Proof of the Changes in Technology

The world has changed a bit:

And here is a one-terabyte flash drive from 2018:

That’s 200,000 (two hundred thousand) times the storage capacity of the device shown in the first photograph above. The new flash drive is also much, much faster at reading and writing data than was the old hard drive.

If that isn’t enough of a comparison, here is the new TWO TERABYTE hard drive from Kingston. I couldn’t find a picture of it being held in a person’s hand, but I assume it is about the same size as the above picture of the one-terabyte flash drive:



I remember when I entered college in the early 1960s visiting a roomful of computers each the size of a large refrigerator and as I recall they were punch card driven. Then sometime in the 1970s one of the math teachers where I was a school librarian obtained 5 desktop computers driven by cassette and a printer that used a 3 or 4 coated paper to work with them. Of course, the progression to what we have today came about over a period of years, but no one imagined that we would ever see small flash drives with 1 or 2 Tb capacity.


    Once Hitachi Corp broke through the barrier of capacity, I told several friends I predicted (that was 2005 or 2006) we would see acceleration of capacity in very short time to this.


    At my university, some poor soul had the misfortune to drop a stack of those punch cards. No one dared laugh…


    Hi, Lynn:– Many friends of mine had similar experience on the icy journey from the dorm to the computer center through the snows of February.


My first work PC hard drive, in about 1984, was the size of desktop computer, with 10MB capacity and cost around $10,000. We thought we would never fill it up with data.


Like the others, I remember the first computer I was in contact with was in the basement of a building at college, in an air-conditioned limited access room, with magnetic tape backup and print output. No video, at least that the users had access to. And I also remember that the first hard drive I owned was 30MB and I never did fill it up.

Now they are saying that the ever increasing processor speed is going to be slowing down soon. Some hope it will move people to write more efficient applications, instead of relying on hardware speed to handle the also ever increasing graphics, etc. (Moore’s Law? without Googling it.)

I don’t know if it applies also to storage size.


When I was in graduate school during the early 1970s, I wrote a computer program using punch cards. The computer was an IBM 360; much less powerful than the laptop I just purchased that has an i7 chip and a half-terabyte flashdrive.


I was not in the industry in 1956, but I worked for Teledyne in one of the first digital computer centers in Calgary, Alberta in 1967. We had a control console, punch card reader, paper tape reader 3 tape drives, and a Winchester hard disk pack reader. It took up a good sized air-conditioned room for the computer and line printer. Other peripherals had their own dedicated rooms. Our rent to IBM for the 360-44 system was $25,000 per MONTH. (In a good month we grossed over a million dollars.) Any time the alarm bell went off, a white IBM service van would come screeching into our parking lot and 2 techs in white smocks would come running into the building with their satchels to take care of the problem. You sure don’t get that type of computer service any more. 🙂


‘Member when gas was 32 cents per gallon? Somebody’s been eating too many ‘member berries.


A thought a parent in 1900 didn’t have: That most grandchildren will not know learn to ride a horse.

A thought a parent in 2000 might not have: That most grandchildren will not learn how to drive a car.


From 1972 to 1975 I worked in Ann Arbor, Michigan for a company named Sycor, Inc. This company built desktop computer terminals that could operate as a main frame terminal or as a stand-alone computer. The stand-alone utilized 2 cassette decks, one as a program and the other as storage. The receiving department handled their paperwork via the stand-alone. They also made two different printers to work with the computers. I worked in shipping and did the documentation to send our products around the U.S., South America and Europe. One big domestic customer was Keebler. Their shipping address was 1 Hollow Tree Lane, easy to remember. When I left their employ they were moving forward with modem connections. It was an interesting place to work. Didn’t get back to any kind of computers until about 1990. Sycor seemed so innovative and I guess it was but nowhere near what we are seeing now.


There’s something about the photo of the 1956 “hard drive” that disturbs me, and makes me wonder if it’s legitimate. I’m not sure that there even _was_ any such thing as a hard drive in 1956. After all, it was only in 1956 that Ampex began producing the first video _tape_ machines for professional use. And research on magnetic domains was still on-going in the 1960s. Tape storage remained the gold statndard long after that.

But more to the point, I certainly never saw a “slashed P” No Parking sign in the 50s. I don’t recall exactly when those began to appear, but the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals occurred from 7 October to 8 November 1968, and didn’t go into effect until 6 June 1978.

I too well remember the 5 MB and 10 MB Winchester hard drives of the early 80s with their $5,000 and $10,000 price tags.


The IBM 1620 and 1440 had hard drives of 2mb on 10 14 inch platters The 360 had the same but gradually went to 20 surfaces with 10 or 20mb.
And then there was the ramac drives on the early computers.


The 1620 was a little before my time, but it came out three years after the alleged date of the photo, in late 1959, and had only a 2 MB according to your recollection. The 1401 came out about the same time in 1959, the 1710 in March 1961, 1440 in Oct 1962, and finally the king of the hill, the 360 in 1965.

Can someone speak to the time of the first appearance of the “slashed P”?


Dick, as a former IBMer, I spent a lot of time with disk drives. I don’t recall having seen this photograph (but lots of others). Can you share where you found this one?



I sold computers for radio shack in the early 1980’s. The model “3” at the time had 48k mem (upgradable to 64k) , 2- 350k floppy drives , 12 inch black and white screen and sold originally for $2400. I think we finally clearanced it out at $749. The Model “2” business model, had an 8 inch floppy and 64k memory. the 5meg hard drive for it at the time sold i think for about $2500 just for the hard drive…. i still remember selling the 300 baud acoustic coupler (modem )… Ah , those were the days……..


Leave a Reply

Name and email address are required. Your email address will not be published.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <pre> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: