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Old August 8th, 2014, 05:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Disk space and how things have changed

That old adage, "work expands to fill the time available for it," often comes to mind as I use modern storage devices. Like a 1TB hard drive. "Files expand to fill the space available for them."

It seems almost like a foggy dream now, but not that long ago it was cutting edge to have a hard drive in the 200MB range.

And it really wasn't that long ago that floppy diskettes--which held a whopping 1.44MB--were the norm for saving/sharing files.

Now? Each photograph I take with my DSLR cameras is too big to fit on one of those old floppies! I'm backing up files onto disks measured in terabytes. TERABYTES!! Amazing. And I don't know about anyone else, but for me there's just no end in sight. I keep using more and more space, and keep expecting storage options to keep pace.
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Old August 16th, 2014, 06:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I hear ya, Moody. It doesn't seem all that long ago that I was repairing hard drives (replacing heads and media) and those drives had a total capacity of 20Mb.

I used to teach guys how to use this one mainframe system, and by the end of its life I could pull out my PDA and announce that I held more computing power (and definitely more storage) in my hand than was used in the whole system we were discussing.
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Old August 16th, 2014, 03:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I hear ya, Moody. It doesn't seem all that long ago that I was repairing hard drives (replacing heads and media) and those drives had a total capacity of 20Mb.

I used to teach guys how to use this one mainframe system, and by the end of its life I could pull out my PDA and announce that I held more computing power (and definitely more storage) in my hand than was used in the whole system we were discussing.
Yep!!

The IBM System/3 mainframes that I replaced with a UNIX [actually SCO Xenix] system back in the '80s had disk packs that held 2.5MB [I just had to look that up because I didn't remember their capacity]. Can you imagine?! My photographs are more than double that size. And the '80s don't really seem that long ago to me! I remember that job so well [I LOVED it], and it doesn't seem like it was a million years ago, but look at how technology has advanced. It's mind-boggling.
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Old August 17th, 2014, 06:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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In 1989 my first hard-drive was 5 megabytes, a 5.25 in full-height Rodime, that I acquired second-hand along with its Xebec full-length ISA slot MFM controller. New HDDs were still quite expensive around that time, and it was better than just using floppies. These days even just one photo I take or a single MP3 wouldn't fit on that drive.

My first computer the Acorn Atom in 1980, had 2 kilobytes of RAM(expandable to 12), 8 kilobytes of ROM(expandable to 12), and had to store programs and data on cassette. Plus the computer was much cheaper if bought a kit rather than ready assembled, and then soldering all the chips, resistors, capacitors, etc, in yourself. That was 120 GBP for the kit. Things like Apple II, Commodore Pet, Tandy TRS-80 were prohibitively expensive for me at the time, around 500-600, I was only earning maybe 120 a month at the time.

But then Sinclair came out with a ready assembled computer for 99, but it was really made down to a price, the ZX80 and ZX81.

1 kilobyte RAM, 4 kilobyte ROM.
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Old August 18th, 2014, 05:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Very weird that you've just posted this,

I mentioned to my dad this weekend that I had found and old PS1 memory card which contained 1 MB,

Couldnt believe that the Micro SD card that I've just put in my phone is smaller than a 5p piece and has 65,536 MB!!!
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Old August 18th, 2014, 09:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Files have gotten biggers as the storage for them has. I can remember when I got the very first 1gig hard drive I had. I had to partition it so that I could use it DOS was only allowing me to get like close to 300mb off of it. So I had to partition it a couple of times to get all the space. Back then we were fortunate if we had a computer that could support more than just 8mgs of RAM. I remember a couple of friends coming over to watch me partition my 1gig hard drive and going dude you'll never run out of space. If I remember right I paid like close to 200 bucks for that drive it was a quantum drive which I think Maxtor ended up buying out then Seagate bought out Maxtor oh those were the days

I still remember having to buy a box of 1.44's for doing my backups man it use to take forever to store all my stuff on those things. Now you get a portable hard drive with a terabyte on it and your pretty much good to go.

Not to mention the overlay I had to use that would tell the bios oh I'm just a small little 250mg hard drive don't mind me.
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Old August 18th, 2014, 02:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Files have gotten biggers as the storage for them has.
Yes, definitely. And there's no end in sight.

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I can remember when I got the very first 1gig hard drive I had. I had to partition it so that I could use it DOS was only allowing me to get like close to 300mb off of it. So I had to partition it a couple of times to get all the space. Back then we were fortunate if we had a computer that could support more than just 8mgs of RAM. I remember a couple of friends coming over to watch me partition my 1gig hard drive and going dude you'll never run out of space.
Ah, yes, the "you're set for life!" thinking. I remember that well...

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If I remember right I paid like close to 200 bucks for that drive it was a quantum drive which I think Maxtor ended up buying out then Seagate bought out Maxtor oh those were the days
The UNIX server that I configured at work circa 1988 had a 230MB hard drive. The computer came with 1MB of RAM--that's not a typo: ONE MEGABYTE--and I expanded that to 3MB. RAM was wildly expensive back then. Total cost for that server was ~$25,000--and my current smartphone, a Motorola Atrix 2, has more storage, more memory, and more power than that sucker did. And it fits in my pocket!

