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(Some Guy)   IBM's first disk drive featured metal-oxide paint sprayed thru a woman's nylon stockings. It cost $150 per MB per month to rent in 1956   (webcache.googleusercontent.com) divider line 76
    More: Interesting, IBM, control unit, data storage device, spray paints, frisbee, oxides, Moore's Law, punched cards  
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4268 clicks; posted to Geek » on 19 Sep 2012 at 4:15 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-19 12:58:19 PM
"And that was it. Memory chips were now powerful enough to take the race from there. There are still billions of disk drives in the world, but the future of memory is solid-state . . . at least for now."

I love how these fools continue to make the same statement.
SSD is still 10x the cost of HD. (and there are still some quirks to smooth out with SSD)

So yes, SSD is wonderful !! MY C drive is 150gbx2 raid-0. But my D drive is 3TB raid-5.
There are limits to how much I will spend to store my pron, music and movies.

Google is still using HDs for a reason, right? Extremely cost effective.
 
Pud [TotalFark]
2012-09-19 01:19:17 PM
That is one serious disk drive.

t2.gstatic.com
 
2012-09-19 01:29:13 PM

Pud: That is one serious disk drive.

[t2.gstatic.com image 359x294]


ermagahd! he got finger prints on it!!! LOL

I have amusing memories of booting a printer controller from its 8" floppy. The floppy was so worn that you could see through it in places. The really built things back in those days.
 
2012-09-19 01:34:25 PM
My first disk drive was a Commodore 1541 5-1/4" single-sided floppy that held about 170 KB.
 
2012-09-19 01:35:58 PM

BarkingUnicorn: My first disk drive was a Commodore 1541 5-1/4" single-sided floppy that held about 170 KB.


And yet I still have one.
 
2012-09-19 02:08:42 PM
Oh the joys of hoping that the integral calculator function and the keyboard drivers wouldn't over-exert the system.

/Joined the computer world with OnionOnBelt3.1
 
2012-09-19 02:21:36 PM

RedPhoenix122: BarkingUnicorn: My first disk drive was a Commodore 1541 5-1/4" single-sided floppy that held about 170 KB.

And yet I still have one.


Why?
 
2012-09-19 02:49:20 PM

BarkingUnicorn: RedPhoenix122: BarkingUnicorn: My first disk drive was a Commodore 1541 5-1/4" single-sided floppy that held about 170 KB.

And yet I still have one.

Why?


Nostalgia.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-09-19 03:04:10 PM
I'm surprised it was as cheap as $150 per MB per month.

RAM cost about a dollar per bit in those days.
 
2012-09-19 03:45:56 PM

namatad: Pud: That is one serious disk drive.

[t2.gstatic.com image 359x294]

ermagahd! he got finger prints on it!!! LOL

I have amusing memories of booting a printer controller from its 8" floppy. The floppy was so worn that you could see through it in places. The really built things back in those days.


Industrial control systems still have some amazing vintage computer stuff in them. I found what looked like a customized PDP-11 while visiting a plant last year. The manager didn't recall exactly when it was decommissioned, we know it was after 2003, which would make it at least 30 years after it was built by DEC.

And if you want to find a working 8" floppy, they're not at all uncommon in commercial phone systems, especially Northern Telecom (aka Nortel)
 
2012-09-19 04:20:18 PM
So they were using the Verizon rate scale for data overages?
 
2012-09-19 04:27:41 PM
Ah, big bulky disk drives. Far too many years ago, I few several times with one of these Link in its own nice big padded aluminum case next to me in its own seat.
 
2012-09-19 04:32:16 PM

ZAZ: I'm surprised it was as cheap as $150 per MB per month.

RAM cost about a dollar per bit in those days.


It's just jaw-droppingly insane how fast these things move...

At the rate of $1/bit, adjusted for inflation (1956 - 2010), the 16GB of RAM in my computer would be worth over 1 trillion dollars. (16*1024*1024*1024*8*inflation). And that's not even counting the technological difference that this type of RAM would have been worth compared to the previous type (what, magnetic drum at that point?)
 
2012-09-19 04:36:37 PM
In 1981 the director of product development at Zenith Data Systems had a decision to make: launch the first PC with a 5M hard drive -- or wait 6 months for Memorex to introduce the 10M drive. "Who needs the extra 5M? I can fit everything I own on 20 floppies," he said.
 
