Kinda unbelievable, when you think about it.

Hands up, who remembers Way Back When, when we thought a 25Mb drive (which cost a few hundred dollars or more) was unfillable?

I just stuck half a terabyte on ol’ TV’s Frankenstein for a hundred bucks.

TERAbyte. I’m sorry, I am old enough to be awed by a number like that. When I started on computers, a terabyte was a technicality, a theoretical thing, a word you threw out to get a chuckle because everyone knew such a thing wasn’t real. It existed only because we had the prefixes and were used to kilobytes, and even a megabyte or two.

My fellow Woosterians, check me on this, but I’d swear the disk quota we had on Mom (one of our nicknames for the VAX 11/750, for my non-COW friends) was on the order of five or ten meg?

I remember asking one of the system ops at the Battelle 11/780 cluster just how much virtual memory their network was capable of managing. I got an email back saying “We really don’t know anymore.”

Sheesh. At least now I know it really is only a matter of time before petabyte and exabyte drives happen. It’s a little sad to have some of the awe taken away…


6 comments so far

  1. soundwave106 on

    Yeah, 1TB drives are out now for $180 or so.

    The next (potential?) awe-inducing tech, hard drive wise, around the corner is solid state drives. I can envision a future computer with these mega drives for your data, and a solid state drive for the OS.

  2. caindog on

    A decade ago, I was installing quite large, very heavy 4GB drives costing several thousand dollars and they were both sensitive and hard to deal with. Now I wear a 4GB thumb drive on a lanyard around my neck and I picked it up for about $20. I love living in the future.

  3. thattallguy201 on

    Now that you mention it,

    … I believe the standard Holmes & Watson allocation was two meg. You could go up to five on request to Lee Schultz — which of course you and I (and most of the rest of the WCE) both did.

    I hear you on the terabyte thing. The first PC HD I ever monkeyed with was in ’83 or so, a 10MB IBM thing, an external drive hooked up to an XT. I remember hearing it referred to as a “Winchester” drive (how’s *that* for knocking your socks off :D ) and being absolutely astonished at how fast accessing it was — if you took a dir of a large directory you couldn’t read the text as it went by!

    It was about the same size as one of the five terabyte NAS boxes Laurie and I have strewn around the house today… [nostalgic sigh]

    Of course it was unfillable — the OS fit on a floppy disk. A *low density* floppy disk.

    > It’s a little sad to have some of the awe taken away…

    I know what you mean. But at the same time, can you imagine one of those computers even reading a 30GB Blue-Ray disk, much less playing a movie at the same time? Or hosting a half dozen virtual machines? The “awe frontier” is still there — it’s just been pushed back a lot.

  4. jayteeone on

    Be honest, we come from the days when a floppy disk, an 8″ floppy at that was our hard drive. First commercial hard drive I ever saw was a 20 meg and I wondered how to fill it. Now I have programs that start at 13G, and I have a thumb drive key bob that holds 4G. My home/self built comp has 4G of RAM. My first computer experience was w/ an anolog phone+modem hooked to a teleprinter w/ a yellow roll of teleprinter paper. My nephew has his half a terabyte HDD mostly filled w/ music/movies and games.

    Yay technology and it’s advances!!!

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