Emerging and future technology

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Floppy disk & USB Flash Drive


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HENRY BriggsA00065460e-mail Henry.Briggs@Waldenu.Edu : 

HENRY BriggsA00065460e-mail Henry.Briggs@Waldenu.Edu Portable Data Storage Device 5/23/10

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In this presentation, I will analyze an obsolete and emerging technology used in the workplace. The technology I will examine is the portable data storage device. I will begin by looking at the floppy disk and how it has evolved into other technologies such as the USB flash drive. To do this, I will use McLuhan’s tetrad (Thornburg 2008) and the six forces that drive technological changes.

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To begin this presentation on portable data storage devices one should understand the reasons we store and share data and how making the data portable has allowed the advancement of mankind through sharing of data. The data being stored can also be called records and storing the data for use at a later time can be called record-keeping. For this presentation, record and data will be interchangeable. Question: What are records (data) and why do we keep them?

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“Recorded data or information of any kind and in any form, created or received and accumulated by an organization or person in the transaction of business or the conduct of affairs and subsequently kept as evidence of such activity through incorporation into the record-keeping system of the organization or person. Records are the information by-products of organizational and social activity. A record is any recorded information produced or received in the initiation, conduct or completion of an institutional or individual activity and that comprises content, context and structure sufficient to provide evidence of the activity” (Duchein 1983).

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Oral tradition, which uses speech, art and ritual performances (dance, Legend, song, etc.) as a way to record and pass on culture, is still evident in small, cohesive societies. In recent years, dominant 'writing' cultures have begun to accept that these 'living records' are valid and legally acceptable when presented as evidence by native peoples asserting their rights ( Duchein 1983). Before writing these artistic forms of expression were the ways in which records (data) were past down from generation to generation.

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From the beginning of mankind, man tried to find a way to store records (data) for the following generations. When people nowadays hear the word storage or computer storage they normally think about CD Rom, USB key or DVD. Things like the floppy disk or the punch card are nearly forgotten. In fact, the history of record (data) storage goes back to pre-historic times where mankind used red and yellow ochre, hematite, manganese oxide and charcoal to paint information about their life on rock walls, caves and ceilings. (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt 2009). Charcoal:

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The early storage devices where cave walls, ceilings and even animal bones. Mankind was stagnate and remained in small families near food sources and water. There was no way to transport the information written on the cave walls and ceilings unless by words and actions.

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Crude drawings on rock and cave walls are the earliest methods of information storage which we know. Though it was cumbersome and slow it helped to convey ideas and past events to other people. With the coming of language humans invented methods of recording the complex system of sounds they had developed by means of drawings. But drawings had their weaknesses. Some words like ‘how’ ‘are’ and ‘then’ cannot be drawn. When humans stopped being nomadic and formed tribes and communities, a better system of communication had to prevail, to help the group or tribe sustain. So, ‘letters’ were invented (Chakravarthi 92).

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Fragments of pottery that were found are about 5,500 years old, and considered to be the first known examples of writing may have been unearthed at an archaeological dig in Pakistan. This is one of the earliest forms of information sharing in written form. (Sci/Tech 1999).

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One of the earliest forms of portable information storage was the cuneiform script that was written on clay tablets. These tablets though portable could be damaged beyond repair and as more and more information was needed for preservation the tablets were becoming cumbersome to transport and very time consuming to create.

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The earliest form of paper was developed by the Egyptians known as papyrus. Papyrus was used by the Egyptians for their hieroglyphic writings. These papers were much easier to transport than the clay tablets, however they were subject to deterioration and needed to be stored in clay containers for preservation. Hieroglyphic definition of “D”:

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With the invention of the printing press, information was printed and stored in books for future references. The printed pages were quicker to produce to the mass, and hard covers kept much of the information from deterioration. The books were also easier to be transported and/or shipped to others. Gutenberg Printing Press (Webshots).

