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Old 03-25-2015, 01:13 AM   #1
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Default I'm amazed!

I'm older than most on this forum and am amazed at the advances I have seen over the years, especially in storage.

In 1977 I went to work for IBM in their disk drive business. I worked on their 3350 disk drive which held 600MB. The drive was as big as a washer/dryer pair, required 220V AC power and cost something like $20,000 or about $33 a megabyte.

I purchased my first hdd in 1986 and paid $500 for a 20MB drive. That works out to $25 per MB.

The other day I purchased a 5TB drive for $129. It blows my mind that I can buy a 5TB drive for only $129 or about $0.026 per GB! Less than 3 cents per gigabyte?

Anybody else amazed by stuff like this? What are you amazed by?
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Old 03-25-2015, 05:06 AM   #2
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Default Re: I'm amazed!

good read.

My computer interest began only 5-6 years ago. So i don't have much to be amazed by in terms of the evolution of technology.

But i would say the downscale of computer parts by physical size compared to the performance it still has.
It's impressive how small and powerful computers have become.
Like that zotac computer that can fit in your back pocket. And the fact that in 7 years Intel has gone from 45nm architecture to 14nm (Broadwell ) and the upcoming 10nm skylake next year.
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Old 03-25-2015, 06:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: I'm amazed!

I started my journey with computers in ~1996. The storage related devices I had on my first computer were a 90MB HDD, 5.25" and 3.5" FDD's. No optical drive. Back at the day CD's were 650MB and that blew my mind when I installed a CD drive later. DVD's.

Last year I got myself three 4TB HDD's 130$ each.
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Old 03-25-2015, 07:00 AM   #4
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Default Re: I'm amazed!

I've been being amazed by storage for a long time now, especially the price...
in the UK it's gone from prices around £10 per MB, to £1 per MB, then £1 per GB... now just pence per GB is just insane.
(RAM prices are similar!) - I've probably still got some very old and (at the time) very expensive 32 pin simms (in 512K and 1MB size)

And the size of storage too.
when I first started I remember file servers with arrays of SCSI disks, both channels full just to get to some array size where we could store data... and it took ages to fill.

Now, you can get larger SD micro cards than that whole capacity of that file server with all it's disks.

And the rate that data gets generated at...
I used to be able to store just about everything that I wanted on 8 1.44MB diskettes, now, well just yesterday I generated half a GB of data in the evening just scanning some old paperwork so that I could shred up the physical pages.

Basically everything about modern computing, (and numbers boggles my mind!)

application foot prints however don't so much boggle my mind as annoy the hell out of me!
my first PC had 8MB of RAM.
I could have loads of things open at once, including (but not limited) to word processing and DTP tools, graphics packages, etc...

now notepad -not even a real word editor. seems to want to use 2MB of RAM on it's own.
I regularly see memory use in excess of 1GB using firefox.
and just about every java app ever written seems to want to eat RAM like its some kind of hungry predator.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: I'm amazed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by strollin View Post
I'm older than most on this forum and am amazed at the advances I have seen over the years, especially in storage.

In 1977 I went to work for IBM in their disk drive business. I worked on their 3350 disk drive which held 600MB. The drive was as big as a washer/dryer pair, required 220V AC power and cost something like $20,000 or about $33 a megabyte.

I purchased my first hdd in 1986 and paid $500 for a 20MB drive. That works out to $25 per MB.

The other day I purchased a 5TB drive for $129. It blows my mind that I can buy a 5TB drive for only $129 or about $0.026 per GB! Less than 3 cents per gigabyte?

Anybody else amazed by stuff like this? What are you amazed by?
It's the physical size that also amazes me. Like you said a washer/dryer and now I can buy an SD card with 200gb space and its the size of my thumb nail.

200GB SanDisk Ultra® microSDXC™ UHS-I card, Premium Edition
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:43 AM   #6
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Default Re: I'm amazed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 135791 View Post
It's the physical size that also amazes me. Like you said a washer/dryer and now I can buy an SD card with 200gb space and its the size of my thumb nail.

