The Technology to Accumulate Text

Reflecting on the meanings behind “text” and “technology,” I wanted to explore the seemingly inverse relationship between the progressively large cumulative total of text that has been created and is being saved and stored, and the increasing ease and indiscretion with which we store our text.

I took this photo as a personal reflection on Moore’s Law, which was described in his 1965 paper  Cramming more components onto integrated circuits. Moore observed that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubled approximately every two years. Related to Moore’s Law is Mark Kryder’s (2005) observation that hard drives are shrinking at a much faster pace than the doubling transistor count. The slowly shrinking physical size and radically expanding storage capacities evidenced in this picture serve to illustrate the work of these two researchers.

Please visit this photo on flickr to view my recollections and experiences with each type of storage, and I invite you to add your own notes sharing your memories as well.


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1 Response to The Technology to Accumulate Text

  1. jmah says:

    Hi Nicola,

    It’s interesting that we both thought of Moore’s Law in our posts on technology to the community weblog.

    I remember way back before Windows was even on the scene and people were struggling to manage data already. I think we forget how much text these devices area able to store. Really, our increased need for storage has come from our appetite for other media (images, music, videos, etc.). Text itself is very small when we compare file sizes.

    Now, after all those years we’re still struggling to store, backup, and retrieve information. I think the next revolution will be to move the majority of our content to the cloud. No longer will people feel the need to purchase new hard drives. I know that in my most recent computer upgrade, I made the switch to a SSD as my main boot drive.


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