Cellphone memory - What one gigabyte can do for you Initially recorded in bits and bytes, technology has pushed this figure up to the “giga" -level (a billion bytes, for the less technically minded, that's lots and lots and lots of memory) and it's growing all the time to keep up with demand. But what exactly is a gigabyte (GB) in real, everyday terms? According to Wikipedia (an online encyclopaedia), a gigabyte would equal a thousand average—length novels or 17 hours of recorded music. You could also store as many as 700 high-resolution digital pictures on a single gigabyte of memory. Clearly, that's a lot of memory. But, here's the most amazing thing about that one gigabyte of memory — you can store it all on a single memory card that's no bigger than a baby's thumbnail. The capacity has been growing in leaps and bounds, while the physical volume keeps shrinking. The idea of some sort of mechanical memory has been with us since 1834, when scientist used read-only punch cards. Modern-day magnetic memory has been around since the early 1930s, albeit that just a few megabytes occupied entire rooms. Hewlett Packard's first computer boasted a whopping eight kilobytes of memory — something of a joke, given the demands of today's computers for 80 to 120 gigabytes... and even terabytes (that's 1 024 gigabytes). Even the latest cellphones, which are a mere fraction of the size of the earlier computers, boast memories much larger: the Nokia N95 has 8GB, while the Nokia N96 offers 16GB; the Sony Ericsson W960i and W980i feature 8GB, the Samsung Omnia i900 has 16GB and the HTC TOUCH Diamond offers 4GB. Memory is becoming a modern-day currency that computers, MP3 players, digital cameras and virtually all electronic gadgets are traded on. Cellphones, with their ever-increasing features and functions, are no longer simple communication devices. They are the epitome of personal storage gadgets, containing our contact lists, email and Internet, photo albums, video libraries and music collections. More RAM, more hard-drive space, more ROM, bigger memory cards... whether it's For our PCs or cellphones, we never seem to have sufficient memory.
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