200GB SanDisk Ultra® microSDXC™ UHS-I card, Premium Edition
that's pretty incredible actually...
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:20 AM   #7
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Default Re: I'm amazed!

I keep buying USB thumb drives. Not because I need them but because I'm amazed by them. Every time I see a thumb drive that has more storage or is physically smaller or is unique in some other way, I have to buy it.

BikerEcho - Yes, my smartphone is many times more capable than my first computer yet it fits in my pocket. Cost a lot less as well. My first PC cost $2500 and that was with my IBM employee discount!

Smart_guy - My first computer had only 2 5.25", 360K floppy drives. No hard drive and no optical drive. It was amazing when I got my first CD ROM drive. The most popular use for CDs in the early days were for encyclopedias where you could look up info and there would be associated pictures and short video clips. This was before the internet so until the CD came along, there was no practical way to house an application that had that much associated data.

Root - My first computer had 256K of RAM and it cost me around $300 for the chips (6 banks of 9 64K bit chips, no DIMMs) to expand it to 640K. Of course I had to buy a $200 memory expansion card first. With a whopping 640K of RAM, I could use a program called Sidekick which stayed in memory and could be popped up over the other single program that was running. Sidekick had a notepad function that I would use to edit my C source code which I would then save to my "B" floppy drive. The "A" floppy drive had my OS (DOS 2.1) as well as my C compiler. After saving my source, I would then invoke the C compiler from the command line. For a simple program like "Hello world", it would take several minutes of both floppy drives grinding away to compile. I hear what you are saying about application foot prints. I used to be able to install DOS and my application on a single 360K floppy which would be put into the "A" floppy drive and used to boot the OS and start the application which left the "B" floppy drive available to be used to store data.

135791 - Yes, I saw the Sandisk announcement of those 200GB microSD cards. Their initial cost is $400 but once they come down in price I will most likely get some of them. In the meantime, I am amazed by the 128GB microSD cards I have.
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: I'm amazed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by strollin View Post
I'm older than most on this forum and am amazed at the advances I have seen over the years, especially in storage.

In 1977 I went to work for IBM in their disk drive business. I worked on their 3350 disk drive which held 600MB. The drive was as big as a washer/dryer pair, required 220V AC power and cost something like $20,000 or about $33 a megabyte.

I purchased my first hdd in 1986 and paid $500 for a 20MB drive. That works out to $25 per MB.

The other day I purchased a 5TB drive for $129. It blows my mind that I can buy a 5TB drive for only $129 or about $0.026 per GB! Less than 3 cents per gigabyte?

Anybody else amazed by stuff like this? What are you amazed by?
20mb? Lol, that cannot even hold one of my RAW pictures xD....
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: I'm amazed!

Most of the responses here have been on how small things have gotten over the years. Let me add my 2 cents worth on that.

In this picture is a multi rotor flight computer. It's roughly 1.5 x 2.5 x .75 inches.



Inside is a multi core CPU chip connected to a 3 axis gyro, a 3 axis accelerometer, and a barometric altimeter. Externally it has a magnetic compass and a GPS receiver that plugs in to it. It can control from 4 to 8 rotors independently of each other. It has 2 channels out that follow the gyro for controlling a 2D gimbal.
All the while checking itself and responding to commands from a radio receiver. It not only knows where it is in 3 dimensional space, it knows where it took off from and will return there if the radio signal is lost or you command it to do so.
It can be programmed as far as end user programming and the firmware can be updated by the end user with out having to have any special knowledge and or special patch cables.

To me that's amazing.
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Old 03-25-2015, 07:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: I'm amazed!

I'm old enough to remember when IBM computers cost and arm and a leg, maybe a torso too. I'm talking thousands of dollars for a PC with an 8088/8086 CPU running at 4.7 Mhz.

Monochrome monitor? Check.
5 1/4" floppy drive? Check.
512k memory? Check.

Yeah right but the businesses loves them.

I have no use for them back then, instead I got me a Commodore 64 computer with a cassette drive for storage. Later I got a floppy drive.
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