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The History Of The Hard Drive [Infographic]

3 Years Ago By Richard Darell

Most of you are working on your computer all day long, save what you have created and don’t think much about it after that. Well for starters, did you know that just 5 MB of hard drive space cost $10,000 back in 1956? It is a considerable sum of cash, but back then people were thinking that 5 MB of storage would last them a lifetime. As we all know, that was hardly the case. Nowadays we tear through terabytes of storage space like our lives depended on it.

The price of storage is always going down and is going to continue to go down. While we continue to get more storage space on our hard drive and the prices keep going down we are going to see effects of that, positive effects. For example, back in 1980 IBM presented a hard drive, called IBM 3380, which was the first ever hard drive to hold 1 GB of data. The price tag of this remarkable piece of technology was a little steep. You had to cough up $40,000 in order to haul one home.

Today our hard drives can hold several terabytes still packaged in the same small container case that we are used to seeing in our computers. It is easy to think that this can continue forever. However, it is not quite that easy. In order to fit more storage space in a hard drive, you have to constantly come up with new technologies that enable just that. A simple example is that so far developers of hard drives have been able to simply put more storage platters into the hard drive itself doubling the space of the platters that are put in. However, you can’t fit an unlimited amount of platter discs into a hard drive.

A super interesting infographic presented by UC Berkeley Master Of Information Data and Science called Data Size Matters is a formidable stroll down hard drive memory lane. Through it, we get a good overview of just how far hard drive technologies have come since the introduction of it back in 1956. The fact that hard drive space has increased 50-million-fold in density is a testament to how dedicated humans are to constantly store more information. As a fitting end to this article, did you know that if you were to download all the information available and “stored” on the Internet today, which, by the way, is 1 yottabyte, it would take you about 11 trillion years to download with a high speed broadband connection? I think it is safe to say that it would be a waste of time to attempt it with your desktop computer.

The Impressive History Of Hard Drive Technology

History Of Hard Drive Infographic

History Of Hard Drive Header

Via: [visual.ly] Image Credit: [SLRlounge]

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3 Comments

Pugwash

November 9th, 2013

What a shame you have used the hard drive manufacturer’s definition of sizes, instead of that used by operating systems and programmers. 1 kilobyte = 1024 bytes, not 1000!

[Reply]

Neil

November 9th, 2013

“it would take you about 11 trillion years to download with a high speed broadband connection?” what do you mean by “high speed”? 1000Mbps?

[Reply]

Jenna Dutcher

November 14th, 2013

Good post, thanks for sharing! Small correction: this infographic is actually by datascience@berkeley (http://datascience.berkeley.edu), not Berkeley College.

[Reply]

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