Wondering about wild grapes

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Computer Storage

No, this isn’t an instructional page on what to do to your computer to put it in storage, it is about all the stuff that a computer can store. Do you remember your first computer?

Let’s take a look back. When I went to college, the university had only one computer and it took up a huge room and that room had to be air-conditioned. Its storage device was punch cards. Am I giving my age away?

By the way, the reason they went with punch cards instead of magnetic tape was because the IBM business machine salesman was a better salesman than the magnetic tape guy. That set us back a few years.

Let’s fast forward to 1980. The most powerful personal computer like the Apple II Plus did not come with a hard drive. A 5 megabyte hard drive cost around $1500.00; that was more than the computer!! Apple used a $495.00 floppy drive disk (could have been the 8” ones, not sure) as a storage device and it only held 140 kilobytes. Yep, we’ve come a long way, baby!!

I got my fist computer in late 1988 or early 1989. It was the “state of the art” with all the whistles and bells. If my memory is correct, it had both a 5¼” and a 3½” floppy drive along with a hard drive. I put my first AutoCAD program on that computer. Wow, has both computers and cad software come a long way since then.

Just think, today we use thumb drives that store more than anything I know of back in 1980. In fact, thumb drives have increased their capacity enough that if you wanted to, you could use one as a supper fast hard drive. I have programs on thumb drives that can be run directly from them. Of course, I also store files on them. But, for safety, I also have external hard drives for my computers to back up everything, just in case.

I have also used Colorado back up tapes and Zip drives. Trouble is, they all go obsolete and you then have to go to another system.

Now, do you remember your first computer, the storage systems, and the changes from then to now?


  1. Good topic, let's see my first one? Xerox 8080 processor with a Huge Ass printer, and dual Single Sided Single Density 5 1/2 in floppies. No hdd..all the programs were on those floppies. If I wanted a program , I had to write it in early dos or fortran. This was all just after Ann and I got married so had to be 83 or 83,,We've come a long way baby!!!:-)

  2. Hey Barney, a friend of mine had one of those Radio Shack computers (Tandy). That friend was alse a Ham and that computer interfered with his radio equipment.

    Hey Ben, you guys were both way ahead of me. I think mine may have been an 8088, or was that my second one? I guess I was a little late getting involved, but once in you can't get out ;)

  3. Hasn't been all that long for me, I'm afraid! My first was only about 12 years ago...and I'm still learning!

    BTW, had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the PC world. Swore I'd never have one, but now I don't know what I would do without one!

    Sound familiar? Things are sure changing fast in the tech world, huh?

  4. Howdy HJ,
    Yep, it was like that with a lot of people. No, none of us would know what to do without one and the internet. When I am traveling, I can keep in touch and pay bills. More information out there than anyone can use. If you don't know something, Google it.

  5. Let's see now... Oh yes I remember... a piece of paper and a pencil and oh yes, an eraser... where would I be without an eraser... we call them rubbers over here... but that's another story...

  6. My first was a Timex Sinclair 1000 with a whopping 16 K of memory attached. Used a cassette recorder for storage and there were a few programs out for it. It was introduced in 1982 and cost me $99.95.

    Some time after that I bought a new Tandy 1000 SX with only 2-360 K floppy drives for storage and 384 K of memory. I later updated that with a BIG 10 meg harddrive and kicked the memory up to 640 K. What a computer! ;)

    Later I managed to come up with 3-386 machines connected by printer cables and multitasking through some old DOS multitasking software of name I do not remember. Added 2-245 meg drives per computer and 2 Philips 6 CD changers in one used as a server. If my math isn't wrong that gave me 1.0524 gigs of storage. and that was when the largest harddrive you could get was a 245 meg. I ran a 2 node BBS off of that setup for 5 years before the internet pretty well spelled death to the old BBS'es.

    Later I built and repaired computers, but the Chinese junk coming in put an end to that and anymore I can't keep up with the technology so don't really care.

  7. Howdy FT, Pencil and paper and an eraser, what is that? Oh I remember, I needed three or four erases per pencil. I guess what you are really saying is that your brain is your first computer, right?

    And David, I didn't know you where a computer repair man. Boy, that sounds like an A$$ whopin computer you built for yourself.

  8. I had a University business computer class in 1965 that I had me writing programs in Fortan and submitting a deck of punched cards to be run on an IBM 1401 (sometimes referred to as the Model T of computers). Then in 1966 I was part of the U.S. Army's first mobile computerized Payroll processing in the Dominican Republic. One month the computer was down; I flew with the punched cards to Fort Bragg where they ran them and I then flew back with the Payroll Vouchers. First personal computer was an Apple in 1982 for a business environment where I taught myself VisaCalc and converted many, many accounting spreadsheet (this was all obsolete within 2 years). Lots of other computers and operating systems after that; mainframes and PCs.
    I now blog a little, web surf some and send an occasional email with a PC running Ubuntu.