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1 GB twenty years ago and today


xper
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Technology moves quickly. When I had my first computer in 1993, I had a 160MB hard drive, no CD drive (wasn't on the market yet in a widespread way), and the only removable storage was as many floppies I could find. I had 8MB of memory in it.

Now (as of 2003 on most of this, 2005 on the DVD drive), I have an 80 GB hard drive, a DVD burner capable of making disks with a maximum of 8GB per disk, and 512MB. All this would have been mindblowing just 10 years ago. Not to mention, I carry around in my pocket a removable rewritable storage device that's 20x larger in capacity (and faster!) than my first hard drive.

Of course, those that have been dealing with computers longer than I have can tell stories like this to compare 1983 to 1993.

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'93? You were slow.

'79 - 1.77mhz, 16kb memory, 2 - 5 1/4" single sided floppy drives, tape deck, black and white screen (32x16 or 64x16 text) 128x48 graphic. Never could kill that TRS-80 model 1. great machine for its day, built to last, it was still working the day it was thrown out in 1993.

CD, hard drive, color, yeah right.

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  • 2 weeks later...
'79 - 1.77mhz, 16kb memory, 2 - 5 1/4" single sided floppy drives, tape deck, black and white screen (32x16 or 64x16 text) 128x48 graphic. Never could kill that TRS-80 model 1. great machine for its day, built to last, it was still working the day it was thrown out in 1993.

CD, hard drive, color, yeah right.

I still have my model 1,2 and 3. Surprisingly, they still work. The thing I hated most about them is that you had to upgrade all your software if you bought the ram expansions that were sold for them.

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that pic is pretty cool, my first pc back in '95 was a gateway dimension w/ a 5gb hdd, a cd-rom drive, floppy drive, 2mb vram and 64mb of ram. 5 years later i couldnt stand it anymore and built my own :D at that time my parents were still using that computer up until it died in about 2001 or so

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Couldn't find that same drive, but did find something on the #)% RAMDAC. Notice it says LEASE not BUY.

"1956, the first hard drive the IBM 305 RAMAC is the first magnetic hard disk for data storage, and the RAMAC (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control) technology soon becomes the industry standard. It required 50 24-inch disks to store five megabytes (million bytes, abbreviated MB) of data and cost roughly $35,000 a year to lease - or $7,000 per megabyte per year. For years, hard disk drives were confined to mainframe and minicomputer installations. Vast "disk farms" of giant 14- and 8-inch drives costing tens of thousands of dollars each whirred away in the air conditioned isolation of corporate data centers."

- http://www.fortunecity.com/marina/reach/435/storage.html

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Anyone know the original cost of that harddrive?

Alright, I got a hint (actually I had to remember the old mainframe related stuff I did as a programmer). In 1987, this would have been an IBM 3380, possibly the Model J (according to the picture). Incidentally, the correct terminology was DASD or "Direct Access Storage Device" rather than hard drive. Mainframe things are characteristically more expensive, but at the same time, one must remember that the hardware was meant for a computer with multiple users at once and designed that way. To that end, it might be more interesting to compare the time of the 1 gig PC hard drive.

This would have been the first DASD IBM made with a capacity greater than 1 gig. The 3370 featured a capacity of 571MB.

http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits...orage_3380.html

Depending on the features selected, purchase prices at announcement for the 3380 Model A DASDs ranged from $97,650 to $142,200. Lease charges ranged from $2,170 to $3,713 a month. Model B devices could be purchased for $81,000 or $111,600, or leased for $1,800 or $2,480 a month.

By appearances, the drive components were taken out of the housing. The housing would have set on the data center floor near the mainframe system itself. Here is the 3380E's housing from the IBM webpage above.

PH3380E.jpg

Also of note, most of these "new technologies" that are coming out on the PC in both hardware and software are tried on the IBM mainframe first. Actually to follow the development history, the PC development (especially on the software side) is trying to resolve most of the problems already solved on the mainframe. (CICS => .NET as an example for software, or the things this page talks about vs. RAID)

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Here's some more ancient computing fun - most people would have had some contact with these as opposed to the 3380 DASD drums:

The IBM 1403 Printer

http://www.columbia.edu/acis/history/1403.html

http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits...s_5404PH09.html

http://www.computerhistory.org/exhibits/highlights/ (this was a musical printer, too!)

The IBM 2501 Punch Card Reader

http://www.columbia.edu/acis/history/2501.html

(these things are what passed for "removable storage")

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punch_card#IB...nch_card_format

(How computer programming was done before the terminal)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_prog..._punch_card_era

180px-PunchCardDecks.agr.jpg

A 3 minute MP3 encoded at 128KB/s would take 14 of these boxes full to store. Roughly 23000 cards, stacked on top of one another would be 5'9", roughly 1650 cards per box. 1 gig would represent roughly 125 million cards and 75760 boxes! There has been definite improvements there!

Computing has definitely changed from the industrial machines they typically used to be. Better the technology has increased storage capacities and lowered the size too!

Edited by Glenn9999
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that pic is pretty cool, my first pc back in '95 was a gateway dimension w/ a 5gb hdd, a cd-rom drive, floppy drive, 2mb vram and 64mb of ram. 5 years later i couldnt stand it anymore and built my own :D at that time my parents were still using that computer up until it died in about 2001 or so

5 GB in 1995?! That's rare! You're lucky to get 2 GB in 1995! 5 GB usually wasn't available until at least 1998 or later 1997.

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I think you're right. Conner came out with a 2GB model in the summer of 1995. Most machines were delivered then with 4MB of RAM and somewhere between 200 and 500MB. Remember that many bioses then couldn't handle more than 512MB. I bought a Micron P133 with 32MB RAM and a 2GB platter in August 1995. I'm pretty sure 5GB wasn't available until at least a year or two later.

No mattter. The comparison is still valid. I was just looking at a Toshiba laptop the other day with 64GB and no hard disk! Way too much money for the thing (~3000), but then I heard I could order one of those "laptops for the world" for 290 which would include........64GB of flash memory!!! It seems that that project is showing how little the technology really costs. Think of it. A laptop which really only does weigh in at a pound or two! What a thought!!! lol

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