Larry Osterman's WebLog

Confessions of an Old Fogey
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I've never seen anything that big.

I've never seen anything that big.

  • Comments 7

Ok, now put your dirty little minds back in the gutter.

Back in the day (1985ish), I was at work and heard a commotion from outside in the hall.  I saw one of the Xenix developers holding a box that was about the size of a shoebox.

“Look at this!  Do you know what it is?!”

“I’ll bite, no, what is it?”

“It’s a 70 MEGABYTE HARD DISK!!  Isn’t it amazing?!”

We had never seen anything with that kind of capacity.  This disk was actually big enough that you could put the source to Xenix AND a running copy of the operating system ON THE SAME HARD DISK!

DOS in those days was limited to 32M disks (DOS sector sizes were 512 bytes in size, and the disk drivers received their requests in 16 bit integers, which meant that the disk drivers could only address 32M of disk).  This wasn’t fixed until DOS 3.31 in 1987.

My times have changed.  I saw the other day that LaCie is now selling a disk drive with a terabyte of capacity.

 

  • Got me to click. Good one, Larry!
  • We had a hard drive platter at one used computer store I worked at that was about 2 feet in diameter. I don't remember where we got it from, I think it might have been from a drive we got at a Boeing auction or from a bank inventory auction. I think it was from a 40MB drive, not sure.

    Sitting right next to it for comparison was a 850 MB HD platter from a 3.5" drive. Customers would always freak out about that one.
  • that 1tb drive is not really a 1 tb drive. AIR, they have 4 250gb drives in there (which means four times the chance of failure.... This is no different to a RAID array (but without the failover abilities). There really is no such thing as a 1TB drive.
  • Even if it is physically constructed from 4 250GB drives, it's form factor is STILL smaller than the one 70M drive...
  • So how much did it cost? $1000? I remember paying a lot of money for a double sided floppy drive in those years. I was a kid and had to wash a ton of dishes for the extra 360KB capacity <sigh>.
  • Ha! You mentioned Xenix! That's even more ironic than Bedlam DL3.
  • Ok, Kent, I'll bite. Why is it ironic that I mentioned Xenix? It was Microsoft's first operating system product, and one of its most successful. For most of the 1980's IIRC, more copies of Xenix were sold than any other form of Unix.

    It was an operating system that Microsoft was rightly proud of.

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