10 September 2006
Five megs, no waiting
Way back in September 1956, IBM built a hard drive.
The IBM 350 Model 1 was huge: 68 inches tall, 60 inches wide, 29 inches front-to-back. The drive contained fifty metal platters, two feet across, each of which was subdivided into a thousand sectors storing 100 characters bytes, more or less each, for a total of 5 MB. The disks spun at 1200 rpm. By 1958, they'd built a 10-MB version in the same space.
Nowadays, of course, you'd wonder about a box the size of a Sub-Zero fridge that had the same capacity as a handful of floppies. But for the 1950s, this was space-age stuff, and a good thing too, since the actual space age was starting up right about then.
The 350 was produced through 1961; it was superseded by the 1301, which could store an astounding 25 MB.
Big Blue probably never imagined in those days that in a mere fifty years, it would be possible to store 250,000 MB the size of the drive on my current primary PC in a space smaller than an issue of TV Guide, and I mean the old TV Guide, and not the Fall Preview Issue either.Posted at 12:06 AM to PEBKAC