01 March 2008

The Vanishing Hard Drive

8 inches, 5.25 inches, 3.5 inches, 2.5 inches, 1.8 inches, and 1 inch.

I predict that hard disk drives will be entirely invisible to the naked eye by 2019.


Nikki said...

Do you know the capacities of each drive? It would be interesting to see how (presumably) as physical size has gone down, the logical size has gone up.

Michael said...

Ah, but you left out the 14" drives! I'm sure other folks have their favorites, but I fondly remember the DEC RK05:


(yes, I understand that you didn't happen to have one available for the portrait! :-)

Paul R. Potts said...

Hi Nikki,

I don't remember all of them offhand, but I have the records from my eBay purchases (I got most of them as "as-is" drives for almost nothing on eBay). They have lost their stickers in the disassembly. I should label them. IIRC, the 8" drive is about 1 GiB, I think the 5.25" is maybe 2 GiB, the 3.5" is 40 GiB, and the rest are smaller, with the smallest I think 2 GiB. Most of them were DOA but I'm told the 8" drive worked.

I have seen bigger drives -- I recall VAX 11/750 disk packs for example, and I've seen refrigerator-sized drives, but I first got into computing around 1976, and didn't ever really use mainframe or mini systems much. I've been keeping an eye out on eBay for a larger one to disassemble, but things can get a big difficult when the drive itself costs almost nothing, the seller is happy to have someone to send it to, but the shipping for the 8" drive cost over $50.00!

Paul R. Potts said...

By comparison I guess these are all relative large drives -- IIRC, internal 3.5-inch drives around 1987 or so were in the 20-40 MiB range, and a couple of years earlier internal drives for the IBM PC were in the 5-10 MiB range.