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CHAPTER 5: STORAGE

OBJECTIVES
After completing this chapter, students will be able to: Identify various types of storage media and storage devices Explain how data is stored on a floppy disk Understand how to care for a floppy disk Describe how a hard disk organizes data List the advantages of using disks Explain how data is stored on compact discs Understand how to care for a compact disc Differentiate between CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs Identify uses of tapes, PC Cards, smart cards, microfilm, and microfiche

CHAPTER OVERVIEW
This chapter explains various storage media and storage devices. Students discover how memory is different from storage. Floppy disks are introduced, and characteristics of a floppy disk, floppy disk drives, care of floppy disks, and high-capacity floppy disks are presented. Hard disks are explained, and students find out about characteristics of a hard disk, how a hard disk works, removable hard disks, hard disk controllers, RAID, and maintaining data on a hard disk. Compact discs, including CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs, are described. Finally, students learn about tapes, PC Cards, and other types of storage such as smart cards, microfilm and microfiche, enterprise storage systems, and data warehouses.

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5.1

Memory While performing a processing operation, the CPU needs a place to temporarily hold instructions to be executed and data to be used with those instructions. Memory, which is composed of one or more chips on the motherboard, holds data and instructions while they are being processed by the CPU. The two basic types of memory are volatile and non-volatile. The contents of volatile memory, such as RAM, are lost (erased) when the power to the computer is turned off. The contents of non-volatile memory, however, are not lost when power is removed from the computer. For example, once instructions have been recorded onto a non-volatile ROM chip, they usually cannot be erased or changed, and the contents of the chip are not erased when power is turned off.

5.2

Storage Storage, also called secondary storage, auxiliary storage, or mas storage, holds items such as data, instructions, and information for future use. Think of storage a filing cabinet used to hold file folders, and memory as the top of your desk. When you need to work with a file, you remove it from the filing cabinet (storage) and place it on your desk (memory). When you are finished with the file, you return it to the filing cabinet (storage). Storage is non-volatile, which means that items in storage are retained even when power is removed from the computer. A storage medium (media is the plural) is the physical material on which items are kept. One commonly used storage medium is a disk, which is a round, flat piece of plastic or metal with a magnetic coating on which items can be written. A storage device is the mechanism used to record and retrieve items to and from a storage medium. Storage devices can function as sources of input and output. For example, each time a storage device transfers data, instructions, and information from a storage medium into memory - a process called reading - it functions as an input source. When a storage device transfers these items from memory to a storage medium a process called writing - it functions as an output source. The speed of a storage device is defined by its access time, which is the minimum time it takes the device to locate a single item on a disk. Compared to memory, storage devices are slow. The access time of memory devices is measured in nanoseconds (billionths of a second), while the access time of storage devices is measured in milliseconds (thousandths of a second). The size, or capacity, of a storage device, is measured by the number of bytes (characters) it can hold. Figure 5-1, lists the terms used to define the capacity of storage devices. For example, a typical floppy disk can store 1.4 MB of data (approximately 1,440,00 bytes) and a typical hard disk can store 8 GB of data (approximately 8,000,000,00 bytes).

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Figure 5-1 the capacity of a storage device is measured by the number of bytes it can hold.

Storage requirements among users vary greatly. Users of smaller computers, such as small business users, might need to store a relatively small amount of data. For example, a field sales representative might have a list of names, addresses, and telephone numbers of 50 customers, which he or she uses on a daily basis. Such a list might require no more than several thousand bytes of storage. Users of larger computers, such as banks, libraries, or insurance companies, process data for millions of customers and thus might need to store trillions of bytes worth of historical or financial records in their archives. To meet the needs of a wide range of users, numerous types of storage media and storage devices exist. Figure 5-2 shows how different types of storage media and memory compare in terms of relative cost and speed. The storage media included in the pyramid are discussed in this chapter.

Figure 5-2 this pyramid shows how different types of storage media and memory compare in terms of relative cost and speed. Memory is faster than storage, but expensive and not practical for al storage requirements. Storage is les expensive but is slower than memory.

