Apr
11
2008

Computer memories

Hard drive cost 3,000x cheaper

Fortran punch card
Fortran punch cardCourtesy Arnold Reinhold
I bought a hard drive yesterday that can store a million MB of data for $202. That is about 20 cents per megabyte. My first hard drive purchase cost over $600 for just one megabyte.

First computer "bugs"

The first computer I got to play with used relays. I programmed it by moving wires creating a circuit called a "flip flop" that could play tic-tac-toe. The relays used electromagnets to open and close electrical contacts and if a bug got in between the contacts the program failed to work and had to be "debugged".

Paper punch programming

When I switched majors in college from engineering into education I needed to take a foreign language. Luckily I was allowed to use my class in Fortran (a computer language) to qualify. In the Fortran coarse we stored instruction data on punch cards. The holes in the cards allowed electrical contact between appropriate circuits within a huge mainframe computer.

Magnetic tape data storage

Before I had enough money to buy that first hard drive, I used magnetic tape. Audio pulses on a regular audio cassette would be converted to connections being made within an integrated circuit comprised of millions of transistor switching circuits.

IBM calls new data storage, "racetrack"

Soon personal memory devices will hold thousands of movies, run for weeks on one battery, and will last for decades.

IBM just announced another breakthrough in data storage that could lead to electronic devices capable of storing far more data in the same amount of space than is possible today, with lightning-fast boot times, far lower cost and unprecedented stability and durability.

To learn more, click on the video below.

Source: IBM Press release

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Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

piyush's picture
piyush says:

The "Racetrack" idea is still some 10 years away but when it actually happens it will also require data transfer speeds that will enable businesses that use "Racetrack" to get most out of their applications that access the IBM innovation.

posted on Wed, 04/23/2008 - 3:04am

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