Magnetic: Portable Drives
Completely external, portable hard drives are quickly becoming popular, due in a great part to USB technology. These units, like the ones inside a typical PC, have the drive mechanism and the media all in one sealed case. The drive connects to the PC via USB cable and, after the driver software is installed the first time, is automatically listed by Windows as an available drive.
Another type of portable hard drive is called a microdrive. These tiny hard drives are built into PCMCIA cards that can be plugged into any device with a PCMCIA slot, such as a laptop computer.
You can read more about magnetic storage in How Hard Disks Work and How Tape Recorders Work. To learn about optical storage technology, check out the next page.