Learning from Hardware: ‘imaging’ this…

On: February 26, 2009
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Studying I just stumbled upon this definition:

“An image (from Latin imago) is an artifact, usually two-dimensional (a picture), that has a similar appearance to some subject, usually a physical object or a person.” (wikipedia)

and it triggered this analogy…

Have you ever, at an examination, had the experience of being able to reproduce complete sentences? Just recovering plain text without actually understanding what is written. I had the pleasure a couple of years ago when I had to scrutinize a bunch of articles. I was able to reproduce the key arguments by focusing at the shape of the text rather then its meaning. Not the best way to acquire knowledge for long term memory, but it’s just another way to acquire and reproduce or recover information. Not that I have the luxury of photographic memory, I wish! By focusing at the shape and associating on different levels, I was able to come up with the exact answers.

This brings me to the analogy of ‘drive imaging’.

My PC has the ability to reproduce information in a similar matter. It recovers (reproduces) important data on the primary hard drive when required. It does this by copying the entire drive as an exact image, ghost or shadow. Regardless the context, hence the words in the sentence. This functionality is much faster then the ‘conventional’ method of copying (or recovering) files, folders and its directory structure. The process is the equivalent of (a)building a structure in a – ready to go – modular fashion and (b)building a structure, from the ground up, by millions of bricks.


Recovering or coping information (text/data) by focusing on the shape of the entire object (sentence/hard drive) regardless its context (content/directory structure).

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