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101 – EPTIT
Reading 1:
Optical disks and drives
Optical disks can store information at much higher densities than magnetic disks. Thus,
they are ideal for multimedia applications where images, animation and sound occupy a lot of disk
space. Besides, they are not affected by magnetic fields. This means that they are secure and stable,
e.g. they can be transported through airport metal detectors without damaging the data. However,
optical drives are slower than hard drives. While there are hard drives with an average access time
of 8 ms, most CD-ROM drives have access time of 150 to 200 ms.
There are various types of optical drives:
CD-ROM systems offer everything, from shareware programs to dictionaries and
encyclopedias, from multimedia, databases to 3-D games. A lot of institutions have discovered
that CD-ROM is the most economical way of sharing information. In fact, one CD-ROM disk (650
MB) can replace 300,000 pages of text (about 500 floppies), which represents a lot of savings in
distributing materials and, corporate databases. In addition, CD-ROM drives can play music CDs
while you work. Yet CD-ROM technology has one disadvantage; you cannot write anything onto
a CD-ROM disk. You can only 'read' it, like a book.
CD-Recorders come in two different forms: CD-R and CD-RW. CD-R machines record on
CD-R (write-once) disks, allowing you to create and duplicate CDs. They are used to back up hard
disks or to distribute and archive information. In fact, these systems are the modern version of old
WORM (write once, read many) disks. CD-RW machines hold CD-RW (rewritable) disks that you
can erase and re-use, just as you would do with a hard disk.
The future of optical storage is called DVD (digital versatile disk). A DVD-ROM Can hold
17 GB, about 25 times an ordinary CDROM. For this reason, it can store a large amount of
multimedia software and complete Hollywood movies in different languages. They can also play
music CDs and CD-ROMs. However, DVD-ROMs are read only devices. To avoid this limitation,
companies also produce DVD rewritable drives.
Magneto-optical (MO) drives use both a laser and an electromagnet to record information.
Consequently, MO disks are rewritable, i.e. they can be written to, erased, and then written again.
They usually come in two formats:, (i) 5.25” cartridges can hold more than 2 GB; (ii) 3.5" Further
reading 102 floptical disks have a capacity of 230 to 640 MB. They are ideal for back-up and
portable mass storage.

B. Read the text again and summarize in the table the most relevant information.
Technical specifications USE
CD-ROM
CD-Recorder
DVD
Magneto-optical

Các đĩa và ổ đĩa quang học Các đĩa quang học có thể lưu trữ thông tin với một độ cao hơn nhiều
so với các đĩa từ tính. Do đó, chúng lý tưởng cho các trình ứng dụng đa phương tiện truyền thông
mà trong đó hình ảnh hoạt hình và âm thanh chiếm nhiều khoảng trống đĩa. Ngoài ra chúng
không bị ảnh hưởng bởi từ trường. Điều này có nghĩa là chúng an toàn và ổn định, ví dụ chúng
có thể được vận chuyển qua các thiết bị dò tìm kim loại tại phi trường mà không làm hỏng dữ
liệu. Tuy nhiên, các ổ đĩa quang học chậm hơn các ổ đĩa cứng. Trong khi có các ổ đĩa cứng có
thời gian truy cập trung bình là 8ms, phần lớn các ổ CD-ROM có thời gian truy cập là 150 đến
200ms.
Có nhiều loại ổ đĩa quang học.
- Các hệ thống CD-ROM cung cấp mọi thứ, từ các chương trình shareware đến từ điển và từ điển
bách khoa, từ các cơ sở dữ liệu đa phương tiện truyền thông đến các trò chơi 3D. Nhiều cơ quan
đã phát hiện ra rằng CD-ROM là cách kinh tế nhất để chia sẻ thông tin. thật ra một đĩa CDROM
(650MB) có thể thay thế 300.000 trang text (khoảng 500 đĩa mềm), tiết kiệm đựơc nhiều khoảng
tiền trong việc phân phối tài liệu và các cơ sở dữ liệu công ty. Ngoài ra, các ổ CD-ROM có thể
mở các CD nhạc trong khi bạn làm việc. Tuy nhiên, công nghệ CD-ROM có một nhược điểm:
Bạn không thể viết bất kỳ điều gì vào đĩa CD-ROM. Bạn chỉ có thể “đọc” nó, giống như một
cuốn sách.
- Các CD-Recorder có hai dạng khác nhau: CD-R và CD-RW. Các máy CD-R ghi trên các đĩa
CD-R (ghi chỉ một lần), cho phép bạn tạo và sao chép các CD. Chúng được sử dụng để sao lưu
dự phòng các đĩa cứng hoặc để phân biệt phối và lưu trữ thông tin. Thật ra, các hệ thống này là
phiên bản mới của các đĩa WORM (write once, read many) cũ, có thể xoá và sử dụng lại, giống
như bạn thực hiện với một đĩa cứng.
- Trong tương lai của sự lưu trữ quang học được gọi là DVD (digital versatile disk). Một DVD-
ROM có thể chứa 17 GB, gấp một CD-ROM bình thường khoảng 25lần. Vì lý do này nên nó có
thể chứa nhiều phần mềm đa phương tiện truyền thông và các phim Hollywood trong nhiều ngôn
ngữ khác nhau. Chúng cũng có thể mở các CD và các CD-ROM nhạc. Tuy nhiên, các DVDROM
là các thiết bị “chỉ đọc”. Để tránh hạn chế này, các công ty còn sản xuất các ổ DVD rewritale (có
thể ghi lại).
- Các ổ từ quang (MO) sử dụng cả tia laser là một điện từ để ghi thông tin. Do đó, các đĩa MO là
các đĩa có thể ghi lại, nghĩa là chúng có thể được ghi, được xoá, và sau đó đựơc ghi trở lại.
Chúng thường có hai dạng: (i) các cartridge 5,25” có thể chứa trên 2GB; (ii) các đĩa mềm 3,5” có
dung lượng 230 đến 640 MB. Chúng lý tưởng cho việc lưu trữ dự phòng một khối lượng dữ liệu
lớn và có thể mang đi.

