5 megabyte hard drive being shipped out by IBM in 1956

  • metta

    Posts: 39143

    Aug 07, 2015 8:10 AM GMT
    5 megabyte hard drive being shipped out by IBM in 1956

    oQzZ1F4.jpg?1


    http://imgur.com/oQzZ1F4
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    Aug 07, 2015 12:40 PM GMT
    I wonder where this is? The US didn't adopt international traffic signs until decades later, but there's a "No Parking" symbol on a pole in this pic. Nor do many of these men look classically "American" from that time period, except for the 3 guys in the dark neckties. The road may also be cobblestoned, not common in the US, but I'm not sure with this photo resolution.

    I didn't know 5 MB of data was possible on a hard drive in 1956. Wasn't data stored on magnetic tape?
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    Aug 07, 2015 1:51 PM GMT
    Art_Deco saidI wonder where this is? The US didn't adopt international traffic signs until decades later, but there's a "No Parking" symbol on a pole in this pic. Nor do many of these men look classically "American" from that time period, except for the 3 guys in the dark neckties. The road may also be cobblestoned, not common in the US, but I'm not sure with this photo resolution.

    I didn't know 5 GB of data was possible on a hard drive in 1956. Wasn't data stored on magnetic tape?


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_305_RAMAC

    Currie Munce, research vice president for Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (which has acquired IBM's hard disk drive business), stated in a Wall Street Journal interview[8] that the RAMAC unit weighed over a ton, had to be moved around with forklifts, and was delivered via large cargo airplanes. According to Munce, the storage capacity of the drive could have been increased beyond five megabytes, but IBM's marketing department at that time was against a larger capacity drive, because they didn't know how to sell a product with more storage.

  • jeepguySD

    Posts: 651

    Aug 07, 2015 3:28 PM GMT
    Oh my gosh, look at that thing!

    The first PC I bought, senior year of college, had a 10 Mb hard drive, and I remember thinking that was more than I would ever need.
  • AttisXVI

    Posts: 293

    Aug 07, 2015 4:13 PM GMT
    10MB is like...one PDF. You go to any website today and your computer is done.
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    Aug 07, 2015 6:09 PM GMT
    they were buff back in those days. The contraption probably weighed several tons.
    i was born in 1954

    MG_1006.jpg
  • jeepguySD

    Posts: 651

    Aug 07, 2015 6:27 PM GMT
    AttisXVI said10MB is like...one PDF. You go to any website today and your computer is done.


    That's my point: when I was graduating college 10 Mb seemed like a lot. By today's needs and uses, it's laughably small.

    And in my programming classes we had to buy CPU time if we went over the semester's allocation, so there was strong incentive to learn how to program efficiently. Disk space, memory, and computing time were all premium resources that had to be managed. Today I hardly give any of those any thought.
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    Aug 07, 2015 8:20 PM GMT
    Our 2 desktop computers have terrabytes. Our 2 iPads and 2 iPhones each have 128 GB. We put the phones in our pockets. There's a 64 GB SD card in my still camera, and I also have a 64 GB thumbdrive for moving data to other users like our professional printer service.

    This pic is a fascinating comparison with where we are today. Where will be be tomorrow?
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    Aug 07, 2015 10:18 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said

    I didn't know 5 MB of data was possible on a hard drive in 1956. Wasn't data stored on magnetic tape?


    Mag tape is best for long term storage. Disk is best for current jobs. Mag tape data to memory would be very slow.

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    Aug 07, 2015 10:19 PM GMT
    AttisXVI said10MB is like...one PDF. You go to any website today and your computer is done.


