FFT: Digitizing the hell out of everything and keeping them
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I am starting to run out of space in my digital storage area. Only 6% left. Which prompt me to rethink about what I am storing and why I am storing them.

Most of my storage goes to media, be it movies, dramas, anime or whatsoever, I store almost everything that I have downloaded. I say almost because I have deleted some over the years. Not because I don't think they are valuable but because I ran out of space last time.

I find the shift in storing media very intriguing. We used to have racks upon racks of CDs and DVDs. Music and movies packed nicely in a physical and tangible manner. Now, we can take all of that, and store it in 3.5inches in height. Or a volume of "101.6 mm × 25.4 mm × 146 mm". In that amount of space, it could possibly store every single media you've enjoyed throughout your life. (doesn't apply at the moment as content just grow in size everyday)

In that small amount of space, it could possibly store your lifetime of memories. Since the biggest hard drive currently is 3TB, if you only take images with an average size of 5MB, you could store 530,000 of them, assuming you live 100 years, that's 14.5 pictures every single day. Can you imagine how many albums of photos there'll be if you shot in film?

I won't even go on about books.

Up till now, it's all good and all, but where are we going with this? Is our appetite for media consumption just going to grow uncontrollably due to the linear growth of technology? Well, maybe. But that's not the point that I'm trying to make. My point is that all these physical compression of data gives us a very amazing advantage. Retrieval.

It is now dead-simple to find something you own. You simply type a few words, and it magically poofs out. You don't need to hunt for that misplaced CD to listen to your favourite song. Everything is just there for you to consume. It stays in perfect condition and doesn't rot (though it could in some other ways), you could share with your friends and family and create duplicates without worrying that someone will damage your property. Instead of lending a CD you simply send that particular song to your friend. (does anyone even remember lending/borrowing CD? Surprisingly I do.)

People always ask me.
"Why do you keep the animes you've finished watching even though you don't love it or anything?"
"Well, because in a few years' time, you won't find it anymore."

Some small series don't make it to the bigger companies, you can't buy it even if you want to. Finding a physical copy is even harder. The thing about physical copies for videos is that companies only care about making money. Take Bleach for example, they sell the copies by batches of 20+ episodes, making the cost of ownership too damn high, and it's hard even finding a place that sells the complete series.

If that's the situation with a mainstream show, what about those small ones? The physical copies will rarely see the light of the day. If it doesn't go online under some company, your hopes are to get it often illegally before people stop sharing them is very slim. I have seen shows that completely disappear after 2 months. An example would be talent shows like "Britain's Got Talent". I know it's a little hard to understand as I have been citing the more popular shows. But just think about shows you've watched years ago and loved. It's probably really hard to get your hands on a copy of those right now. An example for Singaporeans would be 梁婆婆, I loved that show to the core. But it's hard to come by, if you didn't record it down in a VCR, chances of ever viewing it again is really slim. (I know there are other ways but it is not easy at all)

My point is that I like to digitize and store the crap out of everything. Maybe this is a form of hoarding and I'm just a little nuts. But I would like to think that everything has a value and are worth keeping.

Do you hoard your data as much as I do?

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