Reading 2:

When buying a hard disk

Hard disks have important advantages over floppy disks: they spin at a higher speed, so you can
store and retrieve information much faster than with floppies. They can also hold vast amounts of
information, from 500 MB up to several gigabytes. Apart from this, both types of disks work in
the same way. To directly access the necessary information, the read/write heads of rigid disks
seek the required tracks and sectors, and then transfer the information to the main memory" of the
computer or to another I form of storage, all of which is done in a few milliseconds (ms).

Bearing in mind that you always need disk storage, it is good sense to ask yourself some vital
questions: What size capacity do I need? What speed can I use? What kind of storage device is the
most suitable for my requirements? If you only use word-processing programs, you will need less
storage capacity than if you use CAD, sound and animation programs. For most users, 2GB on the
hard disk is enough.
Now let's turn our attention to speed. Access times vary from 8 ms to 20 ms. Access time - or seek
time - is the time it takes your read/write heads to find any particular record. You have to
distinguish clearly between seek time (e.g. 20 ms) and 'data I transfer rate' (the average speed
required to transmit data from a disk system to the RAM, e.g. at 20 megabits per second).
Remember that the transfer rate also depends on the power of your computer.

When buying a hard disk you should consider the kinds of drive mechanisms and products
available. There are 'internal' and 'external' drives which are both fixed hard drives, i.e. rigid disks
sealed into the drive unit, either within or attached to the computer. A third type of hard drive,
known as 'removable', allows information to be recorded on 'cartridges', which can be removed
and stored offline for security purposes. Popular removable hard disks include Jaz and Zip drives.
A Jaz cartridge can store up to 2 GB of data, whereas a Zip drive can store up to 250 MB of data.

Finally, a few words about 'optical' technology: CD-ROMS and CD-Recordable drives have
become a reality. However, magnetic hard disks are still preferred for personal data storage,
whereas optical disks are used for recording large amounts of information such as a dictionary or
ehcyclopedia.

Reading 3:

Technical details

Information stored in the RAM is lost when the computer is turned off. Because of this, data and
applications are stored in either hard or floppy disks which provide a more permanent backing
store.

Floppy disks are so called because they consist of flexible plastic material which has a
magnetizable surface. They are available in two sizes: 5.25-inch disks are used in old computers,
3.5-inch disks are the most popular today.

The surface of a floppy disk is divided into concentric circles or 'tracks', which are then divided
into 'sectors'. When you insert a blank disk into a disk drive, it must be 'initialized', or formatted,
before information can be recorded onto it. This means that magnetic areas are created for each
track and sector, along with a catalogue or 'directory' which will record the specific location of
files.

When you save a file, the operating system moves the read/write heads of the disk drive towards
empty sectors, records the data and writes an entry for the directory. Later on, when you open that
file, the operating system looks for its entry in the directory on the disk, moves the read/write heads
to the correct sectors, and reads the file into the RAM area.

Reading 4:
Tapes are an example of sequential-access memory technology; an example of random- access or
direct-access secondary memory devices is the magnetic disk. It provides a large amount of
storage and rapid retrieval of any stored information. All disks are made of substance coated with
metal oxide, and can therefore be magnetized.

Magnetic disks are of two kinds, namely floppy and hard. The hard disks, in turn, are subdivided
into fixed-head and moving-head disks which are either cartridge or pack. Floppy disks, or
diskettes as they are called, are made from plastic, which makes them very light, flexible, are
quite inexpensive, whereas hard disks are made from a rigid material.

A disk cartridge is made of a circular disk called a platter, about the same size as a long- playing
record, which can be magnetized on both sides. When a number of these circular platters are
stacked one on top of the other, they are called a disk pack. How many platters there are in a disk
pack varies depending on the manufacturer and the model.