2012-09-19 04:39:09 PM
So, cheaper than renting data from Verizon.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-09-19 04:43:54 PM
Subby's Mother

Late 1950s RAM was hand-wired core memory, and there probably weren't enough workers on Earth to build your 16 GB. If you wanted 16 GB of rotating magnetic media (which you couldn't have used) IBM would have built a new factory for you, their new favorite customer.
 
2012-09-19 04:55:50 PM
"In the first test, the disk snapped off its spindle and bounced around the lab like a murderous Frisbee."

Duck!
 
2012-09-19 04:58:06 PM

ZAZ: Subby's Mother

Late 1950s RAM was hand-wired core memory, and there probably weren't enough workers on Earth to build your 16 GB. If you wanted 16 GB of rotating magnetic media (which you couldn't have used) IBM would have built a new factory for you, their new favorite customer.


Yep. The term "Core memory" for your computer isn't because the memory resides in the core of your machine, but that early memory was made of magnetic cores (toroids) hand-woven into grids.
 
2012-09-19 05:01:13 PM

ZAZ: I'm surprised it was as cheap as $150 per MB per month.

RAM cost about a dollar per bit in those days.


Adjusted for inflation, that's $1266/MB/month. Or about 13-14 Million times more expensive than renting storage on Azure.
 
2012-09-19 05:04:37 PM
Getting a kick out of this article because I just turned 60 as well. (September 11th, thank you very much.) When I started in IT, my company still used paper tape machines and Hollerith cards. One of the more advanced machines I worked with was an NTS445 - they called it a mini computer - about the size of a large trunk with a 10 Mb drive about two feet in diameter. One of the unmanned mill offices was flooded over a weekend and the water mark on the 445 case was half way to the top. After a few weeks to dry out, it was turned on and actually worked (no BS). Prior to working in IT, I had a junior accounting position and used a non-electric Comptometer to perform math functions. Good times.
 
2012-09-19 05:05:44 PM
I thought this was a women's stockings thread.
 
2012-09-19 05:11:14 PM

BarkingUnicorn: My first disk drive was a Commodore 1541 5-1/4" single-sided floppy that held about 170 KB.


What'd you pay for it? I sold the C64 when it was released at $695. I think the drive was $199.
 
2012-09-19 05:19:23 PM
Meh, disk drives, you're all worthless and weak. I compile 342 Hollerith decks every day to boot my 'puter just to play TicTacToe
 
2012-09-19 05:26:41 PM
 
2012-09-19 05:31:03 PM

RedPhoenix122: BarkingUnicorn: RedPhoenix122: BarkingUnicorn: My first disk drive was a Commodore 1541 5-1/4" single-sided floppy that held about 170 KB.

And yet I still have one.

Why?

Nostalgia.


There are new releases for the Commodore 64 coming out all the time.^
 
2012-09-19 05:33:23 PM

Omnivorous: In 1981 the director of product development at Zenith Data Systems had a decision to make: launch the first PC with a 5M hard drive -- or wait 6 months for Memorex to introduce the 10M drive. "Who needs the extra 5M? I can fit everything I own on 20 floppies," he said.



Heh.  I remember when the install for MS Office came on like 15 floppies.
 
Enter disk 1...
Enter disk 2...
Enter disk 3...
Enter disk 4...
Enter disk 5...
Enter disk 6...
Enter disk 7...
Enter disk 8...
Enter disk 9... 
Error reading disk 9... abort/retry/fail
retry
Error reading disk 9... abort/retry/fail
retry
Error reading disk 9... abort/retry/fail
retry
Error reading disk 9... abort/retry/fail
retry
Error reading disk 9... abort/retry/fail
retry
Error reading disk 9... abort/retry/fail
retry
UGH!!!!!! 
 
2012-09-19 05:39:11 PM
i2.photobucket.com



"I've tested more than 10,000 women. Of course, I'm not doing the sex. I'm checking meters. "
 
2012-09-19 05:43:48 PM

BarkingUnicorn: My first disk drive was a Commodore 1541 5-1/4" single-sided floppy that held about 170 KB.


Did you get a disk notch cutter so you could flip it over and use the other side?

Those disks were expensive in those days, but hours faster than the tape drive they replaced.
 
2012-09-19 05:48:00 PM

MadCat221: "In the first test, the disk snapped off its spindle and bounced around the lab like a murderous Frisbee."

Duck!


"I threw that shiat before I WALKED IN THE ROOM!"
 
2012-09-19 05:52:08 PM

Lt. Cheese Weasel: Meh, disk drives, you're all worthless and weak. I compile 342 Hollerith decks every day to boot my 'puter just to play TicTacToe


You're going to blow up the entire system at Norad, you know.

