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I have not ended the Hacking the NXT Series yet, I just thought I would take a break for a second!
Sitting in the tube on the way back from the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, where I did the light design and operation for a show my school put on there, Standing in the Light (more on that in a possible separate post), I was pondering over the idea of data.
Now, you might think that only a nerd would ponder something like that. I mean, data is kind of boring, right? Well, it depends on what you thought what I meant with data. Allow me to elaborate. If you were thinking about an Excel spreadsheet with numbers representing some businesses numbers, yes, that is boring, but if you were thinking of it on the larger scale of things, it becomes much, much more interesting.
Think about it. Have you uploaded a video to YouTube, posted a picture to Facebook or Tweeted a thought? You have created and moved data. Simple. One may also argue that every physical object, be it micro or macro, has data: it's position is 3 dimensional space as we observe it (unless it’s a quantum particle...), its age (time is actually another dimension), mass, weight, dimensions, interactions, temperature, density and anything else you can think of. So, in that sense, data is everywhere.
The thought then came to me, having recently discussed the astounding YouTube statistic with a few friends, that 72 hour of video is uploaded every minute. This site puts it all in perspective. I then thought of my uncle’s really old Sony Vaio computer, with a 33MB hard drive with less than 50MB RAM. For those without basic hardware knowledge, that's like the Wright Brothers plane compared to a Boeing 737-800.
Ok, that might be exaggerating a bit, but you get the picture. How a computer with those specs could run a decent operating system astounded me. After all, I am used to a 500GB (that's 512,000MB) solid state drive with 8GB RAM and a 2.23GHz i5 Intel processor. What caused this massive jump? Well, our computers got better. That's it. We figured out how to pack more bits and transistors into the same space, but thats processing power. What still interested me was why we needed larger capacity hard drives and solid state drives. It is at this point where I came up with (although I am not too sure if somebody else has already done so) the term "Data Inflation".