The recording surface of a disk has concentric circles called tracks, which are similar to the
grooves in a record. Information is stored on a track in magnetized spots called bits. These bits
are similar to the bits in internal memory and are situated on the track such that usually every
eight of them make up one byte.

To access information from a cartridge, it is mounted on a disk drive which is equipped with two
recording heads, one for each side of the disk. The heads move radially along a line from the
center to the outside from track to track. To access information from a disk pack, the recording
heads are moved back and forth in the space between the platters by the access arms to which
they are attached.

A stack of track is called a cylinder and it is accessed by all the recording heads acting at once.
The recording capacity of a disk pack is measured in terms of a number of cylinders, the number
of tracks, and the amount of data in each track.

Information on a disk is organized in terms of blocks, each having its own address, which
consists of a cylinder number, a track number, and a record number. To access directly the
necessary information, the recording heads first seek the required cylinder, then search to find
the begining of the required record, and then transfer the information to the memory of the
computer or to another form of storage, all of which is done in a few milliseconds.

Dust and dirt cause the recording condition of disks to deteriorate. As a result, data packs, which
are disks with the recording heads sealed inside, were developed. They are more expensive than
the nonnal disk packs but the drives on which they are mounted are cheaper than the normal disk
drives.

Disk drives are of two kinds: drives with a single non-removable platter, and drives in which
disks can be changed. The latter kind is further subdivided into top-loading single platter, front-
loading single platter, and top-loading multiple platter. Some disk drives open from the top,
where single platter disks are placed. Other drives open in the front and single platter disks,
either hard disks or diskettes, are inserted. For very long storage, the top-loading multiple platter
drives are used.

After being mounted on a disk drive, disks are kept spinning at a very high and constant speed,
thus allowing the recording heads to have direct access to the required information. For example,
the pack on the IBM 3330 spins at 60 revolutions per second.

Comprehension

a. Main idea

Which statements do not express the main idea of the text?

01. There are many different types of magnetic disks and disk drives.

02. It takes a very short time to access information from disks.

03. Disks provide more storage than tapes, and therefore are more expensive.

b. Understanding the passage

Decide whether the following statements are true or false (T/F) by referring to the information in
the text. Then make the necessary changes so that the false statements become true.

1. Magnetic disks are better than magnetic tapes only because they provide large amounts
of storage.

2. Disk packs are fixed-head disks.


3. Not all disks are made from a rigid material.
4. There are two platters in each disk cartridge.
5. The number of platters in a disk depends on the company that makes it.
6. Bits are magnetized grooves in the surface of a disk.
7. To access information, the recording heads move from one groove to another.
8. Information on cylinders is accessed one track at a time.
9. The recording heads in a data pack are part of the disk and not the disk drive.
10. There are three kinds of disk drives.

Dịch:

1. Băng từ là một ví du ̣ về công nghệ bộ nhớ truy cập tuầ n tự, một ví du ̣ về tuầ n tự các bộ nhớ
phu ̣ truy cập ngẫu nhiên hoặc truy cập trực tiế p là điã từ. Nó cung cấ p một số lươ ̣ng lưu trữ lớn
̀ kiế m nhanh bấ t cứ thông tin nào đã lưu. Tấ t cả các điã đươ ̣c làm bằ ng một chấ t đươ ̣c tráng
và tim
ô xit kim loa ̣i nên có thể từ hoá đươ ̣c.

2. Điã từ có hai loa ̣i, điã mề m và điã cứng. Điã cứng lầ n lươ ̣t đươ ̣c chia nhỏ thành điã có đầ u cố
̣ và điã có đầ u di động gồ m hộp điã hay bộ điã . Điã mề m hay còn go ̣i là diskette làm bằ ng
đinh
chấ t dẻo nên nhe ̣, không đắ t tiề n, trong khi đó điã cứng đươ ̣c làm từ chấ t liệu cứng. Hộp điã đươ ̣c
làm bằ ng điã tròn hay còn go ̣i là điã ghi, cùng cỡ với một loa ̣i điã hát có nhiề u bài hát, quay 30
phút mỗi mặt, có thể đươ ̣c từ hoá cả hai mặt. Khi một số tấ m ghi này đươ ̣c xế p chồ ng lên nhau,
chúng đươc̣ go ̣i là bộ điã . Số lươ ̣ng điã trong từng bộ điã sẽ thay đổ i theo từng nhà sản xuấ t hoặc
kiể u mẫu.

3. Mặt ghi của điã có những vòng đồ ng tâm go ̣i là rañ h giố ng như rañ h trong điã hát. Thông tin
đươ ̣c lưu trữ trên rañ h đươ ̣c từ hoá go ̣i là bit. Những bit này giố ng như bit trong bộ nhớ chiń h và
đươ ̣c đinḥ vi ̣trên rañ h sao cho cớ 8 bit ta ̣o thành một byte.