5.3

FLOPPY DISKS A floppy disk, or diskette, is a portable, inexpensive storage medium that consists of a thin, circular, flexible plastic disk with a magnetic coating enclosed in a square-shaped plastic shell. In the early 1970s, IBM introduced the floppy disk as a new type of storage. Because these early 8-inch wide disks had flexible plastic covers, many users referred to them as floppies. The next generation of floppies looked much the same, but were only 5.25-inches wide. Today, the most widely used floppy disk is 3.5-inches wide. The flexible cover of
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the earlier floppy disks has been replaced with a rigid plastic outer cover. Thus, although todays 3.5-inch disks are not at all floppy, the term floppy disk still is used. As noted, a floppy disk is a portable storage medium. When discussing a storage medium, the term portable means you can remove the medium from one computer and carry it to another computer. For example, you can insert a floppy disk into and remove it from a floppy disk drive on many types of computers. A floppy disk drive is a device that can read from and write to a floppy disk. Characteristics of Magnetic Media A floppy disk is a type of magnetic media, which means it uses magnetic patterns to store items such as data, instructions, and information on the disks surface. Most magnetic disks are read/write storage media; that is, you can access (read) data from and place (write) data on a magnetic disk any number of times, just as you can with an audiocassette tape. A new, blank floppy disk has nothing stored on it. Before you can write on a new floppy disk, it must be formatted. Formatting is the process of preparing a disk (floppy disk or hard disk) for reading and writing by organizing the disk into storage locations called tracks and sectors (Figure 5-3). A track is a narrow recording band that forms a full circle on the surface of the disk. The disks storage locations then are divided into pieshaped sections, which break the tracks into small arcs called sectors. A sector is capable of holding 512 bytes of data. A typical floppy disk stores data on both sides and has 80 tracks on each side of the recording surface with 18 sectors per track. Sometimes, a sector is damaged or has a flaw and cannot store data. A sector that cannot be used due to a physical flaw on the disk is called a bad sector. When you format a disk, the operating system marks these bad sectors as unusable. If a sector that contains data is damaged, you may be able to use special software to recover the data. For reading and writing purposes, sectors are grouped into clusters. A cluster consists of two to eight sectors (the number varies depending on the operating system). A cluster is the smallest unit of space used to store data. Even if a file consists of only a few bytes, an entire cluster is used for storage. Although each cluster holds data from only one file, one file can be stored in many clusters. A storage capacity are determined the density of the disk. A higher density means that the disk has a larger storage capacity. Disk density is computed by multiplying together the number of sides on the disk, the number of tracks on the disk, the number of sectors per track, and the number of bytes in a sector. For example, for a typical 3.5-inch floppy disk, disk density is computed as follows: 2 (sides) x 80 (tracks) x 18 (sectors per track) x 512 (bytes per sector) = 1,474,560 bytes, or approximately 1.4 MB.

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If you are using the Windows operating system, the formatting process also defines the file allocation table (FAT), which is a table of information used to locate files on a disk. The FAT is like a library card catalogue for your disk that contains a listing of al files, file types, and locations. If you format a disk that already contains data, instructions, or information, the formatting process erases the file location information and redefines the file allocation table for these items. The actual files on the disk, however, are not erased. For this reason, if you accidentally format a disk, you often can unformat it with special software.

FIGURE 5-3 a track is a narrow recording band that forms a ful circle on the surface of the disk. The disks storage locations then are divided into pie-shaped sections, which break the tracks into small arcs called sectors. A sector is capable of holding 512 bytes of data.

