Technology Motivator: One Gigabyte

On the left, a one gigabyte IBM hard drive dating back from 1987. On the right, a one gigabyte SD card from the current era. Storage devices have certainly shrunk in size in the last 20 years haven’t they?

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24 Responses to Technology Motivator: One Gigabyte

  1. I remember them coming out. .

    The drive unit on is an IBM 3380, which first shipped in the early '80s and was about 2.5Gb when first shipped. Note it has two head assemblies on the same set of platters. There's a better picture at

    http://www.tietokonemuseo.saunalahti.fi/eng/ibm_3

    and IBM has pictures showing how much datacenter space those units took up (2 per cabinet), plus the history of it, at

    http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storag

    in which you see that unit, in September 1987, had just shy of 4GB (though there was a "cheap model" available with reduced storage, around 1.25 GB)

  2. I remember when i worked for a software company and we upgraded our total storage to 1GB. I thought we'd never use all that space.

    And I can remember when a platter the same size as the one on the left held 5MB.

    • Well, I don't go that far, but I remember having a 10 or 20 MB hard drive, and it was about twice the size of a conventional 3.5" drive…. that was about… 20-22 years ago…

  3. I remember when i worked for a software company and we upgraded our total storage to 1GB. I thought we’d never use all that space.

    And I can remember when a platter the same size as the one on the left held 5MB.

    • Well, I don’t go that far, but I remember having a 10 or 20 MB hard drive, and it was about twice the size of a conventional 3.5″ drive…. that was about… 20-22 years ago…

  4. I remember them coming out. .

    The drive unit on is an IBM 3380, which first shipped in the early '80s and was about 2.5Gb when first shipped. Note it has two head assemblies on the same set of platters. There's a better picture at

    http://www.tietokonemuseo.saunalahti.fi/eng/ibm_3

    and IBM has pictures showing how much datacenter space those units took up (2 per cabinet), plus the history of it, at

    http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storag

    in which you see that unit, in September 1987, had just shy of 4GB (though there was a "cheap model" available with reduced storage, around 1.25 GB)

  5. Could have used a Micro-SD card for 4x the effect.

    In the 60's I worked for a computer company in the UK. I worked on "conventional" computers – 12' x 6' cabinets, many thousands of transistors, 48KW core RAM, and large 9 track tape drives. In the next bay over was an experimental "solid state" version, a cube about 18" on a side. The standing joke was that some day the computer would fit inside the plug we used to connect it to the tape drives. So, half right – we didn't consider that the storage technology would also shrink.

    I am playing around with a powerful Linux system at home these days. 600 MHz ARM, 256MB RAM, 256MB Flash, Bluetooth, 802.11g, micro-SD card slot, camera interface, touch-screen LCD interface, USB master hub, USB slave/master "on the go" hub, USB serial port (boot console). It is the size of a stick of gum. I kid you not.

  6. Could have used a Micro-SD card for 4x the effect.

    In the 60’s I worked for a computer company in the UK. I worked on “conventional” computers – 12′ x 6′ cabinets, many thousands of transistors, 48KW core RAM, and large 9 track tape drives. In the next bay over was an experimental “solid state” version, a cube about 18″ on a side. The standing joke was that some day the computer would fit inside the plug we used to connect it to the tape drives. So, half right – we didn’t consider that the storage technology would also shrink.

    I am playing around with a powerful Linux system at home these days. 600 MHz ARM, 256MB RAM, 256MB Flash, Bluetooth, 802.11g, micro-SD card slot, camera interface, touch-screen LCD interface, USB master hub, USB slave/master “on the go” hub, USB serial port (boot console). It is the size of a stick of gum. I kid you not.

  7. I don't even want to discuss how old this makes me feel!!!

    I was in an IBM shop at Mattel Toys that had a wall of IBM 3330s and an IBM 370/155 mainframe

  8. I don’t even want to discuss how old this makes me feel!!!
    I was in an IBM shop at Mattel Toys that had a wall of IBM 3330s and an IBM 370/155 mainframe