4. Để truy cập thông tin từ một hộp điã , gắ n nó vào một ổ điã có hai đầ u thu, mỗi đầ u cho một
mặt điã . Các đầ u thu di chuyể n toả tròn do ̣c theo một đường thẳ ng từ tâm ra phiá ngoài theo từng
rañ h một. Để truy cập thông tin từ bộ điã các bộ thu gắ n trên cầ n truy cập di chuyể n tới lui trong
khoảng trố ng giữa những tấ m ghi.

5. Một bộ rañ h go ̣i là tru ̣ và đươ ̣c truy cập bằ ng tấ t cả các đầ u thu hoa ̣t động đồ ng thời.. Dung
lươ ̣ng thu của một bộ điã đươ ̣c đo bằ ng số lươ ̣ng tru ̣, số rañ h và số bản ghi. Để truy cập thông tin
trực tiế p, trước hế t các cầ n thu di chuyể n đế n tru ̣ đươ ̣c yêu cầ u, sau đó lu ̣c tìm nơi khởi điể m của
bản ghi đươ ̣c yêu cầ u rôi sau đó chuyể n thông tin vào bộ nhớ của máy tiń h hay vào da ̣ng lưu trữ
của máy khác, tấ t cả những việc này đươ ̣c thực hiện trong vài mili giây.

6. Bu ̣i bẩ n làm cho khả năng ghi và lưu trữ điã mau bi ̣xuố ng cấ p. Do đó các bó dữ liệu là những
điã có đầ u thu gắ n sẵn bên trong đươ ̣c phát triể n. Chúng đắ t tiề n hơn bộ điã biǹ h thường nhưng
các ổ điã gắ n bộ điã này sẽ rẻ hơn bộ điã bình thường.

7. Ổ điã có hai loa ̣i: ổ điã có tấ m ghi đơn cố đinh
̣ và ổ điã có thể thay đổ i điã . Ổ điã sau la ̣i đươ ̣c
chia nhỏ thành: tấ m ghi đơn na ̣p trên đin̉ h, tấ m ghi đơn na ̣p phiá trước và nhiề u tấ m ghi na ̣p trên
đỉnh.Một số ổ điã mở từ phía trên chỗ đặt các tấ m ghi đơn. Những ổ điã khác mở từ phía trước và
điã tấ m ghi, điã cứng hoặc điã mề m sẽ đươ ̣c lắ p vào. Để lưu trữ đươ ̣c lâu, người ta sử du ̣ng ổ điã
đa tấ m ghi na ̣p trên đỉnh. Sau ghi điã đươ ̣c gắ n vào, ổ điã sẽ quay với tố c độ rấ t nhanh, cho phép
các đầ u thu truy cập trực tiế p thông tin cầ n đế n. Ví du ̣ bộ điã trong máy IBM 3330 quay đươ ̣c 60
vòng / giây.

INFORTECH

READING 1:

Types of magnetic storage devices

Data storage is a critical component of any computer system. Computer systems need to store data in
digital format. One of the most widely used types of digital data storage is magnetic storage. This refers to
any type of data storage using a magnetized medium. Below are several types of magnetized media used in
computer systems.
Read the text and fill in the gaps with NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS and/or A
NUMBER

1. There are three basically three types of magnetic storage devices available to the computer
users – {hard drives}, diskettes and tapes.

2. The capacity of a 3.5 floppy disk is only {1.44MB}.

3. Hard drives can store hundreds of times more data than {floppy disks}.

4. The {capacity} of external hard drives is as much as internal ones despite their small size.

5. Magnetic tapes are used for {archiving} information that you no longer need to use regularly.

READING 2:
Magnetic storage

Magnetic storage devices store data by magnetizing particles on a disk or tape.

A floppy disk is so called because it consists of a flexible


sheet of plastic coated with iron oxide- a magnetizable
material. A floppy disk drive spins at 360 revolutions per
minute, so it’s relatively slow. However, a hard drive
spins at over 7,200rpm and stores data on a stack of
metal rotating disks called platters. This means you can
store much more data and retrieve information much
faster.

New disks need to be formatted before you can use


them, unless they come preformatted from the
manufacturer. When the disk is formatted, the
operating system organizes the disk surface into circular
tracks and divides each track into sectors. The OS creates
a directory which will record the specific location of files.
When you save a file, the OS moves the read/write head
of the drive towards empty sectors records the data and writes an entry for the directory. Later
on, when you open that file, the OS looks for its entry in the directory, moves the read/ write
heads to the correct sector, and reads the file in the RAM area. However, formatting erases any
existing files on a disk, so do not format disks on which data that you don’t want to lose is stored.

The OS allows you to create one or more partitions on your hard drive, in effect dividing it into
several logical parts. Partitions let you install more than one operating system (e.g. Windows and
Linux) on your computer. You may also decide to split your hard drive because you want to store
the OS and programs on one partition and your data files on another, this allows you to reinstall
the OS when a problem occurs, without affecting the data partition.

