Strange Brouhaha

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Hard disks

Slashdot linked today to a Newsweek/MSNBC article about the first hard disk. Five megabytes, the size of two refrigerators, and you didn't own it, you leased it. For a quarter of a milllion dollars a year--or whatever $250,000 in today's money was fifty years ago.

Today a quarter of a million dollars will buy you over 450 terabytes, and that's if you buy the most expensive 750GB SATA drives. Buy cheaper drives, get more storage. Today, you can buy two hundred times the storage of that first hard drive--and it's the size of a couple of sticks of gum and costs fifty bucks.

I remember the first hard drive I ever bought. It was 1988 and I paid six hundred bucks for a 30MB SCSI hard drive. Today, you can get a 320GB hard drive--that's TEN THOUSAND times the storage--for a hundred bucks. (I remember thinking, about that 30MB, "God, I'll NEVER use all of that space!" Which is the same thing I thought, fifteen years later, about the 60GB in my notebook [almost full] and the 40GB in my iPod [almost full].)

What's the point? Shoot, I don't know. It was tough enough making coherent sentences. I suppose I could come up with something about the march of technology, but...damn, maybe I should have waited twenty years before spending that six hundred bucks.


  • Yep! My first hard drive was a 10mb in a real IBM PC Clone. It had about 20% bad sectors and was slow as hell. The cpu advances get most of the glory, but the hard drive tech is just as amazing.

    PS - wow, you actually get comments! :-)

    By Blogger Terry, at 8:37 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home