1GB Then and Now

May 23, 2008 at 12:50 pm Leave a comment

2513953915_60164ac39a.jpg JPEG Image, 500×375 pixels

This is pretty cool. The picture is of a 1GB DASD (Direct Access Storage Device) used in mainframe computers many years ago. There may still be more than a few in-use today. They were quite large, with the drive and associated electronics (and large drive motor) housed in a box about the size of 1/2 of a refrigerator. I admit I never tried picking one of them up- but I suspect the platters alone weighed 100+ lbs. It took a substantial drive motor to turn them.

I worked in two different mainframe data centers in earlier in my life, with dozens of these (that was a LOT at the time) whirring away. They are industrial hard disk drives, and were used to temporarily store data (read from tape) during processing. At least in the environments I was in (very large databases) they were never used for long-term storage of data. Instead- tapes were the preferred media for long-term storage.

Oh, and that whining bearing noise you hear when a desktop HDD starts going bad? The noise these things made was unbearable.

Held in the hand next to the DASD is an easily recognized SD card. 2GB, up to 8GB is now common in this format. We’ve come a long way in data storage. 🙂


Entry filed under: General.

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