The average time required for the read/ write heads to move and find data is called seek time (or
access time) and it is measured in milliseconds, most hard drives have a seek time of 7 to 14ms.
Don’t confuse this with transfer rate- the average speed required to transmit data from the disk
to the CPU, measured in megabytes per second.

Read the text and decide whether these sentences are True (T) or False (F)
1. A hard drive spins at the same speed as a floppy disk drive. {F}
2. You can use the disk only after it is formatted. {T}
2. If you format a hard drive that has files on it, the files will be deleted. {T}
3. Hard drives cannot be partitioned to run seperate operating systems on the same disk. {F}
4. Seek time and transfer rate mean the same thing. {F}
READING 3:
How to protect your hard drive
 Don’t hit or move the computer while the hard drive is spinning. Hard drives are very sensitive
to vibration and shocks, especially when they are operating; when the read/write head
touches the rotating disk, it can scratch and damage the disk surface. This is known as
head crash.
 You shouldn’t turn your computer off and on quickly. Wait at least ten seconds to ensure that
the drive has stopped spinning.
 Check your hard drive regularly for logical and physical errors. To check and repair a drive,
you can use a disk diagnosis utility like Windows ScanDisk.
 To minimize the disk of data loss or corruption, you should install an up-to-date virus scanner.
You should also backup your hard drive regularly.

READING 4:
Optical Discs and Drives

Optical discs can store data at much higher densities than magnetic disks. They are therefore
ideal for multimedia applications where images, animation and sound occupy a lot of disc space.
Furthermore, optical discs are not affected by magnetic fields, meaning that they are secure and
stable, and can be transported through airport metal detectors without damaging the data.
However, optical drives are slower than hard drives.

CDs and DVDs

At first sight, a DVD is similar to a CD. Both discs are 120


mm in diameter and 1.2 mm thick. They also both use a
laser beam to read data. However, they are very different in
internal structure and data capacity. In a DVD, the tracks
are very close together, thus allowing more tracks. The pits
in which data is stored are also smaller, so there are more
pits per track. As a result, a CD can hold 6S0-700MB,
whereas a basic DVD can hold 4.7GB. In addition, a DVD can
be double-sided and dual layer, with a capacity of 17GB.

CDs come in three different formats. CD-ROMs are read-only units, meaning you cannot change
the data stored on them. CD-R (recordable) discs are write-once devices which let you duplicate
music CDs and other data CDs. CD-RW (rewritable) discs enable you to write onto them many
times, just like a hard disk.

DVDs also come in several formats. DVD-ROMs are used in DVD computer drives. They allow for
data archiving as well as interactive content (for example, an encyclopedia or a movie). DVD-R or
DVD+R can only be recorded on once. DVD-RW or DVD+RW discs can be erased and reused many
times. They are used to back up data files and to record audio and video.

HD-DVD and Blu-ray discs

These two competing formats are expected to replace current DVD as the standard for watching
movies at home. A Blu-ray disc has a capacity of 25GB (single layer), 50GB (dual layer) and 100GB
(four layer). Unlike DVDs, which use a red laser to read and write data, Blu-ray uses a blue-violet
laser, hence its name. Blu-ray discs can record and play back high-definition television and digital
audio, as well as computer data.

Read the text and choose the best answer for the following questions
1. Why are optical discs the best choice for multimedia applications?
A. Because they can hold more data than magnetic devices. (key)
B. Because they are believed to be unaffected by magnetic fields.
C. Because their speed of data backup is slower than hard drives.
2. What are CDs and DVDs similar in?
A. storage capacity
B. data structure
C. shape and size (key)
3. Where is the data hold in a DVD?
A. the laser beam
B. the tracks
C. the pits (key)
4. What is the highest number of recording layers that a DVD has?
A. 1
B. 2
C. 4 (key)
5. Which format of DVDs is used for archiving the information which is no longer used regularly?
A. DVD-ROMs (key)
B. DVD-R or DVD+R
C. DVD-RW or DVD+RW
6. Why is Blu-ray expected to replace DVD over the coming years?
A. Because it offers much greater storage capacity. (key)
B. Because a blue violet laser is used to read and write data in a Blu-ray disc.
C. Because it can record audio and back up data.

READING 5: Read the text and complete the table with NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS and/or A
NUMBER
Various types of optical drives

CD-ROM systems offer everything, from shareware programs to dictionaries and


encyclopedias, from multimedia, databases to 3-D games. A lot of institutions have discovered
that CD-ROM is the most economical way of sharing information. In fact, one CD-ROM disk (650
MB) can replace 300,000 pages of text (about 500 floppies), which represents a lot of savings in
distributing materials and, corporate databases. In addition, CD-ROM drives can play music CDs
while you work. Yet CD-ROM technology has one disadvantage; you cannot write anything onto
a CD-ROM disk. You can only 'read' it, like a book.
CD-Recorders come in two different forms: CD-R and CD-RW. CD-R machines record on
CD-R (write-once) disks, allowing you to create and duplicate CDs. They are used to back up hard
disks or to distribute and archive information. In fact, these systems are the modern version of old
WORM (write once, read many) disks. CD-RW machines hold CD-RW (rewritable) disks that you
can erase and re-use, just as you would do with a hard disk.
The future of optical storage is called DVD (digital versatile disk). A DVD-ROM Can hold
17 GB, about 25 times an ordinary CD-ROM. For this reason, it can store a large amount of
multimedia software and complete Hollywood movies in different languages. They can also play
music CDs and CD-ROMs. However, DVD-ROMs are read only devices. To avoid this limitation,
companies also produce DVD rewritable drives.
Magneto-optical (MO) drives use both a laser and an electromagnet to record information.
Consequently, MO disks are rewritable, i.e. they can be written to, erased, and then written again.
They usually come in two formats:, 5.25” cartridges can hold more than 2 GB; 3.5" floptical disks
have a capacity of 230 to 640 MB. They are ideal for back-up and portable mass storage.

Capacity and formats Possible uses


CD-ROM - Storage capacity: 650 MB - Store softwares,
dictionaries, encyclopedias,
multimedia, databases, 3-D
games
- Share information
- Play music CDs
CD-Recorder - Two different formats: CD- - Back up hard disks or to
R and CD-RW distribute and archive
information
DVD - Storage capacity: 17 GB - Store multimedia software
and complete Hollywood
movies in different languages
- Play music CDs and CD-
ROMs
Magneto-optical Two formats: - Back up
- 5.25” cartridges (more than - Hold portable mass
2 GB) information
- 3.5” floptical disks (230 –
640 MB)

Flash Memories

Memory in an flash!
Flash memory is a type of non-volatile memory that can be electronically erased and
reprogrammed. Its name was invented by Toshiba to express how much faster it could be
erased - 'in a flash; which means 'very quickly' Unlike RAM, which is volatile, flash memory
retains the information stored in the chip when the power is turned off. This makes it ideal for
use in digital cameras, laptops, network switches, video game cards, mobile phones and
portable multimedia players. In addition, it offers fast read access times (although not as fast as
RAM), with transfer rates of 12MB per second. Unlike ROM chips, flash memory chips are
rewritable, so you can update programs via software.
Inside the chip, data is stored in several floating gate transistors, called cells. Each cell
traditionally stores one bit of data (1 = erased and 0 = programmed). New devices have a multi-
level cell structure so 20 they can store more that one bit per cell. The chips are constructed
with either NOR or NAND gates. NOR chips function like a computer's main memory, while
NAND works like a hard drive. For example, in a camera, NOR flash contains the camera's
internal software, while NAND flash is used to store the images.

Flash memory is used in several ways:

Many PCs have their BIOS (basic input/output system) stored on a flash memory chip so it can
be updated if necessary.
Modems use flash memory because it allows the manufacturer to support new protocols.
USB flash drives are used to save and move MP3s and other data files between computers.
They are more easily transported than external hard drives because they use solid-
state technology, meaning that they don't have fragile moving parts that can break if dropped.
However, USB flash drives have less storage capacity than hard drives.
New U3 smart drives allow users to store both applications and data. They have two drive
partitions and can carry applications that run on the host computer without requiring
installation.
Flash memory cards are used to store images on cameras, to back up data on PDAs, to
transfer games in video consoles, to record voice and music on MP3 players or to store movies
on MP4 players. They are as small as a stamp, and capacity can range from 8MB to several
gigabytes. The only limitation is that flash cards are often not interchangeable between devices.
Some formats include: CompactFlash, Secure Digital, MultiMedia Card, miniSD card, and xD-
Picture Card. Sony has its own product called the Memory Stick, used in its digital still cameras,
video camcorders and the PlayStation Portable. The photos stored in a digital camera can be
offioaded to a computer via cable or wirelessly. Another option is to have a flash card
reader permanently connected to your PC; you simply eject the card from the camera and put
it into the reader instead of having to plug the camera in.
The future of hard drives may be hybrid hard drives. Hybrid hard drives 70 combine a
magnetic hard disk and flash memory into one device. This allows computers to boot, or 75
start, more quickly, and also reduces power consumption.

STUDY.COM
READING 1:
Data storage is a critical component of any computer system. Magnetic storage is one of the most
affordable ways to store large amounts of data and has been implemented using magnetic tape, floppy disks
and hard disk drives.

Introduction
Computer systems need to store data in digital format. One of the most widely used types of digital data
storage is magnetic storage. This refers to any type of data storage using a magnetized medium. Digital
data consists of binary information, which is data in the form of zero and ones. There are two types of
magnetic polarities, each one used to represent either zero or one.
Several types of magnetized media are used in computer systems, including magnetic tape, floppy
disks and hard disk drives. The basic approach to magnetic data storage, however, is very similar for the
different types of media. A read-write head moves very close to the magnetic surface - the distance is often
no more than tens of nanometers. The head is able to detect and modify the magnetization of the material.
The magnetic surface is divided into very small regions, each of which has a mostly uniform magnetization.
As the head moves relative to the surface, the changes in magnetization from region to region are detected
and recorded as zeros and ones. Different technologies vary in how the head moves relative to the surface of
the media and how the regions on the media are organized, but the basic principle is the same.
Magnetic storage is a form of non-volatile storage. This means that the data is not lost when the storage
device is not powered. This is in contrast to volatile storage, which is typically used for the main memory of
a computer system. Volatile storage requires a constant power supply - when a computer system is turned
off, the data is lost.
Magnetic storage is widely used because it is relatively cheap in comparison with other storage
technologies. Magnetic storage is read-write, which makes it possible to re-use the storage capacity over
and over again by deleting older data. The storage capacity is also very large, making it attractive for storing
very large amounts of data. The major limitation of magnetic storage is that accessing the data can be quite
slow. As a result, most computer systems use magnetic storage for non-volatile storage of large amounts of
data (typically in a form of a hard-disk drive) but a different type of storage for system memory, such as
read-only memory (RAM), which is much smaller but can be accessed much faster.

Types of Magnetic Storage Devices


Magnetic tape is one of the older types of magnetic storage media. The magnetic tape recorder was
invented in 1928 and was primarily used for analog audio recordings. Before music CDs were introduced in
the 1980s, portable music devices used magnetic tape in the form of music cassettes. Early computers
adapted this technology to store digital information. One of the major weaknesses is that information on a
tape can only be accessed in a very sequential fashion. This is fine if you want to listen to a whole music
album in sequence, but computer systems typically need to access data in a non-sequential manner. For
magnetic tape, this means you may need to fast forward through a lot of tape to get to a specific piece of
data. While magnetic tape is a very cheap way to store data, the very slow access to the data meant that it
was primarily used for creating backups of data in case older forms of storage failed. Tape backup systems
are still in use today, but their importance has greatly declined with the advance of cheap, large capacity
hard-disk drives.
The floppy disk became widely used as a portable storage medium. The floppy disk uses magnetic storage in
the form of a thin disk that is protected by a more rigid plastic casing. Data could be written to a floppy disk
on one computer using a floppy-disk drive, and you could then physically take it to another computer to be
read. In a time before computer networks were widely used for data transfer, floppy disks presented an
easy-to-use and fast way to move data between computers. Today's equivalent of the floppy disk is the USB
flash drive (which does not use magnetic storage), which is used to physically move relatively small amounts
of data between multiple computers. By today's standards, floppy disks had a very small capacity in the
order of 1MB. Floppy disks were widely used throughout the 1980s and 1990s, but their use declined with
the introduction of external hard disk drives and flash-based storage devices. While once a standard feature
on any computer, modern day computer systems no longer feature floppy drives.
Hard-disk drives represent the most widely used form of magnetic storage in use today. A hard-disk drive
consists of a rigid disc made with non-magnetic material, which is coated with a thin layer of magnetic
material. Data is stored by magnetizing this thin film. The disk spins at high speed, and a magnetic head
mounted on a moving arm is used to read and write data. A typical hard-disk drive operates at a speed of
7,200 rpm (rotations per minute), so you will often see this number as part of the technical specifications of a
computer. The spinning of the disk is also the source of the humming noise of a computer, although most
modern hard-disk drives are fairly quiet.
A typical internal hard drive for a new computer has a storage capacity of several hundred gigabytes (GB) up
to 1 terabyte (TB). How large is a terabyte? Consider that a typical song in MP3 format is in the order of 5 to
10 MB. You could store approximately 150,000 songs on a 1 TB drive. You can increase storage capacity of a
computer by connecting a separate external hard drive. An external hard drive is just like an internal hard
drive, but it is protected by a metal or plastic casing and has an outlet to connect to a computer.

Magnetic tape data storage system


Three different generations of floppy disks: 8 inch, 5 1/4 inch and 3 1/2 inch

Typical magnetic hard disk drive

Lesson Summary
Magnetic storage is one of the most affordable ways to store large amounts of data. Magnetic storage uses
the two types of magnetic polarities to represent the binary information consisting of zeros and ones.
Commonly used devices that use magnetic storage include magnetic tape, floppy disks and hard-disk drives.
READING 2:
Let's explore the capacity of internal and external storage devices. We'll learn how optical, magnetic and
semiconductor storage works, as well as identify some examples of storage devices.

What Type of Storage Do You Use?


What type of storage do you use for saving your computer work? The hard drive only? A USB
drive? Do you watch movies on DVD or Blu-ray? There are many different storage methods for
computers and other technology. We'll describe each of the categories of devices they fall
under, the general mechanics of each and their physical characteristics.

