Hard Drives, History

Early hard drive

The very first production hard disk was the IBM 305 RAMAC (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control), introduced on September 13, 1956. This beastie stored 5 million characters (approximately five megabytes, but a “character” in those days was only seven bits, not eight) on a whopping 50 disks, each 24 inches in diameter! Its areal density was about 2,000 bits per square inch; in comparison, today’s drives have areal densities measured in billions of bits per square inch. The data transfer rate of this first drive was an impressive 8,800 bytes per second. (source)

I just checked: 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive costs $95.00. Ha! I’m waiting for the cost to come down a bit.

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