Magnetic Storage

The most popular mass storage systems in modern computers are based on magnetism. Hard disks use magnetic storage, as do floppy disks and tape drives. Magnetic storage is one of the oldest storage mediums used by computers (only punch cards predate its application), and it ranks as one of the most reliable. It also yields systems with the lowest cost per byte of storage.

Magnetic systems are popular both because of the unique properties of magnetism and because of its heritage. It has been used so long that its operating principles are well understood. It gives engineers a head start when they look for ways to improve the technology—and improve it they have. In 20 years, the typical capacity of a hard disk system has grown by ...

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