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(Wired)   Remembering the RAMAC: a refrigerator-sized hard drive with five whole MBs of storage. But hey in 1956 that was a lot, and it worked   (wired.com) divider line 13
    More: Cool, RAMAC, Albert Hoagland, dry cask storage, Santa Clara University, air conditioning units, paper of record, refrigerators, first computer  
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3507 clicks; posted to Geek » on 06 Jan 2014 at 8:11 PM (46 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-06 11:24:47 PM  
2 votes:

Old enough to know better: A dumb question, but what is the actual difference between the disk in TFA, and todays 1TB platters? More refined metals? stronger magnetic particles?


No one single difference, but the accumulated effect of *many* improvements:

Plated media instead of oxide coating (more bits per inch)
Vertical domain recording (if a bit is like a domino, stand it on end instead of laying it flat)
More efficient encoding (more bits stored in fewer flux changes)
Zone-based recording (more sectors per track on the longer tracks on the outer parts of the platter)
Fantastic recording heads with the hard drive equivalent of ultra hi-def (like switching from a paint roller to a fine point marker to write a track)

... and many, many more.
2014-01-06 10:51:27 PM  
2 votes:
1956: 5 MB
www.wired.com

2014: 2,097,152 MB
www.micro-sdxc.com
2014-01-07 12:08:12 AM  
1 votes:

Any Pie Left: In two years, the Square Kilometer Array  project will start up, and this network of radio telescopes will generate an exabyte of new data, each day. The Human Brain Project in Europe, will probably generate that much every two days.

IBM is heading a consortium of computer and internet providers to create an architecture that can handle that firehose of incoming data, store it, and process it.  I have no farking idea HOW they are going to do it. But we're all going to be the beneficiaries of that increased data capacity, with higher-speed networks to link it, when they commercialize it.

In just 2-4 years from now, we'll see an improvement that makes today's tech look like this archival video we've just watched.


I remember seeing the exabyte tape farm at Fermilabs.
The data pretty much went straight to tape, there was just so much of it.

so an exabyte is a 1,000,000 terabytes?
a day?
so yah, I would be surprised if that data wasnt going to be filtered, compressed or both.
so yah, I can wait to read the article about how they are storing/saving the data
2014-01-06 11:59:50 PM  
1 votes:
In two years, the Square Kilometer Array  project will start up, and this network of radio telescopes will generate an exabyte of new data, each day. The Human Brain Project in Europe, will probably generate that much every two days.

IBM is heading a consortium of computer and internet providers to create an architecture that can handle that firehose of incoming data, store it, and process it.  I have no farking idea HOW they are going to do it. But we're all going to be the beneficiaries of that increased data capacity, with higher-speed networks to link it, when they commercialize it.

In just 2-4 years from now, we'll see an improvement that makes today's tech look like this archival video we've just watched.
2014-01-06 11:42:25 PM  
1 votes:

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: Old enough to know better: A dumb question, but what is the actual difference between the disk in TFA, and todays 1TB platters? More refined metals? stronger magnetic particles?

No one single difference, but the accumulated effect of *many* improvements:

Plated media instead of oxide coating (more bits per inch)
Vertical domain recording (if a bit is like a domino, stand it on end instead of laying it flat)
More efficient encoding (more bits stored in fewer flux changes)
Zone-based recording (more sectors per track on the longer tracks on the outer parts of the platter)
Fantastic recording heads with the hard drive equivalent of ultra hi-def (like switching from a paint roller to a fine point marker to write a track)

... and many, many more.


A not insignificant one is fluid dynamics discoveries that allow the heads to float closer to the platter and with less deviation; that lets you be more aggressive with magnetic switching.
2014-01-06 11:37:32 PM  
1 votes:

Lsherm: namatad: fark atoms, we have a quantum computer!


Well, we do and we don't.
2014-01-06 11:33:39 PM  
1 votes:

Old enough to know better: A dumb question, but what is the actual difference between the disk in TFA, and todays 1TB platters? More refined metals? stronger magnetic particles?


Oh, and let us not forget hi - precision head positioners (based on loudspeaker voice coils, and evolving up from there), a *huge* improvement on the old stepper motors, that were accurate and precise enough to make high track densities into a practical proposition. Not to mention very much faster.

Coming up soon, drives with the platter cavities sealed and filled with helium, to reduce heat and allow greater densities and speeds.

I'm sure come tomorrow, I'll think of another dozen or so hard drive technology innovations and kick myself for not remembering them now.
2014-01-06 11:24:03 PM  
1 votes:

nekom: Old enough to know better: A dumb question, but what is the actual difference between the disk in TFA, and todays 1TB platters? More refined metals? stronger magnetic particles?

That isn't a dumb question at all, I'd like to know the answer myself.  My guess would be better read/write heads allowing for much higher density of data.  But I've never worked in hardware so I'm quite likely wrong on that.


The read/write head is probably the key (the tiny size of it, and its ability to modulate its magnetic field very quickly and accurately), but they definitely have better materials on the platter as well.

(The platter area of a typical hard drive is 50 square centimeters, or 5000 square millimeters.  There are about 4 platters, and they each use two sides, for an overall area of 40000 square millimeters.  If you have a 2 TB hard disk, that comes out to about 50 megabytes per square millimeter.)
2014-01-06 10:52:06 PM  
1 votes:
www.micro-sdxc.com
2014-01-06 10:05:59 PM  
1 votes:
wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net

And the hard drive's inhabitants were so very, very glad when someone finally did a virus scan on that damn thing.
2014-01-06 08:55:48 PM  
1 votes:

nekom: 384K of ram


Luxury.  We had 32kb of RAM and 32kb of ROM.  The rest had to fit on a 5.25 floppy.
2014-01-06 08:48:48 PM  
1 votes:
"And it looked kinda like one of those massive cylindrical air conditioning units that used to sit outside your grade school cafeteria."

The air conditioning units we had in our school were installed in the outer walls of each room, we called them windows.
2014-01-06 07:06:24 PM  
1 votes:
My first hard drive was only 20mb, but it was far more reasonably sized.
 
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