Week 1: From Personal Data to a Personal Information Environment

    Thirty years ago, the phrase “loss of information” for an ordinary person most likely meant the loss of a notebook. To understand what it means today, just imagine an average laptop and mentally knock over a cup of coffee on it. Or forget it on the train; or imagine about a dozen other rather mundane options - from a viral attack, to overly misbehaving children. On the one hand, a more or less thin notebook, on the other - photos and videos, work and text files, scans of documents, databases, media collections. Not to mention applications or even bookmarks in the browser, which can also be important for its owner. Of course, in the notebook could be a lot of valuable, but in general, the comparison is clearly not in her favor. There is a set of records and contacts, and here is a whole digital environment.

    What has changed over the past thirty years - in addition to the obvious fact that we all have acquired personal computers?

    A million times in thirty years

    When IBM launched the first public computer in 1981, most potential users had little idea why it might be needed. All that a PC could use then was managing a family budget in an Excel prototype and typing in a predecessor of Word. In fact, it was a hybrid of a calculator and a typewriter.

    The volume of what could fit on such a computer today will make you smile. Hard drives appeared in 1956, but by the beginning of the eighties they were still too expensive and bulky. Therefore, in earlier computer models removable floppy disks were used. The operating system was loaded from one floppy disk, and all the information was stored on the other. The volume of floppy disks was standard - 166 KB.

    Floppy disks often crashed and slowed down computers, so hard disks were quickly optimized for PCs. But even in this updated form, the capabilities and volumes of computers remained very modest. Someone else remembers how at the beginning of the 90s he bought a system unit with a 30 MB hard drive with the confidence that such a large memory would last a long time.

    Today, we all know well that many lack a computer with a disk for one or two gigabytes. A simple calculation shows that over thirty years, the volume of data storage available to anyone has grown a million times.

    The speed of work also did not stand still, and as a result we got not just an alternative to a notebook, but also completely new types of content that began to claim a qualitatively different place in our life. Games, graphics, multimedia, Internet, mail, news, social networking. The computer has become a universal tool with which you can draw a drawing, watch a movie or book a hotel on the other side of the world. Almost everything that previously existed on paper or film has become digital and also easily accessible.

    New ecosystem

    Over a quarter of a century, personal information has become an information medium: it has gone digital, has become extremely diverse, has focused on one or two or three devices and, together with the Internet, has formed an entire ecosystem around a person. And this ecosystem is constantly expanding. The performance of processors and devices is growing, and the cost of storing a megabyte of data is steadily falling by 50% every 14 months.

    • In 1956, a 3.75 MB hard drive cost $ 34,500;
    • In 1980, a 5 MB hard drive cost $ 1,595;
    • In 2014, the price of a 3 TB hard drive was only $ 105.

    It remains to return to the beginning of the article and recall the phrase “loss of information”. How accurately does it describe what can happen at any moment with your laptop, tablet or smartphone? Today - if we are not talking about separate files - we can increasingly talk about the risks for a complex whole - for the digital environment that is familiar to all of us.

    Of course, individual files can also cause a lot of grief and trouble: if the work done is lost or, for example, a family photo archive. Therefore, it is unpleasant to lose everything at once: data, system and application settings, web browsing history, and in addition to this, the time it will take to restore what is possible.

    Statistics is an inexorable thing: the loss of personal data at least once happens to everyone. Someone has already encountered this, someone else will have encountered it, and possibly more than once. Data loss occurs much more often than you can imagine. Given the variety of internal and external factors, the question is NOT IF YOU lose data, and WHEN it will happen.

    We will talk about how to make your life easier and minimize the risks that arise while doing so in the next article.

    On the eve of World Backup Day, Acronis holds a special promotion: when you purchase one license for Acronis True Image 2015 for PC or Acronis True Image 2015 for Mac, you will get a second license for free! Protect your digital environment with Acronis True Image and give the same protection to a friend or family member!

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