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Today portable storage devices are used not only to preserve information for future generations, but information to be used by a plethora of individuals within an organization. Information that is used by people from different nations and time zones that allow twenty-four hour / seven day per week / 365 days per year collaboration on projects.

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The earliest computers used Selection tubes which were used in large computers. The information stored in the computers was not portable unless the entire computer was moved with the Information or computers were connected. They were very expensive and timely to move and the tubes were expensive and had production problems which signaled a very short life.

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Punch Cards A punch card (IBM) is a piece of stiff paper that contains digital information represented by the presence or absence of holes in predefined positions. Punch cards are now almost an obsolete data medium except some voting machines. Punch cards were widely used throughout the ninetieth century for textile looms controls. They were used throughout the twentieth century in record machines for input, processing, and data storage. Early digital computers used punched cards, often prepared using keypunch machines, as the primary medium for input of both computer software programs and data.

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“McLuhan’s tetrad forces you to think about artifacts in a new way making you more aware of new technologies as they emerge” (Thornburg 2009). Knowing the tetrad of a technology will give one an idea how it has influenced society and what the next step or enhancement of this technology may be or may lead to.

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McLuhan's tetrad ask four questions that determine the technologies effect on the workplace and society. The four questions are: What does this technology enhance? What does it obsolete? What does it retrieve? What does it reverse?

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The floppy disk is a data storage medium composed of a disk of thin, flexible and magnetic storage. Over the years it has varied in sizes. The floppy disk was considered a revolutionary device for its portability which provided a new and easy physical means of transporting data from computer to computer. (The History of Computers).

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The enhancement of the data storage devices meant data storage could easily be transported without computers being connected. Computers did not have to be moved to transport the data and data was better protected than when it was stored on punch cards or magnetic tape.

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Data e-files were easily stored for future references and transported to other locations without the worry of damaging the files and the expense of moving stacks of folders, pendaflexes, file cabinets, and boxes.

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Sony is the last manufacturer of 3.5-inch floppy disks, and while the company sold more than 12 million of them in 2009, Sony has just announced it will stop making floppies as of March 2011. R. I. P. To The Floppy Disk

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The use of USB flash drives signaled the beginning of the end for the floppy disk in many countries, however in the United Kingdom the floppy disks are still in demand and being manufactured (Palmer 2010). With the decreased returns on the floppy disks and the increased returns of the USB flash drive, the floppy disk has become obsolete in many wealthy industrialized countries. USB Flash Drive

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24 “Verbatim, a UK manufacturer which makes more than a quarter of the floppies sold in the UK, says it sells hundreds of thousands of them a month. It sells millions more in Europe” (Palmer 2010). Here in the United States it is the USB flash drive that has made the floppy disk obsolete.

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A USB flash drive consists of flash memory data storage device integrated with a USB (Universal Serial Bus). USB flash drives are removable and rewritable, much smaller than a floppy disk. Storage capacities in 2010 can be as large as 256 GB. And have a 10-year data retention cycle

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Tetrad for USB Flash Drive

Six Forces That Drive Emerging Technology : 

Six Forces That Drive Emerging Technology Evolutionary Technology Rhymes of History Disruptive Technology Science Fiction Increasing Returns Red Queens (Thornburg 2009)

Evolutionary Technology : 

Evolutionary Technology This technology is the progression or growth from a previous technology. The floppy disk can be considered an evolutionary technology because it grew from punch cards and magnetic tape by providing a much easier method of portable data. (History of Computers). The USB flash drive is the continued evolution of portable data by making portable data even more efficient in a much smaller device that carries larger amounts of data.

Rhymes of History : 

Rhymes of History Rhymes of history is the fresh emergence or the impact felt of a technology from years before. The floppy disk and USB flash drives are both rhymes of history because they are new approaches to methods of portable data storage that was done in different ways in the past.

