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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

No longer a need for removable media?

MicroSD Cards
There was a time where my "Geekiness" was measured
by the quantity of floppy disks I had. I can remember going
to computer shows, and 50% of the floor was people selling
floppies. Floppies, floppies, floppies. In order to have all of
the coolest games, all of the most secret programs that none
of your friends had heard of, you had to be the one with the
biggest pile of 1.44MB disks.
Time went on, floppies fizzled away. At one point, I decided
to copy the last 10 or so floppies to a CD-ROM disc and toss
the floppeis. Then, the CD-ROMs started to pile up. That actually
didn't last long. Burning CDs was too time consuming. I became less patient waiting for a burn than I used to be waiting for the message "INSERT DISK 3 OF 10"...
Eventually, I purchased an external USB hard drive. What little information I had on CD that wasn't available for download I copied over to the drive. The CD-ROMs were put away in a box, and were never seen again (With the exception of that one time I had to dig out the Windows XP recovery disk...) As of this year, I have about 10 Terabytes of hard drive space.
Also, there was my portable devices. Organizers, MiniDisc player, Ipaq, and quite a few smartphones. With each one, there was a media type to collect. My life wasn't complete without at least 32GB of MicroSD plugged into my phone.

Compact Discs
So, perhaps you've noticed all of this is in past-tense. What is the current state of what appears to be an unhealthy obsession with data hoarding?
To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what is more the driving factor. It could just be that I have decided to "grow up", to be a little more minimalistic, and reduce the amount of "stuff" I'm surrounded with. Or, perhaps I have embraced the "cloud" for all it has to offer. My PC hardly ever spins a drive other than the boot drive. My Nexus has no SD slot. My music and movies don't skip when someone stomps on the floor. Google Drive, Keep, Play Music, and Photos are now my go-to services for what I previously would have relied on a spinning platter for. Whatever the reason, I've come to the conclusion that I no longer have a need for removable media of any type.
What are your thoughts on removable media? Is it still needed? On the PC? For music/movies? On phones? And, if it is not needed any more, why? Is it because of the alternatives, or is it more of a lifestyle change?....