest in more storage and future technology, go for the new media. If you want to be versatile and flexible, choose the CDR/RW or the DVD-R/RW since most computers today are already using DVD-ROMS. If you do choose the Blu-ray and HDD, you are sure to have greater capacities and access to tomorrow’s technology today, but I doubt if it will be compatible with everyone’s system, thus limiting its usage other than your own devices.  

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