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Data Backup (And Fashion) Throughout the Years

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While fashions come and go (and come back into vogue again), we tend not to revisit old technology once we’ve found something more efficient.

But we thought we’d have a little fun combining the two for a walk down memory lane with old data backup solutions and iconic fashion statements from each tech era.

So pull on your windbreaker and let’s take a walk down memory lane (see what I did there? Memory?).


King Tut mask and the early days of data backup | Varay, El PasoOG data backup

From the early days of civilization until the last century, data backup was painstakingly slow and prone to error.

The fashion was also slowly created by hand or simple machine, but on the plus side you could be pretty sure no one else would show up at a party wearing the same top.

The best in data backup was not nearly as reliable as what we use today, but remarkably we still pull knowledge from the earliest backup methods, including oral tradition, cuneiform, papyrus, Gutenberg’s press, and eventually typewriters.

  • Fashion: Animal skins, facial hair, gold death masks, powdered wigs, shoulder pads


Punch cards and magnetic tape data backup

In the 1950s and 1960s, we got a nice boost of efficiency and utility when punch cards came on the scene.

Coiffed secretary from 1950 drinking coffee | Varay, El PasoYou couldn’t exactly carry these with you to Starbucks, and they didn’t store much, but at least you didn’t have to chisel them into stone, daddy-o.

Magnetic tape had more storage capacity and processed data faster. Tape backup also gave us VHS and cassette tapes, which had a long run.

Because it lasts for decades, some people still use tape for their data backup, thinking it’s the most economic option.

Hippie from the early days of data backup | Varay, El PasoBut as times and technology have changed, we’ve actually created much better inexpensive options.

  • Fashion: Crinolines, tea-length dresses, more shoulder pads, pompadours, tie-dye, and natural or long hippie hair for men and women


Disk backup

As we hit the 70s and 80s, floppy disks were all the rage. They had advantages over tape, like the ability to access individual files without searching the whole thing (think winding a cassette with a pencil to find the right song).

1980s valley girl fashion from the days of floppy disks | Varay, El PasoDisk backups also cost less to set up than their tape predecessors, and they scaled better.

  • Fashion: Shoulder pads came back in a big way. Hair also got big. And the color palette hit the tertiaries pretty hard.


Optical disks

Man with mullet from the days of early disk data backup | Varay, El PasoThough once too expensive for the average consumer, CD technology evolved quickly and offered the ability to record and rewrite data.

By the 90s and 2000s, CD and DVD backup options were affordable, efficient, and everywhere.

Just like glitter and cargo pants.

  • Fashion: The mullet, perms, flannel, double denim, camo, and tube tops. And shoulder pads. Seeing a pattern here?


Today’s best data backup options

Though I can’t speak to the longevity of today’s fashions, today’s backup technology is truly spectacular.

USB devices like thumb drives and external hard drives handle a wide range of data sizes without breaking the bank.

We’re also moving into the era of efficient and secure cloud storage that offers previously impossible advantages over local storage devices, such as the ability to access data remotely.


We can find the right backup solution for your business

If you’re stuck in the past, using tape backup (or wearing a mullet), we’d love to sit down with you and find a better alternative that will fit your needs and your budget.

Contact us today to set up a free visit to determine your IT score and consultation about the best data backup solutions for your organization.

Written by

Amanda at Varay


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