Did you know that if it wasn’t for one last USB stick, Toy Story 2 would have been lost forever and never shown?

Yeah. That close. And this is why you should backup your data.

And from the days of our ancestors, data storage isn’t what it used to be. Back in 5500BC we used to write our memories on clay tablets, now we have the cloud to store all of our photographs. I mean, what could possibly be better than inscribing our name on a clay tablet using the crudest writing tool available to man?


Despite the obvious advancement (as of this writing, even the Cloud isn’t the latest technology – we have The Fog), data storage hasn’t always been as straightforward as we have it in modern times. Storing data was just as important in the times of Julius Caesar as it is in our modern times – because once you lose the official act that states that you’re the Leader of the Republic, you’re screwed.

With that in mind, here’s how storage and backup started.


  • Punch Card

Punch cards are the first recorded memory storage devices ever used. Created for the textile industry. punch cards gave indications to the loom (the textile machine), creating a “memory” of sorts that would force the loom to remember where to punch.

The punch card is the ancestor of the hard-disk, if we consider how it works.

Pictured below is the Jacquard Punch Card, the most used of them all.



  • Hard Disk Unit

The first HDD was introduced by IBM in 1956, making it quite ancient by modern standards. Given that computers were the size of entire rooms by that time, the first HDD was the size of two refrigerators and held about 3.75MB of data.


The equivalent of three floppy disks.

Nowadays, HDDs have Terabytes of space. Or approximately 10.000 times more space than the original HDD.


  • CD / DVD ROM

Do you know that the letters for DVD don’t actually stand for anything?


Because there was no consensus in naming the DVD letters, the word DVD is now a simple three letter word that represents a CD ROM with 4.7GB of space. With the exact same dimensions, and first shown to the world back in 1995.


  • Portable storage -> USB stick

Easy to use, easy to lose, that’s how a USB stick is.

Data backups have been often made on these little USB sticks, but because they’re so small, many of them have been lost forever.

And what did they lose?

Well, a couple of police records, crucial contracts, medical files and some classified nuclear power plant documents!


  • Cloud

The first term of the cloud computing has appeared way back in 1961 by a man named John McCarthy, but the technology of 1961 meant that cloud computing was pretty much a distant dream.

But the mid-2000’s made the dream possible, so now clouds are the preferred method of data backup.



And nowadays, we’re looking into the Fog, which extends the cloud computing into the network. But that’s still a dream for the moment, which is how the cloud was back in 1961.

Back up your data today! :)


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