Characteristics of a Floppy Disk To protect them from accidentally being erased, floppy disks have a writeprotect notch. A write-protect notch is a small opening in the corner of the floppy disk with a tab that you slide to cover or expose the notch. The write-protect notch works much like the recording tab on a VHS tape: if the recording tab is removed, a VCR cannot record onto the VHS tape. On a floppy disk, if the write-protect notch is exposed, or open, the drive cannot write on the floppy disk. If the write-protect notch is covered, or closed, the drive can write on the floppy disk. The write-protect notch only affects the floppy disk drives capability of writing on the disk; a floppy disk drive can read from a floppy disk whether the write-protect notch is open or closed. Some floppy disks have a second opening on the opposite side of the disk that does not have the small tab; this opening identifies the disk as a high-density floppy disk. Most floppy disks are pre-formatted by the disks manufacturer. If you must format a floppy disk yourself, you do so by issuing a formatting command to the operating system. Because PC-compatible computers using the Windows operating system format floppy disks differently than Macintosh computers, a Macintosh computer cannot use a PC formatted floppy disk without special equipment or software. A disk drive such as the Apple Macintosh Super-Drive, however, can read from and write on

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both Macintosh and PC formatted floppy disks.

Floppy Disk Drives


As noted, a floppy disk drive (FDD) is a device that can read from and write on a floppy disk. Desktop personal computers usually have a floppy disk drive installed inside the system unit. Many laptop computers have removable floppy disk drives that can be replaced with other types of drives or devices, or they use an external floppy disk drive that plugs into the laptop. If a computer has one floppy disk drive, the drive usually is designated drive A; if the computer has two floppy disk drives, the second one usually is designated drive B. To read from or write on a floppy disk, a floppy disk drive must support that floppy disks density. That is, to use a high-density floppy disk, you must have a high-density floppy disk drive. Floppy disk drives are downward compatible, which means they recognize and can use earlier media. Floppy disk drives are not upward compatible, however, which means they cannot recognize newer media. For example, a lowerdensity floppy disk drive cannot read from or write on a high-density floppy disk. On any 3.5-inch floppy disk, a piece of metal called the shutter covers an opening in the rigid plastic shell. When you insert a floppy disk into a floppy disk drive, the drive slides the shutter to the side to expose a portion of both sides of the floppy disks recording surface. The read/write head is the mechanism that actually reads items from or writes items on the floppy disk. Figure 5-4 illustrates the steps for reading from and writing on a floppy disk. The average access time for current floppy disk drives to locate an item on the disk is 84 ins, or approximately 1/12 of a second. On the front of most floppy disk drives is a light emitting diode (LED) that lights up when the drive is accessing the floppy disk. You should not remove a floppy disk when the floppy disk drive is accessing the disk. Sometimes, a floppy disk drive will malfunction when it is attempting to access a floppy disk and will display an error message on the computers monitor screen. If the same error occurs with multiple floppy disks, the read/write heads in the floppy disk drive may have a build-up of dust or dirt. In this case, you can try cleaning the read/write heads using a floppy disk cleaning kit.

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Figure 5-4 how a floppy disk drive works

How Do You Care for a Floppy Disk? With reasonable care, floppy disks can last at least seven years - providing an inexpensive and reliable form of storage. When handling a floppy disk, you should avoid exposing it to heat, cold, magnetic fields, and contaminants such as dust, smoke, or salt air. Exposure to any of these elements could damage or destroy the data, instructions, and information stored on the floppy disk. High-Capacity Floppy Disks Several manufacturers have high-capacity floppy disk drives that use disks with capacities of 10 MB and greater. With these high-capacity disks, you can store large files containing graphics, audio, or video; transport a large number of files from one computer to another; or make a backup of al of your important files. A back up is duplicated of a file, program, or disk that can be used if the original is lost, damaged or destroy A SuperDisk drive is a high-capacity disk drive developed by Jmation TM that reads from and writes on a 120 MB SuperDisk floppy disk. Sony TM Electronics Inc. has developed HiFD (High-Capacity FD), a highcapacity floppy disk drive that reads from and writes on a 20 MB M TM M HiFD floppy disk. Both the SuperDisk drive and the HiFD drive are downward compatible; that is, they can read from and write on standard 3.5-inch floppy disks as wel as their own high-capacity disks. Another type of high-capacity disk drive is the Zip drive. A Zip drive is a special high-capacity disk drive developed by Iomega Corporation. Zip drives use a 3.5-inch Zip disk, which is slightly larger than and
TM

