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Windows 7: Hard Disk Drive turns 55


17 Sep 2011   #1

Windows 8.1 Pro w/Media Center 64bit, Windows 7 HP 64bit
 
 
Hard Disk Drive turns 55

Celebrating the 55th anniversary of the hard disk ? The Register

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The data capacity was 5MB (8-bit bytes, 7-bits for data plus a parity bit) and it would cost a business $38,400 a year to lease it.


Jim




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18 Sep 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

Wow, that is an incredible story, we are fortunate to have TBs of storage today.
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25 Sep 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1 clean install
 
 

I remember my first hard disk: 10 MB in capacity, a lot of space in those years... I'm talking about more than 20 years ago...
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25 Sep 2011   #4

Win 7 Ultimate x64 desktop, Win 8.1.1 x64 laptop, Win 7 Home x64 netbook, Win 8.1.1 x64 tablet
 
 

I worked for IBM San Jose for 19 of those 55 years since the 305 RAMAC was developed. In 1981, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the 305, they delivered one to my department to be "cleaned up". I'm not sure how long it had been sitting in a warehouse but it was full of spiderwebs and mice nests and such. We cleaned it up (it wasn't operational) to make it presentable to be put on display. While my guys were working on it, I got a good look at it's innards. It was an amazing mechanical marvel. It was pre solid state so there were banks and banks of tubes for it's control circuitry. The head had to fully extract itself from the disk it was currently reading to move to another disk and it moved up and down the vertical stack of disks. The access time must have been agonizingly slow on that thing compared to modern drives (The article says 600ms).

After my tenure with IBM in the disk drive business, it blows me away to see 3T 3.5" drives or large capacity USB thumb drives at the low prices they currently sell for.

In 1986, I bought my first HDD, a 20M Seagate ST-225 for $500, a cost of $25 per MB!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by strollin View Post
I worked for IBM San Jose for 19 of those 55 years since the 305 RAMAC was developed. In 1981, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the 305, they delivered one to my department to be "cleaned up". I'm not sure how long it had been sitting in a warehouse but it was full of spiderwebs and mice nests and such. We cleaned it up (it wasn't operational) to make it presentable to be put on display. While my guys were working on it, I got a good look at it's innards. It was an amazing mechanical marvel. It was pre solid state so there were banks and banks of tubes for it's control circuitry. The head had to fully extract itself from the disk it was currently reading to move to another disk and it moved up and down the vertical stack of disks. The access time must have been agonizingly slow on that thing compared to modern drives (The article says 600ms).

After my tenure with IBM in the disk drive business, it blows me away to see 3T 3.5" drives or large capacity USB thumb drives at the low prices they currently sell for.

In 1986, I bought my first HDD, a 20M Seagate ST-225 for $500, a cost of $25 per MB!
I owned the very same drive. For all I know, it is still running.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Very Interesting.

Amazing how fast technology advances.

Those were only capable of holding 1 modern MP3 file ...
And today 1000s is quite easy, and the storage is fairly cheap.


Of course at the time, that was alot of storage. its just hard for many of us to wrap our head around in this day and time.
I mean, thats no where close to enough strorage for a mobile phone, much less a PC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2011   #7

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1
 
 

Some early hard disks were referred to as "winchester" disks. I remember a friend with a 10 megabyte that he had paid almost $3000 for in the early days of the ibmpc before the xt model. I also paid over $800 for a 30 megabyte hard disk back in the early 80's.
Oh, those olden days when 160k single sided floppies were king.

Rich
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27 Sep 2011   #8

Win 7 Ultimate x64 desktop, Win 8.1.1 x64 laptop, Win 7 Home x64 netbook, Win 8.1.1 x64 tablet
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by richnrockville View Post
Some early hard disks were referred to as "winchester" disks. ...Rich
Winchester was the project name for the IBM 3340 disk drive. It was so-named because each of it's 2 disk packs could hold 30MB of data making it a 30-30, just like a Winchester rifle.
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27 Sep 2011   #9

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1 and Mac OS X 10.8.3
 
 

I remember when I got my Western digital 6GB IDE hard drive in the early 90's. I was like 6GB what will I ever put on it?! It is still working today. I installed it on a 939 AMD build for a momento of what was. I use it as a bootable drive to install Windows 7 of all things.
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04 Oct 2011   #10

Windows 8 Release Preview x64
 
 

I can't even imagine what they would have stored on those things back then. I mean, today, 5 MB doesn't hold much, unless you're talking about the phone numbers and addresses of all your customers and not much else, so if you were a large business, wouldn't that pretty much eat up all that space just for that purpose? A Word document with the word "Hello" takes up 12.3 KB of space. In 5 MB, you could store roughly 400 of those.
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 Hard Disk Drive turns 55




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