Magnetic Storage
There are three main categories of storage devices: optical, magnetic and semiconductor. The
earliest of these was the magnetic device. Computer systems began with magnetic storage in
the form of tapes (yes, just like a cassette or video tape). These graduated to the hard disk
drive and then to a floppy disk. All magnetic media use the same general process of a
read/write head magnetizing material. On a hard drive, the materials are magnetized on a
glass or aluminum disk. Early storage was small. It would take many tapes to back up
a mainframe system - a large system with few programs and many users - and many floppies
were needed to back up significant work on a personal computer because of the low storage
capacity. In the stone age of personal computers, all programs, and the work accomplished
using them, were stored on 5 1/4-inch floppy disks. The storage capacity of that floppy was
typically only for text and was 360 kilobytes (KB). Consider a two-page, text-only, double-
spaced document is about 15 kilobytes. There was a significant period of time where the 3 1/2-
inch floppy disk dominated the market. The 3 1/2-inch floppy held 1.44 megabytes (MB) of
data, or roughly 750 text-only pages (750 pages is about a ream and a half of paper).
Floppy disks were an improvement on earlier magnetic storage devices.

Magnetic media transitions were made to larger capacity portable disks such as the ZIP drive.
These started with 100 MB sizes and moved to 250 and 500 MB. Part of the trouble with the
ZIP drive was the speed with which they developed - it was so fast that the manufacturer
neglected to keep backward compatibility going. In other words, the drive hardware for the
250-MB ZIP wouldn't work for the 100 MB disk, and the 250 disk couldn't be used in the 100.
We've moved light years beyond that to improved internally-mounted hard drives, which can
hold at least a terabyte of information. Think of a terabyte as enough different music to listen
to while working a full-time job for an entire year! And these same hard drives have become
portable and lightweight enough to carry around with us, giving us the ability to bring software
and data files everywhere we go.
The original magnetic media became cumbersome. Not all machines had ZIP drives installed,
and frequently, a document or database large in size took up several floppies. I remember
backing up an accounting system on a personal computer in the early 1990s. It took more than
a dozen floppies to back up one company's data!

Optical Storage
About that time, optical devices were starting to be marketed. An optical storage device is
written and read with a laser. It is strong and can handle temperature fluctuations much better
than magnetic media. Because the floppy was so inexpensive at this time, it took several years
before the optical drives became affordable to the general and small business consumer.

Optical storage devices read data using a laser.

The disks used for storage (like CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays) were more expensive than floppies
but held a lot of data. A compact disc (CD) can hold 700 MB of data, or roughly a little over an
hour of music. It actually took until CD players became common in homes and cars for the
playing of music for CDs to come down in price enough for more use by consumers. Digital
video discs (DVDs) began being issued for consumer-released movies. A single-sided DVD
holds 4.7 gigabytes (GB) of data, so a normal, not overly-computerized two-hour movie will fit.
A movie that is heavily supplemented by technology, such as The Fellowship of the Ring, takes
two full DVDs (or both sides of a DVD).

Semiconductor
The third device, a semiconductor, has been around for a very long time. The chip, made
primarily of silicon, receives a charge to hold the data. Some uses of semiconductor
technology that may surprise you are flash drives (also known as thumb drives or plug 'n play),
personal digital assistants, mp3 players, cell phones and digital cameras.
When considering storage capacity, we have to remember there are several construction
methods utilizing semiconductor technology. RAM chips have a different make-up than flash
drives, so the storage is different, but they're both made with semiconductors. RAM is still
measured in gigabyte storage, but a flash drive can now hold more than a terabyte of data. The
current semiconductor has a great record. A flash drive utilizes Universal Serial Bus (USB)
technology, which allows for high-speed data transfer through a connection that can be used
for many different types of devices. All of your current storage devices - CD, DVD, flash drives,
hard drives - are extremely portable, with the flash drive leading the group. Portability is even
becoming a dinosaur term when it comes to storage device functionality.

Flash drives can hold considerably more data than RAM cards.

Cloud
A short sidebar here: The Internet became more accessible to businesses and consumers in the
early 1990s. The leaps and bounds are for another discussion, but the place we are at now with
the Internet gives us one more easily accessible and affordable storage device: cloud storage.
This storage is the user utilizing an Internet connection to store data files out there
somewhere. As users, we consider cloud storage intangible. I mean, we can't see where the
files are stored. However, there is definitely a tangible place your uploaded files go to.
Someone is housing a server and magnetic storage that you are utilizing to back your work and
play files up to. There are many free and paid places available. Most free storage sizes give you
2 GB to 10 GB storage, with the option to purchase more. You might be asking if cloud storage
and cloud computing are the same. The answer is yes and no. While cloud computing does
typically store files, they can be saved locally. Cloud computingrefers to using an Internet-
based application software to complete a given task (like word processing, a presentation or
bookkeeping). Cloud storage is considered a back-up file storage place for work done on
programs installed on your computer.

Lesson Summary
The rate of change has been phenomenal in the last few decades of the physical appearance,
methods of work and amount of data the optical (using laser technology to write
with), magnetic and semiconductor (with electrical impulses) storage devices hold. It will be
incredible to see what the future holds!