Tuesday, September 19, 2006

disk drive


When I first started working with Data Plotting inToronto back in the late 1970's, one of our computer systems had a hard drive like these photos.

In the first photo, Bill Healy, executive vice president at Hitachi, holds up a platter from a 1-inch microdrive in his right hand. In his left is a 24-inch platter from IBM's RAMAC (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control), which came out 50 years ago. A 1-inch 8GB platter holds more than 80,000 times as much data as a single 24-inch RAMAC platter. An 8GB 1-inch drive holds 1,600 times as much data as RAMAC.

The RAMAC's 50 stacked platters [seen here] could have held just about two iTunes songs.

At Data Plotting we had a SEL [Systems Engineering Labs] machine, and,a GEAC, which was based on an HP. We then added a DEC - VAX. Amazingly HP is still supporting the VAX.

2 comments:

michael lewis said...

That's an ancient history lesson!

pastor mike said...

I can go back even further to printing off ascii maps at U of W