    Astute.
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    Aug 07, 2015 10:25 PM GMT


    2398291956_323bfb5f4e_o.jpg

    Invented all the way back in 1932 (in Austria), drum (as opposed to disk) memory was widely used in the 1950s and 60s as the main working memory of computers. In the mid-1950s, magnetic drum memory had a capacity of around 10 kB. This drum was used in a 1950s era Univac computer.
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    Aug 07, 2015 10:26 PM GMT
    The first hard disk drive was the IBM Model 350 Disk File that came with the IBM 305 RAMAC computer in 1956. It had 50 24-inch discs with a total storage capacity of 5 million characters (just under 5 MB).

    oQzZ1F4.jpg?1


    http://imgur.com/oQzZ1F4
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    Aug 07, 2015 11:33 PM GMT
    And now one of the platters is a coffee table:

    http://www.grandideastudio.com/portfolio/hard-drive-coffee-table/

    harddrive_table_img1.jpg
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Aug 08, 2015 1:24 AM GMT
    I remember the fastran drum memories on the Univac 1108 in 1972, but I don't know what their capacity was.

    My first computer was the original Compaq portable with dual floppy drives. I soon went back to the store and had one of the floppy drives replaced with a 10K Rodine hard drive; previous hard drives for it were 5K.

    Once at work my Fujitsu computer had two external hard drives in one rather large case. Later we went to PCs with 10K drives using MsDos. When we moved up to computers with 27K drives, we didn't know what we'd do with all that space.

    Microcomputer computer memory was so small that we had to have the program in overlays and read in the portions of the programs we needed. When other programmer / analysts couldn't make their programs fit into memory, I used to restructure them into overlays so they could be run. That skill was critical at the time but is now obsolete.

    Programming the INTEL 4040 in assembler language was challenging. It took from 4 to 6 instructions to move a 4-bit byte from memory to the accumulator. The only arithmetic was 4 bit addition and subtraction so I had to write all the multiple precision arithmetic routines including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; I was not a mathematician, but I succeeded.

    The Navy's AN/UYK-7 computer (pronounced yuk7), which was once state of the art, has been obsolete for decades. At the time disc drives were considered too delicate for use in navy ships so the used EIGHT tape drives on a computer. The Navy and Air Force could not agree on a computer language so, at great expense, they each had their own language. The navy used CMS-2, which I had to learn, and the Air Force used JOVIAL, i.e., Jules Own Version of Algol.
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    Aug 08, 2015 2:05 AM GMT
    In 2000, I managed a project for a dotcom which spent 12 million dollars for a 1 terabyte server which took up 1200 square feet. The monthly air conditioning bill was $20,000.

    Now a 1 terabyte server costs less than $200 and can sit on a desk.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Aug 08, 2015 2:33 AM GMT
    mx5guynj saidIn 2000, I managed a project for a dotcom which spent 12 million dollars for a 1 terabyte server which took up 1200 square feet. The monthly air conditioning bill was $20,000.

    Now a 1 terabyte server costs less than $200 and can sit on a desk.


    And this is only 15 years later!
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    Aug 08, 2015 2:43 AM GMT
    mx5guynj saidIn 2000, I managed a project for a dotcom which spent 12 million dollars for a 1 terabyte server which took up 1200 square feet. The monthly air conditioning bill was $20,000.

    Now a 1 terabyte server costs less than $200 and can sit on a desk.
    I have a 3 TB external drive sitting beside my computer that cost a little over a hundred bucks a few months ago.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Aug 08, 2015 8:49 PM GMT
    For years I have though that static memory would eventually replace rotating memory, i.e., magnetic and optical drives, but so far it has not. Even so, we are using thumb drives instead of DVDs, blue ray, and floppies (which are obsolete). Perhaps rotating memories will yet become obsolete.

    The first hard drives used a hydraulic pump and hydraulic cylinder to move the heads. That seems primitive now.
  • ASHDOD

    Posts: 1057

    Aug 08, 2015 10:00 PM GMT


    one of the guys training in my gym, a 74 yo ex-engineer and professor ,told me he got connected to the internet at his home in 1991 ,he probably was one of the maybe 1000 users in Israel,and his first too klicks were on an article of a university in Austria,and from there he jumped to a university in Australia, he told me ''i called my wife and showed her,this thing will concur the world icon_smile.gif''
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    Aug 08, 2015 10:17 PM GMT
    When not in school in the 70s/80s I worked construction for family engineering company and so I wound up on a building with this major foundation that didn't make sense to me because it was going to be just a two or three story building. Turned out I was working on a computer facility for a bank. It was for a bank's bank of computers so heavy that the reinforced concrete building was designed to carry their loads down to what I'm sure is now a highly overly built foundation.