Disruptive Technology : 

Disruptive Technology Disruptive technology is a technology that creates a brand new way of thinking about a technological task. The floppy disk was a disruptive technology because it was a new way to store data as a portable device. The USB flash drive is not a disruptive technology because it was not new but different. The data was transferred to the USB flash drive directly from the computer the same as the floppy disk except the device itself was different and used a different input and output port. 30

Science Fiction : 

Science Fiction Science fiction technology is a technology that is science-based from an idea gained from a fiction story. The floppy disk and USB flash drive are not science fiction based, however the idea of portable digital data storage has its beginning in science fiction thought. 31

Increasing Returns : 

Increasing Returns Increasing returns is when two technologies emerge and compete but one is adopted to the point of forcing the other to become obsolete. The floppy disk was not a result of increasing returns because it had no competitors that were doing what it does. The USB flash drive was a result of increasing returns that forced the floppy disk to become obsolete. 32

Red Queens : 

Red Queens Red queens is when two fiercely competing technologies put other technologies out of business. Though the floppy disk and USB drive signaled the end to other portable data storage devices neither the floppy disk nor the USB flash drive were the result of the red queen effect. 33

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34 The following slides are interview questions and responses on the floppy disk in the workplace. The interviewee is a decision maker and end-user of technology in the workplace. Some biographical information on the interviewee is also included with consent form.

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The interview will be conducted in person via a voice recorder. In addition, I will have a PowerPoint presentation to go with the digital voice recorder. The interview candidate for decision maker and end user in the organization: Mary Smith Departmental Administrator Department of Anthropology Council on Archaeological Studies Yale University 10 Sachem Street, Suite 110 PO Box 208277 New Haven, CT 06520-8277 Telephone 203-432-3700 Facsimile 203-436-4434 Email: mary.smith@yale.edu http://www.yale.edu/anthro/Staff/Staff.html

Future and Emerging Technologies : 

Future and Emerging Technologies

Interview On Technology : 

Interview On Technology Henry Briggs Walden University Dr. David Thornburg EDUC 7108-1/EDUC 8848-1 Emerging and Future Technology April 13, 2010

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith : 

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith 38 Q. What is Your Name? My name is Mary Smith.

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith : 

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith 39 Q. Have you signed a consent form to be interviewed by me, Henry Briggs? A. Yes, I believe I signed the document on the 5th of April this year.

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith : 

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith 40 Q. Have you received a hard copy of the consent form? A. Yes.

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith : 

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith 41 Q. What company do you work for and what is your job title? A. I work for Yale University in New Haven, CT. I am a Departmental Administrator.

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith : 

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith 42 Q. How long have you worked for Yale and what department do you work? A. I have worked for Yale University for 28 years. I am a Departmental Administrator for Department of Anthropology and the Council on Archaeological Studies. I have been in this department for 10 years.

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith : 

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith 43 Q. Are you a decision maker or user of technology in your workplace? A. I am a decision maker in the use of technology in my department and at Yale. In addition, I am a user of the technology and that is why they individuals responsible for roll-out requests my input or joining the team because I know the day-to-day needs and use it thus I am knowledgeable to be part of the team for the decisions. For example, I assist faculty in grant-writing, pre-award and post-award grant administration. Thus they requested for me to be on the TSRA project for Yale Next. This project is to Transform Sponsored Research Administration [TSRA] at the University.

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith : 

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith 44 Q. Can you tell me the technology that was replaced in your workplace? A. Well many systems i.e. software have been and are in the process of being replaced. One of the main technologies is how we store and transfer data. We used to use floppy discs.

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith : 

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith 45 Q. What were the technologies capabilities? A. A user would save file on the disc and this is how we gave information to others either within the organization or to others. Sometimes data files were to large to send as an email [when we got email] attachment or individuals did not want it via email, but were willing to take a floppy disc over a hard copy. The e-copy on the floppy disc could be manipulated and the hard copy was stagnate and unchangeable.

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith : 

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith 46 Q. What replaced this floppy disc technology? A. Many new technologies replaced the floppy disc. The replacements were the CD, DVD, USB flash drives, memory sticks, and I am sure they will get smaller and continue to handle larger amounts of data.