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I still remember having to buy a box of 1.44's for doing my backups man it use to take forever to store all my stuff on those things. Now you get a portable hard drive with a terabyte on it and your pretty much good to go.
Exactly. I recently bought two Transcend external drives, each with 1TB of space. It blows me away that these cost less than $100 each. Incredible.

Oh, speaking of storage, I used to do my backups [of the UNIX system] on a Bernoulli drive; the disks were 8" and held...I have no idea! I'll look it up some other time.
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Old August 19th, 2014, 12:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I bought my first PC in 1986, it was a Leading Edge (Model M if I recall correctly). It ran PC dos 2.1 through a pair of DS 5-1/4" floppies. It came with 256K of ram and I bought a card and the memory chips to expand it to 640K. I think it was a 13" inch "green" monitor (the amber was like ten bucks more and I didn't care) and I think the total was around $1,100. Hard drive? Not at that time. I remember booting it to a RAM disk (kind of a virtual drive space set aside in the RAM into which the OS was loaded from the A: floppy drive) for some additional speed and that way I could have two program disks in at the same time. Boy did we think that was cool back in the day.

A friend a year later bought the Model D, and he sprung for the Iomega 20MB "Bernoulli" cartridge drive. It was very impressive, but buggy. In exchange for rent I installed a 40MB RLL drive in his computer, and you old-timers will remember that was an all-day task what with bad sector mapping, low level formatting, etc. I think that drive with the controller card was about $400.

How times have changed. I recently bought a 2TB drive for $80, dropped it in bada bing, we're in business. It's crazy how things have changed, but it's also scary how much data is being generated...and kept God knows where. Back then you kept your floppies locked up and you were good; now your info is out there subject to the weakest unpatched link in a chain.

The present trend is looking at linking living cells with technology; it would be excellent to simply plug in a 10TB chip and have that much knowledge instantly interacting with your brain.

Of course, the whole virus thing would be potentially devastating.
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Old August 19th, 2014, 12:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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This is what the Model M box looked like, though the drives were both 5-1/4". A and B, no C.



This was what my friend's Model D looked like, though his lower drive was the Iomega 20MB Bernoulli (cartridge) drive. These cartridges were 5-1/4". He also had a color "RGB" monitor, which I think is also pictured here.

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Old August 20th, 2014, 06:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Now? Each photograph I take with my DSLR cameras is too big to fit on one of those old floppies! I'm backing up files onto disks measured in terabytes. TERABYTES!!
Tell me about it! I shoot RAW, and reckon that my first PC's hard drive (a whopping 400 MB) would have been good for about 15 shots with my current DSLR (fewer if I used uncompressed raw). The 1TB hard drive on the home PC is not looking generous at all any more, and even being more ruthless in deleting stuff I'm going to be having to look at expansion (and a larger backup solution) this year...
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Old Yesterday, 10:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Here's one I'll share from my first computer, the Acorn Atom. The optional extra floppy drive, and I could never afford one of these at the time.



"The new disk pack made by Acorn for use with the Atom offers amazing value for money. If put together from the parts at Acorn standard prices, it will cost well over 400. However, for 299 this unit cases complete with single sided single density disk drive, disk controller, disk operating system, power supply for itself and to drive the Atom that it is plugged into, 64-way cable to connect to the Atom and full documentation. The capacity of the drive is up to 92 KBytes, arranged in up to 31 files. Loading or saving a 4K program takes less than 1 second."

While loading and saving a 4k program with cassette used to take 2-3 minutes and often wasn't reliable.
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Old Yesterday, 11:33 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Here's one I'll share from my first computer, the Acorn Atom. The optional extra floppy drive, and I could never afford one of these at the time.



"The new disk pack made by Acorn for use with the Atom offers amazing value for money. If put together from the parts at Acorn standard prices, it will cost well over 400. However, for 299 this unit cases complete with single sided single density disk drive, disk controller, disk operating system, power supply for itself and to drive the Atom that it is plugged into, 64-way cable to connect to the Atom and full documentation. The capacity of the drive is up to 92 KBytes, arranged in up to 31 files. Loading or saving a 4K program takes less than 1 second."
Absolutely amazing.

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While loading and saving a 4k program with cassette used to take 2-3 minutes and often wasn't reliable.
I remember. (But I loved my Commodore 64 anyway. Back then, who knew any better?!)
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Old Today, 06:53 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Oh, did I love my C-64... I had a premium setup, with twin drives and everything.

When I went to buy a PC clone, I ended up spending far too much for way too little (monochrome display even), and I kept going back to the C-64 (or using work computers) until I could get a throw-away 386 machine to upgrade.

Once I got my fill of 32-bit color goodness, I never looked back.
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