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about twice as thick as a 3.5-inch floppy disk, and can store 250 MB of data - equivalent to about 70 high-density floppy disks. Today, many new computers are equipped with a built-in Zip drive, so that using Zip disks to store and transport large files is as easy as storing smaller files on a standard floppy disk. You also can use an external Zip drive with a desktop or laptop. 5.4 HARD DISKS When personal computers were introduced, software programs and their related files required small amounts of storage and fit easily on floppy disks. As software became more complex and included graphical user interfaces and multimedia, file sizes and storage requirements increased. Today, hard disks - which provide far larger storage capacities and much faster access times than floppy disks - are one of the primary media for storing software programs and files. Current personal computer hard disks can store from 4 to 50 GB of data, instructions, and information. A hard disk usually consists of several inflexible, circular disks, called platters, on which items are stored electronically. A platter in a hard disk is made of aluminium, glass, or ceramic and is coated with a material that allows items to be magnetically recorded on its surface. On hard disks, the platters, the read/write heads, and the mechanism for moving the heads across the surface of the disk are enclosed in an airtight, sealed case that protects the platters from contamination. The hard disk in most desktop personal computers is housed inside the system unit. Such hard disks, which are not portable, are considered fixed disks. Hard disks also can be removable. Removable hard disks are discussed later in this chapter. Characteristics of a Hard Disk Like a floppy disk, a hard disk is a type of magnetic media that stores items using magnetic patterns. Hard disks also are read/write storage media; that is, you can both read from and write on a hard disk any number of times. Hard disks undergo two formatting steps, and possibly a third process, called partitioning. The first format, called a low-level format, organizes both sides of each platter into tracks and sectors to define where items will be stored on the disk. Because a hard disk often has some bad sectors, the hard disk manufacturer usually performs the low-level format. After low-level formatting is complete, the hard disk can be divided into separate areas called partitions by issuing a special operating system command. Each partition functions as if it were a separate hard disk drive. Partitioning often is performed to make hard disks more efficient (faster) or to allow you to install multiple operating systems on the same hard disk. If a hard disk has only one partition, the hard disk usually is called, or designated, drive C. If the hard disk is divided into two partitions, the first
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partition is designated drive C and the second partition is designated drive D, and so on. Unless specifically requested by the consumer, most manufacturers define a single partition (drive C) on the hard disk. After low-level formatting and partitioning, a high-level format command is issued through the operating system to define, among other items, the file allocation table (FAT) for each partition. Recall that the FAT is a table of information used to locate files on a disk. As with the low-level format, most hard disk manufacturers perform the high-level format for the consumer. You can partition a hard disk yourself using special operating system commands. You then must issue a high-level format command for each partition. How a Hard Disk Works Most hard disks have multiple platters stacked on top of one another and each platter has two read/write heads, one for each side. The hard disk has arms that move the read/write heads to the proper location on the platter (Figure 5-5). Because of the stacked arrangement of the platters, the location of the read-write head often is referred to by it cylinder instead of its track.

Figure 5-5 how a hard disk works

A cylinder is the location of a single track through al platters (Figure 5-6). For example, if a hard disk has four platters (eight sides), each with 1,00 tracks, then it will have 1,00 cylinders with each cylinder consisting of eight tracks (two for each platter). While your computer is running, the platters in the hard disk rotate at a high rate of speed, usually 5,40 to 7,20 revolutions per minute. The platters continue spinning until power is removed from the computer.

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Figure 5-6 a cylinder is the location of a single track through al platters on a hard disk.