In related news, I love the implication that a computer system running the nuclear weapons system of the US wouldn't have any kind of basic surge protection built into it. I understand that circuit breakers and batteries were known technologies in 1982.
 
2012-09-19 06:04:56 PM
As someone who frequently has to deal with IBM, I am impressed that their technology hasn't gotten much better and their prices have actually gone up since then.
 
2012-09-19 06:08:48 PM
Ah, the old comptuer thread, where I can brag about what ancient stuff I have. ^_^

I think the main one that qualifies today is my Data General Eclipse S/280 mincomputer. Its got a 25MB rotating platter drive in it, as well as 9-track reel-to-reel. A while back I managed to get in touch with someone who actually worked for the company that built this 800lb beast, and they send me a boatload of PDF files...slowly but surely, I've pieced the thing back together, and now as soon as I have a chance to wire up a 30 amp circuit to the room it lives in and drag out my IBM 5150 and some terminal emulation software to talk to it via the console port, it'll be time to fire it up and see what happens.
 
2012-09-19 06:20:29 PM
I used to use 8" floppies like they were a Frisbee. My friends and I used to hurl them at each other. Hurt like hell if you caught a corner.

The Commodore 1541 was a sucky drive for about a dozen reasons. Would have been nice if the drive to be released for the C64 was the 1571, but with all 80 tracks enabled instead of 70.

My first hard drive was the Quantum 52MB LP SCSI drive. I just ordered a pair of WD 3GB Caviar Red drives for my NAS. I think the filesystem table for those drives will be larger than my first hard drive.


/needs a 1581 for his C128
//still programs on it from time to time
 
2012-09-19 06:21:45 PM
I feel old. One of my first jobs was working with the last core memories made by DEC. $3K+ for 16K of memory that ran at slightly more than 1 MHz.
 
2012-09-19 06:35:02 PM

olddeegee: BarkingUnicorn: My first disk drive was a Commodore 1541 5-1/4" single-sided floppy that held about 170 KB.

What'd you pay for it? I sold the C64 when it was released at $695. I think the drive was $199.


I think I paid around $189.
 
2012-09-19 07:37:13 PM

ZAZ: RAM cost about a dollar per bit in those days.


Only the 1's. The 0's cost $.85 because they weigh slightly less.
 
2012-09-19 07:38:29 PM
It cost $150 per MB per month to rent in 1956

Comcast is apparently using the same business model for their internet service.
 
2012-09-19 07:43:10 PM
Ah, the RAMAC. "Random Access Method of Accounting and Control". Hard to believe we have computers today because of payroll accounting, eh?
 
2012-09-19 08:02:31 PM

namatad: Pud: That is one serious disk drive.

[t2.gstatic.com image 359x294]

ermagahd! he got finger prints on it!!! LOL

I have amusing memories of booting a printer controller from its 8" floppy. The floppy was so worn that you could see through it in places. The really built things back in those days.


The magnetic domains were so big, finger prints weren't much of a problem.
 
2012-09-19 08:16:16 PM
I feel so young.
The oldest computer in my house is a Pentium 3 that I keep just because.

/ My University actually has an old Pentium 1 with Windows 98 to use for old media
// No idea why they don't just use a virtual machine
 
2012-09-19 08:18:08 PM
It cost $150 per MB per month to rent in 1956

I sure hope the woman was included, not just the stocking.

Damn. And I watched a movie were ladies with small fingers sewed wire strands through tny metal donuts, each one represented a 0 or 1. Must have been fake like the happy Italian peasants harvesting spaghetti from the spaghetti trees.
 
2012-09-19 08:27:43 PM

Rockstone: I feel so young.
The oldest computer in my house is a Pentium 3 that I keep just because.


I never know exactly where I stand on Fark's "old computer user" lawn. The first machine I used was a Osborne 1 running CP/M, so that's old. But, it had 5 1/4 inch disk drives, so that's not quite to the 8-inch level.

And I have a Pentium 3 that I use to test out different flavors of Linux. It's not a horrid machine. I'm not going to trade it for my quad-core with 6 GB of RAM anytime soon, but it's... functional.
 
2012-09-19 08:32:42 PM
imageshack.us

Here's mine

Had one of these

imageshack.us

Which boosted its RAM to a whopping 8k (from its standard 5)
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-09-19 08:44:13 PM
My first computer was one of the original TRS-80s. 4K ROM, 4K RAM, 500 baud cassette storage. It disabled television in half the house. FCC "class B" emission standards for non-business devices did not exist or were not enforced at the time.

I sure hope the woman was included, not just the stocking.

