Sunday, 13 February 2011

The Bytes of the World

  I remember my first computer, when I was at the age of maybe 7 or 8, had something like a 16MB hard-drive. At over a thousand pounds, this was pretty top of the range for home computing at the time.  

  Of course, today, you wouldn't expect that small a memory in anything, with the biggest iPods at about 120GB, seven and a half thousand times the size of that old IBM PC.

Something like my first PC...a familiar start-up
screen. (maximumpc.com)

  With the digital age now well an truly here, things are growing exponentially.  In fact, the amount of data storage, worldwide, is now estimated at 295 exabytes.  That's two hundred and ninety five billion gigabytes, enough to store, on an iPod with that amount of storage, around 118 trillion songs; if the data was stored digitally on CDs it would make a pile that reached beyond the moon.

  Unfortunately, the study showed a negative side to this technological progress, the digital divide.  Between 2002 and 2007 the amount of information that the developed world could communicate rose from eight times as much as that from the undeveloped world to almost double that figure.  Although technology is now more easily available, there is still a growing gap between the well-off and the poor of the world.

  Maybe most astonishingly is how creation trumps all of this.  According to Dr Martin Hilbert in the study, human DNA can store 300 times as much in a person than we store digitally.  Mankind may continue to strive towards progression and perfection but will never equal the handiwork of God that made it all possible.