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith : 

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith 47 Q. What did the replacement technology allow you to do that the obsolete technology could not do? A. The replacement technology allowed larger and more [quantity] data files to be portable. Is definitely is more convenient. Instead of carrying a laptop computer from work to home, workers can carry their USB flash drive home or to a meeting to bring presentations anywhere. If there are multiple presentations, only one computer is required and each presenter can last minute insert their own data stick into the laptop for their section of a presentation.

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith : 

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith 48 Q. Did this make your workplace more efficient? A. Efficiency was increased tremendously. During a conference, many presenters can smoothly and effectively move to their presentations seamlessly – even with PCs and Macs. It has changed the way we can handle teaching, research and administration at the university level.

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith : 

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith 49 Q. What is the challenge from changing from the older technology to the newer technology? A. The challenge is that we have dozens of floppy discs in varying sizes from our predecessors in the department which are not on hard drives, shared drives or have not been converted to the newer technology. The newer desktop computers do not have floppy drives thus we have to purchase and accessory or to move the data to our shared drives or servers. Some may say if you have not used the data in awhile you will never need it. I feel this is not true. Our university has been around for over 300 years and the history of the place is very important from the old indentures to endowments to the former faculty to Ph.D. dissertations. Data i.e. history of the place is important.

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith : 

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith 50 Q. What do you see as the natural next evolutionary step of the new technology that will improve workplace efficiency? A. The next evolutionary step is the portable items to get smaller and still expand the amount of data held on the portable data storage. I believe as the Palm and other handheld devices you could slide electronic information [example a contact] to another Palm that you will be able to do the same without limitations to files. The issue with this is that information may accidently go to unintended parties. Sometimes when technologies are rolled out either not the correct individuals have analyzed the pros and cons to the new technologies. And as with many new technologies the “kinks” will have to be worked out.

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith : 

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith 51 Q. Thank you very much, Ms. Smith. Do you have any questions? A. Not at this time, but I have enjoyed speaking with you today.

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith : 

Interview on Technology with Mary Smith 52 Thank you for meeting with me today to discuss technology changes.

References : 

References 53 Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt (2009). Retrieved from; http://www.uni-klu.ac.at/tewi/inf/ on 4/23/10 Anthropology (2010). Yale University; Departmental Services Retrieved 4/4/2010 from http://www.yale.edu/anthro/Staff/Staff.html Bellis, M. (2010). History of Computers; Definitions, Timeline. Retrieved from http://inventors.about.com/od/rstartinventions/a/Ram.htm. Duchein, M. (1983). UNESCO; Overview of Records and Recordkeeping: retrieved from: http://john.curtin.edu.au/society/overview/index.html on 5/8/10. File: USB Flash Drive (2010). Wikipedia; Retrieved on 5/4/20 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USB_Flash_Drive.png

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Floppy Disk (2010). Wikipedia; Retrieved on 4/4/2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floppy_disc#Standard_floppy_replacements Sci/Tech (1999). Earliest Writing Found; BBC NEWS online network; retrieved from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/334517.stm on 5/5/10. Thornburg, D, (2009) Current Trends in Educational Technology, Thornburg Center for Space Exploration Thornburg, D. (2008b). Emerging technologies and McLuhan's Laws of Media Lake Barrington, IL: Thornburg Center for Space Exploration. Thornburg, D. (2009). Emerging and Future Technologies; Laureate Education Inc. .

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55 Von Oech, R. (2007). Created Think; The Red Queen Effect. Retrieved from; http://blog.creativethink.com/2007/03/the_red_queen_e.html on 5/15/10. Webshots, Gutenberg Printing Press; retrieved from http://travel.webshots.com/photo/1472199885074800508fOUScc on 5/17/10. Webdeveloper.com, Animated GIFs; retrieved from: http://www.webdeveloper.com/animations/ Welcome to the Obsolete Technology Website, Retrieved from; http://oldcomputers.net. on 3/22/10.

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