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storage medium

secondary storage; the physical material on which a computer keeps data, instructions, and information


the number of bytes a storage medium can hold

storage device

the computer hardware that records and/or retrieves items to and from storage media


the process of transferring data, instructions, and information from memory to a storage medium


the process of transferring these items from a storage medium into memory

access time

measures the amount of time it takes a storage device to locate an item on a storage medium; the time required to deliver an item from memory to a processor

transfer rate

the speed with which data, instructions, and information transfer to and from a device; stated in KBps and MBps

magnetic disks

uses magnetic particles to store items such as data, instructions, and information on a disk's surface


the process of dividing the disk intro tracks and sectors


a narrow recording band that forms a full circle on the surface on the disk


pie-shaped sections, which break the tracks into small arcs


the smallest unit of disk space that stores data and information; each cluster holds data from one file

allocation unit

consist of two to eight sectors


you can remove the medium from one computer and carry it to another

hard disk

a storage device that contains one or more inflexible, circular platters that magnetically store data, instructions, and information

fixed disk

a hard disks that is mounted inside the system unit and is not portable

longitudinal recording

which aligned the magnetic particles horizontally around the surface of the disk

perpendicular recording

hard disks align the magnetic particles vertically; and provide 10x storage capacity


affects the capacity of the hard disk; made of aluminum, glass, or ceramic and i coated with an alloy material that allows items to be recorded magnetically on its surface

form factor

size of the platter

read/write head

the mechanisms that read items and writes items in the drive as it barely touches the disk's recording surface


the vertical section of a track that passes through all platters

revolutions per minute

measures the rate of which the had disks rotates; allows nearly instant access to all tracks and sector on the platters; each platter is about 5,400 to 15,000 rpms

head crash

occurs when a read/write head touches the surface of a platter, usually resulting in a loss of data or sometimes loss of the entire drive


a duplicate of a file, program, or disk placed on a separate storage medium that you can use in case the original is lost, damaged, or destroyed

disk cache

buffer; consist of memory chips on a hard disk that stores frequently accessed items such as data, instructions, and information


the number of bits in an area on a storage medium

RAID (redundant array of independent disks)

a group of two or more integrated hard disks

pocket hard drive

a self contained unit that you insert in and remove from a slot in a device or a computer or plug in a USB port on a computer

miniature hard disk

provide users with greater storage capacities than flash memory, and are smaller than notebook computer hard disks

external hard disk

a separate free standing hard disk that connects with a able to a USB port or Fire Wire port on a system unit

removable hard disk

a hard disk that you inset and remove from a drive

disk controller

consists of special purpose chip and electronic circuits that control the transfer of data, instructions and information from a disk to and from the system bus and other components in the computer

SATA (serial advanced technology attachment)

uses serial signals to transfer data, instructions, and information

EIDE (enhanced integrated drive electronics)

a hard disk interface that uses parallel signals to transfer data, instructions, and information

SCSI (small computer system interface)

uses parallel signals and can support up to 8-15 peripheral devices

SAS (serial attached SCSI)

a newer type of SCSI that uses serial signals to transfer data, instructions, and information

online storage

a service on the Web that provides hard disk storage to computer users, for free or for a minimal monthly fee.


holds data, instructions, and information for further use

memory chip access time

measured in nanoseconds

storage device access time

measured in milli or microseconds

transfer rates

measured in KBps and MBps

benefits of online storage

allows access to files on the internet hard disk from any computer; stores large audio, and video instantly; allows other to access files on their internet hard disk; view time-critical data and images immediately; store offsite backups of data

floppy disk

diskette; a portable, inexpensive storage medium that consists of a thin, circular, flexible plastic Mylar film with a magnetic coating enclosed in a square-shaped plastic shell

floppy disk drive

a device that reads and writes from a floppy disk

external floppy disk

the drive is separate device with a cable that plugs in a port on the system unit

optical disc

a type of storage media that consists of flat, round, portable disc made of metal, plastic, lacquer that is written and read by a laser (4.75 in. diameter--but mini optical disc are 3 in. in diameter)


magnetic media


optical media

light scribe technology

works with specifically coated optical discs, to etch labels directly on the disc


compact disc read-only memory; a type of optical disc that users can read but not write or erase; holds 650 MB to 1 GB

single session disc

manufacturers write all items on one time

CD-ROM drive

CD ROM player


compact disc-recordable; a multisession optical disc on which users can write, but not erase, their own items such as text, graphics, and audio

multisession disc

you can write on part of the disc at one time and another part in a later time

CD-R drive

reads both audio CDs and standard CD-ROMs


compact disc rewritable; is an erasable multisession disc you can write on multiple times


the process of writing on an optical disc


the process of copying audio and/or video data from a purchased dic and saving it one digital media

archive cd

stores photos from an online photo center in the jpg file format, usually at maximum resolution of 7200 pixels per photo; it cost $7 per hundred photos

picture cd

a single session CD-ROM that stores digital versions of film using a jpg file format at a lower resolution; which cost $3 per roll of film

video CD

(VCD) is a CD format that stores video on a CD-R that can be played in CD or DVD drives, many DVD players, and some game consoles


digital versatile disc-read-only-memory; a high capacity optical disc on which users can read but not write or erase

Blu-ray disc

has storage capacities of 100GB, with expectancies of exceeding 200GB in the future


versatile multilayer disc; potentially will contain 20 layers with 5 GB each


mini-DVD, that stores up to 1.8 GB of games, movies, or music

three competing DVD formats



a magnetically coated ribbon of plastic capable of storing large amounts of data and information at a low cost

tape drive

reads and writes data and information on a tape

tape cartridge

a small, rectangular, plastic housing for a tape

tape library

tape cartridges are mounted in a separate cabinet

sequential access

reading or writing data consecutively in tapes

direct access

random access; the device 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

PC card

used to add memory, storage, and communications to the computer; thin, credit-card sized removable flash memory device that fits into a PC card slot

express card

used to add memory, storage, and communications to the computer;removable device, smaller than a pc card, that fits in an express card slot


personal computer memory card international association; which created express and pc cards

solid state media

a flash memory card that consist entirely of electronic components and contain no moving parts

common types of flash memory cards

compact flash (CF), secure digital (SD), micro SD, xD Picture Card, and memory stick

card reader/writer

a device that reads and writes data, instructions, and information stored on flash memory cards

USB flash drive

pen drive, thumb drive; storage device that plugs in a USB port on a computer or a mobile device

U3 smart drive

offers even more convenience than a flash drive, because it includes pre-installed software accessed through a Windows type interface

smart card

similar in size to a credit card or ATM; stores data on a thin microprocessor embedded in the card


a 100 to 215 foot roll of film


a small sheet of film, usually about 4 x 6 images

computer output microfilm recorder

the device that records images on the film

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