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62 years ago, IBM shipped the first commercial HDD. It only stored 5MB.

By Kenny Yeo - on 2 Mar 2018, 9:34am

62 years ago, IBM shipped the first commercial HDD. It only stored 5MB.

(Image source: Wikipedia)

In 1956, IBM shipped the first ever commercial HDD called the Model 350 RAMAC.

Up until then, computer storage relied on punch cards and magnetic tape, which are obviously inefficient and cumbersome.

The Model 350 RAMAC was a beast. It was about 1.5m high and 1.8m wide. It also weighed over a ton.

Inside, it stacked 50 24-inch diameter disks on a spindle and spun at a speed of 1,200rpm.

A cushion of forced air suspended magnetic heads on an arm 800 microinches above the surface of each disk.

An actuator could move the arm from disk to disk with an average access time of under 1 second.

More importantly, perhaps, it could store a whopping 5MB. That's the equivalent 64,000 punch cards.

Back then, computers and storage drives were mostly leased by companies and IBM charged a cool US$750 per month for the Model 350 RAMAC.

The next time you complain about your HDD or storage drive, think about this and how far we have come.

Source: Storage Newsletter

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