Information Technology

 Information Technology

by Jeffery Hipp, Dominik Haelflinger, Nathan Isom,and Nathaniel Genaris

Data Transmission

It is not surprising that most people take what they have today for granted, especially with technology. Modern devices are simple to use and conveniently mobile, allowing a broad number of users to stay connected. How do those users stay connected though? How does a cell phone send an email or text to another phone? Data transmission can be broken down into three phases: transmission, propagation, and reception. These fundamental aspects make up how all communication is done.  No one can say what the consequences of a society who chooses to simply use technology over learning how a device works instead will be but hopefully, this section can shed a little light on how computers “talk”.

Transmission of data refers to how information is sent. Someone could wave at you or yell your name while you are walking down the street. Let us say that the message being sent is “Hi!” Your friend chose to either wave or yell at you in order to portray that message. Computers today communicate in a very similar way. When the Send button is clicked after composing an email, the computer sends that packet of data to its intended recipient by any number of means including directly across a wire or maybe even sending the message wireless. Generally, before any information is sent from a computer, the data is manipulated through encryption methods or compiled into a format that may not be necessarily readable by humans but a computer can easily understand and process.

Data propagation encompasses what is sending the information. Propagation doesn't refer to the computer that composed the message but in what form is the data being sent. If you look back at the earlier example with someone trying to get your attention, “Hi!” is being propagated in the form of imagery. You see the other person waving their arm in your direction or you hear them as “Hi!” was carried to you by sound waves in the other case. When it comes to computers, the technical definition of propagation is “The movement of waves, such as electromagnetic waves, through a medium or through free space”. Computers connected physically through twisted pair wires, copper wires intertwined to form pairs, send data through electromagnetic waves. Optical fiber is also used which transmit data using pulses of light. The norm today, however, is wireless communication using radio waves. Usually with wireless communication, a “third party”, like a server or radio tower, is involved to determine where the message should go and send that message.

Finally, after a message has been composed, converted, and sent through some type of medium, the message should be received. The reception process is complete when the information is completely understood. In social situations, reception occurs when your brain makes sense of the information coming in through the eyes, in the case of your friend waving, or through the ears, when your friend calls out to you. A computer receives information as machine code, binary code made up of 1’s and 0’s, as it is the only way a computer can interpret information. Within that machine code, will be instructions on how to recompile that information so a person can actually read and make sense of the data.

Data transmission has evolved over the years. Originally, the first computing machines could only pseudo talk to each other through human input where someone would take the outputs of one machines and personally feed them into in the inputs of another machine. Today, information is sent through optical fiber at upwards of a trillion bits per second and millions of computers are connected together wirelessly through the Internet. How computers will be transferring data in the near future cannot certain but it seems technology is moving more and more toward completely integrated cloud based communications. All technology from our computers to our TV remotes could seamlessly receive information from many different sources at once. News travels very fast today but, imagine a world where almost all data is instant. The following video showcases these ideas very well in a practical sense.




Data Storage

Data storage is a fundamental part of information technology, because without it there wouldn’t be any information in information technology. In this section of information technology we’re going to discuss the different aspects of data storage. They including the equipment used, techniques used to store data both efficiently and safely, and various types of data storage. 

            Let us start with the equipment used. The most common apparatus used for storing data is an internal hard drive. Shown right. (Picture courtesy of The size of hard drives varies. Nowadays, someone can get an internal hard drive as small as 40 gigabytes (GB) or as large as four terabytes (TB), or 4,096 GB. Recently; companies have started producing Solid State Drives (SSD) which are much safer in regards to preventing crashed hard drives, data loss, etc. When it comes to keeping old or maybe unused data stored, it is good to use an external hard drive. Now, there are many different external hard drives. They vary in size about the same as internal hard drives. Moving up from external hard drives, we get to servers. Servers can go from personal servers (one to about four or more terabytes in a single vertical arrangement) or to business or website servers which can be rows and rows of drives with tons of space. Some smaller and portable ways of storing data are flash drives, CDs, and DVDs.

            After covering types of equipment used for storing data, we are moving on to techniques of storing data. The first, which will be brief, is encoded data. We are not going to discuss it since it was already covered. The second type is just basic storage, which is just data written to a disc. Techniques for storing data also include utilizing the various tools and equipment. Finally, a technique for maximizing storage is “zipping” files. When a file is “zipped,” it is compressed as small as possible in order to maximize space, into a zip file. This technique is best for files and folders that may be needed but not used at the moment. 

            Now, there are many actual types of data storage. Types of data storage and equipment used for data storage may be confused for the same things but we will explain what we mean by types of data storage. By “types of data storage,” we mean, different ways that someone could store their data instead of hardware that they could use. The first type of storage is internal storage or using the internal hard drive to store data. Second, people can store data externally. Previously, we talked about external hard drives, and those are an option, but here we are talking about more than just one hard drive. In addition to external hard drives, there are various external storage towers and robots that hold internal hard drives and are accessed using a FireWire, USB cord or even wirelessly. Some examples of these are Drobo or Synology storage bays. Finally, there is cloud based storage. Shown right is an artistic representation. (Courtesy of That is storing your data on someone else’s servers, or even on your company’s servers. The data is sent encrypted over a secure line through the internet to wherever the data is to be stored.

            There are different aspects of data storage. They are, equipment used to store it; techniques used to store it, both efficiently and safely; and different types of data storage. Just remember, data storage is a very essential part of Information Technology. 

Works Cited

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  • "Tech Shortly." Top 10 Android Apps for Free Cloud Storage Services [50GB. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2012. <>.