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Evolution of Hard Disk Drives


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Considering that we now have tiny, cheap USB sticks that can hold up to 64 GB of data,

 

Some time back, months ago now, a friend sent me a 512 Gig flash USB drive. I am probably the only person, if not, one of only a few, in Cambodia. :D

 

A 500 gig (I don't believe it is 1Tb, but I could be mistaken) external 2.5" drive, USB, runs about $63 USD here, currently.

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Salty Dog

Some time back, months ago now, a friend sent me a 512 Gig flash USB drive. I am probably the only person, if not, one of only a few, in Cambodia.

 

 

If it's a Kingston, you have a very generous friend. 

 

Kingston's DataTraveler HyperX Predator 3.0 - the world's largest capacity flash drives ever made. And it has the price to match its monstrous storage: $1750 ($874 street) for the 512GB, so figure double that for the 1TB.

 

prodDT-HXP30-img.jpg

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rainymike

Aaaah the good old days.

 

I splurged my savings for an Apple II+ with two floppy drives. Didn't know wtf to do with it, but it had these two neat things that I could stick my big floppies into (think they had 720Kb of memory each). I turned it into a monster machine by adding a humongous 16Kb of RAM to the memory. Finally dawned upon me that I could play Pacman and Space Invaders with it. Word processing kinda sucked back then.

 

I remember abandoning my Apple II+ for a PC clone with a built in hard drive. It was a whopping 10 Mb hard drive. I was the talk of the school. And of course, I had a speedster of a 300 baud modem to boot. Sadly, it only had a monochrome monitor. Cost me the wages for a month or two back then.

 

All this was when I was a young working adult and could afford to splurge. LOL ... in college, I used a slide rule.

 

 

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HeyMike

I had to used an abacus in school. I didn't need no steenken, fancy-schmancy slide rule.

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After moving away from tape cassetts for storage, I had  a computer with two 5_1/4 floppy drives.

I then added a 10Mb hard drive, only to be told by all the "experts" that I would never fill it as it there just wasnt enough  data to need that much storage.

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I built my first computer from a kit and designed and constructed the power supply for it from scratch. It was an Acorn Atom. It had 12k ROM and 12k RAM. The first 0.5k of RAM was video memory. It did have a cassette tape interface. No disk drive. Given that I am not particularly a video game fan, my first program was a downhill skiing game dodging random trees.

 

The cpu was the size of a typical desktop keyboard a few years back. The power supply ended up in a radio shack (tandy) case the size of a small shoe box and delivered just over 1amp at about 9v DC. The monitor was my trusty, sort of portable, 13" Sony trinitron which also doubled as a half decent TV.

 

I also used a slide rule. My finals year was the first time electronic calculators were permitted in examinations. There was only one question worth using a calculator on. If you did, you got the wrong answer. Whoever set the question preferred slide rules over calculators....

 

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Heathkit may have even had a computer back then, to build. I know they offered all sorts of things at the time, for the amateur. 

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Lordblacknail

I had a couple of Apple IIgs's back in the day. Used them every day to play games on. Decided I needed a hard drive. I had a case custom made, cables custom made and inserted an 85mb hard drive from Seagate. The whole thing cost $607 dollars and worked like a charm. Of course your hard drive had to be divided into partitions of I think ten mb each, or maybe 8, don't remember, but I do remember hard drive icons all over the place. At the time I had over 16K floppy disks and around 4500 3.5 disks.

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Grey_O_Wolf

Back in 1978 or so, I bought one of the first Radio Shack Model 1 computers into Canada. 16K RAM Cassette drive. All totaled I ended up spending about 3,500 CDN on the thing. Ever since then, I have spent about 3,000+ every third year or so an a new computer. The price remains the same, roughly, but the capabilities certainly improve!

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SkyMan

That second pic looks like the size of the Head Per Track (HPT) disk unit we had when I was in data ops in Hawaii.  The read/write heads didn't move.

 

The top pic looks like a smaller version of the drum drive we had when I worked in Cheyenne Mountain.  Instead of the platter stack in the picture, it had a magnetic coated drum that ran horizontally and the head slid on a rail across the face.  We had a cargo ramp from the raised floor in the room down 1 foot to the hallway level for heavy equipment.  When they were moving the big beast out they lost hold of it it hit the steel door frame and blew out part of the wall.  I don't remember the capacity but it couldn't have been but a few Mb.

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Salty Dog

My first computer was an Osborne 1 that I bought in 1982 at the price of $1,999. It came with $2,000 worth of software.

 

Osborne 1 is considered to be the first true portable, full-featured computer weighing in at 25 lbs.. It includes all the components required to be a completely useful and operational computer system. Mine was the second generation that included 64k of RAM, two built-in Double-Density Disk Drives 182k per disk. with floppy disk storage compartment, a detachable full-size keyboard with numeric keypad,a built-in, albeit small, 5" 52 X 24 text monochrome CRT monitor. It also had the first built-in modem at 300 baud.  It ran on the CP/M Operating System, the most popular OS at the time.
 
Osborne1a-5L.jpgOsborne1a-2L.jpg
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um Im not sure the OP is correct regarding the photos.

 

I remember the days when disk drums (which is what they look like) teceded disk drives.  bigger and faster if i remember correctly.

 

and if you want some stome age stories, when i started on IT in 1971

 

memory was knitted out of little magnets

the mainframe has 28K of 24 bit words (84kB in total)

the equivalent of RAM was 50p a bit (so a good UK wage (graduate gross starting salary) could buy 8 bytes a week)

all mainframe programming done on punched cards

PDP-11 with no disk or tape storage at all (paper tape only)

PDP-7 with a round CRT and a million switches on the front

 

but disks on the mins appeared in 1976, I cant remember what thet were called, but about the size of a LP disc, in an airtight cartridge.   thats all i remember. often each member of the programmin team would have their own disk which were stored on racks and plugged in as necessary.  only about 1 hr of computer time a day max in those days.

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Salty Dog

um Im not sure the OP is correct regarding the photos.

 

 

The article was from a computer publisher web site. 

 

I ran a Google photo search on the first photo and got over 32,000 hits. Checked over a dozen of them and they all said this was the first hard drive. There was a discrepancy in the name as some called it a RAMAC 305 System.

 

The second photo had nearly 500 hits and they also said this was as described.

 

I found hundreds of articles from reputable sources that showed similar photos and had the same dates and specifications.

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Monsoon

I didn't have any storage at all on my first computer. I used to spend hours typing in BASIC programs from magazines and books and then hours fixing the errors then play the game until it was time to turn off the computer. Finally got a 5.25 floppy drive that weighed more than my current laptop a few months later. 

 

My first modem, now that was really WOW! 

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