We are right in the middle of a turning tide with how computers look and feel and work. That big box that used to sit on the floor, the box we called the “CPU” (central processing unit), is being replaced by much smaller and much easier to deal with “devices”.

You may read in the technology press a lot lately that the PC era is coming to an end and being replace by tablets and phones. Let’s get one thing straight, computers are here to stay. Businesses and all sorts of folks will be relying on Computers for a very long time. However the PC or Personal Computer, may very well be turning in to a different device altogether. This is good for the consumer.

One of the biggest factors of this change is the ever shrinking electronic “parts” of computers that are now turning that very large box that used to sit on the floor into a very tiny tablet or phone that now sits in your hands. This is a mechanical device that closely resembles a tiny LP record player called a “hard disk drive”. Those unreliable mechanical “record players”, are swiftly turning into a non-mechanical “solid state” disk.

Think of it this way, instead of a tiny LP record player that lives in your computer and reads and writes all your emails and information back and forth, you now have a “chip” that more resembles the chip inside your digital camera than it does a tiny LP record player.

The implications of these new hard disks are phenomenal. The size has come down tremendously, and they read and write your information at speeds that far out perform the old mechanical devices. A computer that used to take a minute or even 5 or more minutes in some cases to “turn on”, now takes about 10 seconds or less. No more turning on the computer and going to get a cup of coffee while you wait for it to “wake up”. These chips also live inside your phones, and cameras, your tablet computers, and very soon, all laptops and larger computers will contain these Solid State chips.

The cost of these chips gets more expensive, as the capacity of the amount of data that they can hold increases. As I write these words, the prices on these Solid State disks is in free fall and within just a few short years, most all consumer devices will no longer rely on the old mechanical disks.

There is going to be a place for the older mechanical disks however, in that they will be much cheaper than the solid state disks and they have an incredibly large capacity for storing data. As your years of photos and digital videos accumulate, so will the need to store all that “stuff”. For many people that storage will come in the form of a large capacity mechanical hard disk. In time, people may resort to storing all that stuff, in “The Cloud”. The Cloud will be a subject for a future post.