just one more geek in a sea of austin techies

April 12, 2014

What a penny buys #StorageGeek

My most recent tech panel (CTRL-ALT-TECH on the first day of SXSWi ) was on the topic "All Things Storage".  As part of that panel I brought along a little slice of storage history: an Apple ProFile from one of my two Apple III systems -- the computer that launched me into programming all those years ago.

Near the end of the live interactive session I brought out the ProFile and declared it a "box of storage firsts"...

Apple ProFile -- a box of storage "firsts"
Computing history underappreciates the ProFile considering what it featured:
  • Apple's very first hard drive (1981) in the form of an external box that housed...
  • Seagate's very first hard drive (1980) which featured...
  • The world's first 5.25" hard drive format -- still the standard for desktop PCs today.
The ProFile sold for $3,500 and provided 5MB of storage space.  To contrast that I then brought out a basic USB thumb drive I'd bought the day before.  This was to help emphasize my (eventual) point regarding low cost ensuring the continued ubiquity of localized storage versus a widespread migration to cloud storage.  To emphasize "ubiquity" I went to a grocery store rather than a consumer electronics store and found a USB drive hanging in the "impulse buy" section at the checkout counter.  I bought 4 GB of storage for $6.97.

The math on my purchase roughly equates to $0.01 buying 5.88 MB. In other words, one penny now buys an entire Apple ProFile.

Fast-forward from a few weeks ago to today:

   The release of the Seagate STBD6000100

Far removed from Seagate's intial 5 MB hard drive offering back in 1980, the company's newest drive provides a staggering 6 TB of storage in that same 5.25" drive format.  Presently I can order this drive online for $299.99 with free shipping and no tax.

Doing the math on the new 6 TB Seagate hard drive:

    One penny now buys 209.72 MB of storage.

I think "wow" about sums it up.

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