    I wasn't in pricing but I'd imagine at least half again if not more of the cost of the entire building went into just the foundation to support the weight of we take for granted & put in our pockets today.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Aug 09, 2015 1:56 AM GMT
    Ashdod said

    one of the guys training in my gym, a 74 yo ex-engineer and professor ,told me he got connected to the internet at his home in 1991 ,he probably was one of the maybe 1000 users in Israel,and his first too klicks were on an article of a university in Austria,and from there he jumped to a university in Australia, he told me ''i called my wife and showed her,this thing will concur the world icon_smile.gif''


    How will it make the whole world agree? Oh! I bet you meant "conquer"!
  • mystery905

    Posts: 745

    Aug 09, 2015 2:52 AM GMT
    FRE0 saidFor years I have though that static memory would eventually replace rotating memory, i.e., magnetic and optical drives, but so far it has not. Even so, we are using thumb drives instead of DVDs, blue ray, and floppies (which are obsolete). Perhaps rotating memories will yet become obsolete.

    The first hard drives used a hydraulic pump and hydraulic cylinder to move the heads. That seems primitive now.


    SSD's are really coming down in price. Soon lots more people will get these instead of regular hard drives.

    I upgraded to a 1 TB SSD in my notebook and I cannot go back to regular hard drives.
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    Aug 09, 2015 3:32 AM GMT
    currently:
    the dimensions are so very wild for the new terabyte drives arriving on the market place now. a human hair is no comparison.

    do some research on google.

    if humans can make this technology happen we are greater than god.
  • ASHDOD

    Posts: 1057

    Aug 09, 2015 1:57 PM GMT
    FRE0 said
    Ashdod said

    one of the guys training in my gym, a 74 yo ex-engineer and professor ,told me he got connected to the internet at his home in 1991 ,he probably was one of the maybe 1000 users in Israel,and his first too klicks were on an article of a university in Austria,and from there he jumped to a university in Australia, he told me ''i called my wife and showed her,this thing will concur the world icon_smile.gif''


    How will it make the whole world agree? Oh! I bet you meant "conquer"!


    damn spell check,lol ,well english is my 3rd language,so ,maybe i will be forgiven for that.
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    Aug 09, 2015 2:33 PM GMT
    Ashdod said
    one of the guys training in my gym, a 74 yo ex-engineer and professor ,told me he got connected to the internet at his home in 1991 ,he probably was one of the maybe 1000 users in Israel,and his first too klicks were on an article of a university in Austria,and from there he jumped to a university in Australia, he told me ''i called my wife and showed her,this thing will concur the world icon_smile.gif''

    I wasn't aware the Internet was established as early as 1991, at least for the public. Predecessors included ARPANET, which I used in the US Army, and it had connections with universities. Text based and without browsers, you had to know what you wanted and where, very difficult to search.

    But in reading into this it appears a proto-Internet was being developed in Europe ahead of the US in the 1980s. It wasn't until the Clinton Administration that the US allowed full commercialization and public access of the Internet. Pushed in the US Senate by Senator (later Vice President) Al Gore, for which he was later misquoted as having single-handedly "invented" the Internet. But he did help facilitate its US availability.

    Other than that the systems I used at home from the 1980s were dial-up proprietary. Mostly social media that worked very much like they do today. Except they resided on your computer.

    And what was being received from online was actually text, with background commands to bring up images, page framing, fonts and other visual material that were already stored on your computer, originally uploaded from a disc you had bought. Downloading individual images or sounds with slow modems would take forever, but accessing your own hard drive was much quicker. Things like the ubiquitous AOL vocal announcement "You've got mail!" were done this way.

    Unlike today, when fast broadband speeds mean everything is downloading from the Internet in real time as we visit sites.

    The other thing we had were BBS (bulletin board systems). Also dial-up through modems, they were mostly local, primarily operated by private citizens or educational institutions. And likewise text-based. In a way not unlike communicating with cellular text today, except you used your full computer keyboard.