The spinning motion creates a cushion of air between the platter and its read/write head so the read/write head floats above the platter instead of making direct contact with the platter surface. The distance between the read/write head and the platter is approximately two millionths of an inch. As shown in Figure 5-7, this close clearance leaves no room for any type of contamination. If contamination is introduced, t the hard disk can have a head crash. A head crash occurs when a read/write head touches c the surface of a platter, usually resulting in a los of data or sometimes los of the entire drive. Todays hard disks are built to withstand shocks and are sealed tightly to keep out contaminants, which means head crashes are les likely to occur. Access time for todays hard disks ranges from five to eleven milliseconds. Access time for a hard disk is significantly faster than for a floppy disk for two reasons: (1) a hard disk spins much faster than a floppy disk and (2) a hard disk spins constantly, while a floppy disk starts spinning only when it receives a read or write command.

Figure 5-7, because the gap between a disk read/write head and the platter is so small, contaminants such as a smoke particle, dust particle, or human hair could render the drive unusable.

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Some computers are able to improve the hard disk access time by using disk caching. Disk cache is a portion of memory that the CPU uses to store frequently accessed items. Disk cache works similarly to memory cache. When a program needs data, instructions, or information, the CPU checks the disk cache. If the item is located in disk cache, the CPU uses that item and completes the process. If the CPU does not find the requested item in the disk cache, then the CPU must wait for the hard disk drive to locate and transfer the item from the disk to the CPU. Some disk caching systems also attempt to predict what data, instructions, or information might be needed next and place them into cache before they are requested. Because disk caching significantly improves disk access times, almost al new disk drives work with some amount of disk cache. Maintaining Data Stored on a Hard Disk Most manufacturers guarantee their hard disks to last somewhere between three and five years, although many last much longer with proper care. To prevent the los of items stored on a hard disk, you should perform preventative maintenance such as deframenting or scanning the disk for errors. Operating systems such as Windows provide many maintenance and monitoring utilities. 5.5 COMPACT DISCS In the past, when you purchased off-the-shelf software, you received one or more floppy disks that contained the files needed to install or run the software program. As software programs became more and more complex, the number of floppy disks required to store the programs increased, sometimes exceeding thirty disks. These more complex programs required a larger storage medium, which is why many of todays software programs are distributed on compact discs. A compact disc (CD) is a flat, round, portable, metal storage medium that usually is 4.75 inches in diameter and les than one-twentieth of an inch thick (Figure 58). Compact disks store items such as data, instructions, and information by using microscopic pits (indentations) and land (flat areas) that are in the middle layer of the disc. (Most manufacturers place a silk-screened label on the top layer of the disc so you can identify it.) A high-powered laser light creates the pits. A lowerpowered laser light reads items from the compact disc by reflecting light through the bottom of the disc, which usually is either solid gold or silver in color. The reflected light is converted into a series of bits that the computer can process. Land causes light to reflect, which is read as binary digit 1. Pits absorb the light; this absence of light is read as binary digit 0. A compact disc stores items in a single track that spirals from the center of the disc to the edge of the disc. As with a hard disk, this single track is divided into evenly sized sectors in which items are stored.

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Figure 5-8 how a leaser reads data on a compact disc

5.5.1

Different Types of Compact Discs? Two basic types of compact discs designed for use with computers are a CD-ROM and DVD-ROM. Just about every personal computer today includes a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, which are devices that can read compact discs, including audio CDs. A desktop personal computer typically has a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive installed in a drive bay; on many laptop computers, these drives are removable so they can be replaced with other types of drives or devices. Recall that a floppy disk drive is designated as drive A. The drive designation of a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive usually follows alphabetically after that of the hard disk. For example, if your hard disk is drive C, then the compact disc is drive D. On most of these drives, you push a button to slide out a tray, insert your compact disc with the label side up, and then push the same button to close the tray. Other convenient features on most of these drives include a volume control button and a headphone jack so you can use stereo headphones to listen to audio.