Many computers of the day came with a person, but usually a man in a white shirt and tie.
 
2012-09-19 09:03:18 PM

Gonz: Rockstone: I feel so young.
The oldest computer in my house is a Pentium 3 that I keep just because.

I never know exactly where I stand on Fark's "old computer user" lawn. The first machine I used was a Osborne 1 running CP/M, so that's old. But, it had 5 1/4 inch disk drives, so that's not quite to the 8-inch level.

And I have a Pentium 3 that I use to test out different flavors of Linux. It's not a horrid machine. I'm not going to trade it for my quad-core with 6 GB of RAM anytime soon, but it's... functional.


I think that makes us pretty close in age. Mine was a Morrow with cp/m and two (!) 5.25 drives. Damn good machine, really.
 
2012-09-19 09:23:43 PM

namatad: Google is still using HDs for a reason, right? Extremely cost effective.


You'd be surprised by how much of Google/Facebook/etc is running on SSDs now. Servers with spinning metal drives are being relegated to archiving workloads. True, legacy HDs are cost effective, but running SSDs mean your cores and spending much less time in iowait, and can push a lot more data than before. This means you buy fewer servers, enough to make the investment worthwhile. And you get FAR more predictable read latency to boot. For write-once-read-many workloads, this is farking magic.
 
2012-09-19 09:30:20 PM

Dinjiin: I used to use 8" floppies like they were a Frisbee. My friends and I used to hurl them at each other. Hurt like hell if you caught a corner.

The Commodore 1541 was a sucky drive for about a dozen reasons. Would have been nice if the drive to be released for the C64 was the 1571, but with all 80 tracks enabled instead of 70.

My first hard drive was the Quantum 52MB LP SCSI drive. I just ordered a pair of WD 3GB Caviar Red drives for my NAS. I think the filesystem table for those drives will be larger than my first hard drive.


/needs a 1581 for his C128
//still programs on it from time to time


Oh man, you'd like my setup. C128D, 512k 1764, dual monitors, 1581, external 1571, 1351 mouse and RR-Net ethernet cartridge. I also have SFD-1001 drives and the IEEE interface for them. And a SX-64...
 
2012-09-19 09:33:06 PM
Whipper snappers ...

Started punching cards for an IBM 360 (Watfive, proper Fortan, JCL, etc). By grad school I got to toss the cards and start using terminals to do the same card-emulation mainframe stuff.

First personal computer was a Timex-Sinclair 1000 (hooked up to a TV and cassette player). 2K base memory plus the 16K expansion card.

First personal computing experience at work was a Wang mini computer with terminals. I got one of the very few 8086-class PCs in the contract to use as a terminal or stand alone unit. My boss used to drive the squadron industrial engineer (our IT department) nuts by hacking in and giving him and me administrator privileges. The IT would take them away and mysteriously they would reappear the next day. The superintendents only wanted to know if their terminals came with dust covers until the found they could use the rudimentary email system to send insults to each other.

Good time, good times.
 
2012-09-19 09:34:31 PM
I thought this was a metallic spray paint thread.

i.cdn.turner.com
 
2012-09-19 09:37:02 PM

MisterTweak: namatad: Pud: That is one serious disk drive.

[t2.gstatic.com image 359x294]

ermagahd! he got finger prints on it!!! LOL

I have amusing memories of booting a printer controller from its 8" floppy. The floppy was so worn that you could see through it in places. The really built things back in those days.

Industrial control systems still have some amazing vintage computer stuff in them. I found what looked like a customized PDP-11 while visiting a plant last year. The manager didn't recall exactly when it was decommissioned, we know it was after 2003, which would make it at least 30 years after it was built by DEC.

And if you want to find a working 8" floppy, they're not at all uncommon in commercial phone systems, especially Northern Telecom (aka Nortel)


What kind of "plant"? My dad installed PDP11's in steel mills back in the 70's to automate the electric-arc furnaces in order to save tons of money on electricity.
IIRC The reason those PDP11's lasted so long was that they were a true multitasking computer. No matter how busy the processor was, if an emergency came in on IRQ0 everything else was halted until that request was handled. PC's don't work that way.
When I was a kid I was in awe of those 12 inch open platter disc drives. I played that new, first of it's kind computer game called Adventure using a line printer terminal on a mainframe when I was 15.
Me: Kill dragon
Computer: With what, your bare hands?
Me: yes
Computer: Poof, the dragon magically disappears.
My dad had a good laugh at that, cause all the adults who played it were stuck trying to get past that dragon.
 
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