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CD-ROMs
A CD-ROM (pronounced SEE-DEE-Rom, which is an abbreviation for compact disc read-only memory) is a silvercolored compact disc that uses the same laser technology as audio CDs for recording music. Unlike an audio CD, a CD-ROM can contain text, graphics, and video, as well as sound. The contents of standard CD-ROMs are written, or recorded, by the manufacturer and only can be read and used. That is, they cannot be erased or modified-hence, the name read-only. For a computer to read items on a CD-ROM, you must place it into a CD-ROM drive or CD-ROM player. Because audio CDs and CD-ROMs use the same laser technology, you also can use your CD-ROM drive to listen to an audio CD while working on your computer. A CD-ROM can hold up to 70 MB of data, instructions, and information, or about 450 times that which can be stored on a highdensity 3.5-inch floppy disk. Because CD-ROMs have such high storage capacities, they are used to store and distribute todays complex software. Some programs even require that the disc be in the drive each time you use the program. CD-R (compact disc-recordable) Is a technology that allows you to write on a compact disc using your own computers Whereas the discs manufacturer records the data, instructions, and information on a standard CD-ROM, you record your own items such as text, graphics, and audio, onto a CD-R (compact disc-recordable). You can write on the disc in stages - writing on part of it one time and writing on another part at a later time. You can, however, write on each part only once and you cannot erase it. Once you have recorded the CD-R, you can read from it as many times as you wish. In order to write on a CD-R, you must have CD-R software and a CD-R drive. A CD-R drive can read and write both audio CDs and standard CD-ROMs with read speeds of up to 24X and write speeds of up to 8X. Manufacturers often list the write speed first, for example, as 8/24. While CD-R drives are somewhat more expensive than standard CD-ROM drives, their price continues to drop and many computers today are equipped with CD-R drives. CD-RW (compact disc-rewriteable) Is an erasable disc that you can write on multiple times CD-RW overcomes one of the disadvantages of CD-R disks - that you can write on them only once. With CD-RW, the disc acts like a floppy or hard disk, allowing you to write and rewrite data, instructions, and information onto it multiple times. To write on a CD-RW disc, you must have CD-RW software and a CD-RW drive. The read
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speed of these drives is up to 32X, write speed up to 8X, and rewrite speed up to 4X. One problem with CD-RW is that these discs cannot be read by al CD-ROM drives. DVD-ROMs Although CD-ROMs have huge storage capacities, even a CDROM is not large enough for many of todays complex programs. Some software, for example, is sold on five or more CD-ROMs. To meet these tremendous storage requirements, some software moved from CD-ROMs to the larger DVD-ROM format - a technology that can be used to store video items, such as motion pictures. A DVD-ROM (digital video disc-ROM) is an extremely high capacity compact disc capable of storing from 4.7 GB to 17 GB - more than enough to hold a telephone book containing every resident in the United States. Not only is the storage capacity of a DVD-ROM greater than a CD-ROM, a DVD-ROMs quality also far surpasses that of a CD-ROM. In order to read a DVD-ROM, you must have a DVD-ROM drive or DVD player. These drives have speeds up to 40X and can read most types of CD-ROMs. At a glance, a DVD-ROM looks just like a CD-ROM. Although the size and shape are similar, a DVD-ROM stores data, instructions, and information in a slightly different manner and thus achieves a higher storage capacity. A DVD-ROM uses one of thre storage techniques. The first technique involves making the disc more dense by packing the pits closer together. A second technique involves using two layers of pits. For this technique to work, the lower layer of pits is semitransparent so the laser can read through it to the upper layer. This technique doubles the capacity of the disc. Finally, some DVD-ROMs are double-sided, which means you must remove the DVD-ROM and turn it over to read the other side. The storage capacities of various types of DVD-ROMs are shown in the table in Figure 5-9.

Figure 5-9 storage capacities of DVD-ROMs.

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5.6

TAPES One of the first storage media used with mainframe computers was magnetic tape, a magnetically coated ribbon of plastic capable of storing large amounts of data and information at a low cost. Tape storage requires sequential access, which refers to reading or writing data consecutively. Like a music tape, you must forward or rewind the tape to a specific point to access a specific piece of data. For example, to access item W, you must pas sequentially through points A through V. Floppy disks, hard disks, and compact discs al use direct access, or random access, which means you can locate a particular data item or file immediately, without having to move consecutively through items stored in front of the desired data item or file. Because sequential access is much slower than direct access, tapes are no longer used as a primary method of storage. Instead, tapes are used most often for long-term storage and backup. Similar to a tape recorder, a tape drive is used to read from and write data and information onto a tape. Although older computers used reel-to-reel tape drives, todays tape drives use tape cartridges. A tape cartridge is a small, rectangular, plastic housing for tape. Tape cartridges containing one-quarter-inch wide tape are slightly larger than audiocassette tapes and frequently are used for personal computer backup. Some personal computers have permanently mounted tape drives, while others have external units. On larger computers, tape cartridges are mounted in a separate cabinet. Three common types of tape drives are QIC, DAT, and DLT, which is the fastest and most expensive of the three. The table in Figure 5-10 summarizes each of these tapes.
Figure 5-10 summarizes each of these tapes.

5.7

PC CARDS A PC Card is a thin, credit card-sized device that fits into a PC Card expansion slot on a laptop or other personal computer. Different types and sizes of PC Cards are used to ad storage, additional memory, communications, and sound capabilities to a computer. PC Cards most often are used with laptops and other portable computers. PC Cards are available in three types, which are designated Type I, Type II, and

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Type III. The thicker Type II cards are used to house hard disks and currently have storage capacities of more than 520 MB (Figure 5-11). The advantage of a PC Card hard disk is portability; that is, you easily can transport large amounts of data, instructions, and information from one machine to another. Type I and Type I cards, used to ad memory or communications capabilities to a computer, are discussed in other chapters. Some digital cameras also use a matchbook-size card, sometimes called a picture card or compact flash card, to store pictures, which are then transferred to a computer by inserting the card into a card reader or slot. These compact flash cards have storage capacities ranging from 2 MB to 256 MB.

Figure 5-1 this type II PC Card is a hard disk with 1 GB of storage space.

5.8

OTHER TYPES OF STORAGE Although the majority of data, instructions, and information are stored on floppy disk, hard disk, compact disc, tape, and PC Cards, other more specialized means for storing these items also are used. These include smart cards and microfilm and microfiche. Each of these media is discussed in the following sections. 5.8.1 Smart Cards A smart card, which is similar in size to a credit card or ATM card, stores data on a thin microprocessor embedded in the card (Figure 5-12). Two types of smart cards exist: intelligent and memory. An intelligent smart card contains a CPU and has input, process, output, and storage capabilities. In contrast, a memory card has only storage capabilities. When the smart card is inserted into a specialized card reader, the information on the smart card is read and, if necessary, updated.
One popular use of smart cards is to store a prepaid dollar amount, as in a prepaid telephone calling card. You receive the card with a specific dollar amount stored in the microprocessor. Each time you use the card, the available amount of money is reduced. Using these cards provides convenience to the caller, eliminates the telephone companys need to collect coins from telephones, and reduces vandalism of pay telephones. Other uses of smart cards include storing patient records, vaccination data, and other health-care information; tracking information such as customer purchases or employee attendance; and storing a prepaid amount, such as electronic money.

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Figure 5-12 many hotels issue smart cards instead of keys to hotel guests. With the smart card, guests gain access to their rooms as well as hotel services such as cafeterias, swimming pools, lockers, and parking lots.

5.8.2

Microfilm and Microfiche Microfilm and microfiche are used to store microscopic images of documents on roll or sheet film. Microfilm uses a 100- to 215-foot rol of film. Microfiche uses a small sheet of film, usually about four inches by six inches. The images are recorded onto the film using a device called a computer output microfilm (COM) recorder. The stored images are so small they can be read only with a microfilm or microfiche reader. Applications of microfilm and microfiche are widespread. Libraries use these media to store back issues of newspapers, magazines, and genealogy records. Large organizations use microfilm and microfiche to archive inactive files. Banks, for example, use it to store transactions and cancelled checks, and the U.S. Army uses it to store personnel records. Using microfilm and microfiche provides a number of advantages: it greatly reduces the amount of paper firms must handle; it is inexpensive; and it has the longest life of any storage medium.

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