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How Data Storage Has Grown In the Past 60 Years

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the megaleaps-and-gigabounds dept.

Data Storage 100

Lucas123 writes "Imagine that in 1952, an IBM RAMAC 350 disk drive would have been able to hold only one .MP3 song. Today, a 4TB 3.5-in desktop drive (soon to be 5TB) can hold 760,000 songs. As much data as the digital age creates (2.16 Zettabytes and growing), data storage technology has always found a way to keep up. It is the fastest growing semiconductor technology there is. Consider a microSD card that in 2005 could store 128MB of capacity. Last month, SanDisk launched a 128GB microSD card — 1,000 times the storage in under a decade. While planar NAND flash is running up against a capacity wall, technology such as 3D NAND and Resistive Random Access Memory (RRAM) hold the promise of quadrupling of solid state capacity. Here are some photos of what was and what is in data storage."

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My FIRST disk drive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46490003)

8" floppy

Re:My FIRST disk drive... (1)

scottbomb (1290580) | about 6 months ago | (#46490015)

I have (2) Commodore 1541 5.25" floppy drives made in the 80s and they both still work. The floppy disks I bought years ago were already a decade or three old and they still work fine.

Re:My FIRST disk drive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46502947)

In the school holidays I worked and got paid $100 week. After 5 weeks I had enough money to buy a 1541 floppy drive which could store 160K, that was awesome! It would have been virtually inconceivable back then the thought of Gigabyte drives, let alone Terabytes. Same with graphics resolution, CPU and RAM for that matter too. It is a shame that we seem to have lost the "home" computing industry, there is nothing really the same these days. You learnt so much about computing with these so called "home" computers - from programming in BASIC to assembler and if you wanted to the hardware too. The C64 had a cool and fun set of hardware that you could understand and control fairly easily, how cool was it to create a raster interrupt and split the border into different colours ? You could do this in just a few lines of assembler. Maybe things like the Rasberry Pi will bring back some of this fun, I will have to get myself one.

Just in the last 16 years... (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 6 months ago | (#46490011)

I bought an IDE enclosure and i'm going over my drives...

The oldest- which still spun up was only 8 GB. I had a really hard time throwing it away since it still works. But i looked at the memory sticks on the desk... which cost $4.99 to $15.99 and had the same or higher storage.. and I put it in the trash.

Same for the 80GB drive from 2003.

Debating on the 120GB drive. It might actually be big enough to keep.

My first drive... cost me $88 and held... 88 megabytes. That was sometime in the mid to late 80's I think.

Re:Just in the last 16 years... (3, Insightful)

bloosh (649755) | about 6 months ago | (#46490253)

If your drive cost $88 for 88 megabytes in the late 80's, you got an insane deal. I think your math may be off a bit.

Re:Just in the last 16 years... (1)

fractoid (1076465) | about 6 months ago | (#46490361)

Yeah, our first x86 computer (in 1993) originally had a 40mb hard drive, and that was mid-range.

Re:Just in the last 16 years... (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 6 months ago | (#46490707)

It was used. But it could have been the early 90's.

I was still in college and I graduated in 96 so it had to be pre-1996.

Re:Just in the last 16 years... (2)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 6 months ago | (#46491103)

I was still in college and I graduated in 96 so it had to be pre-1996.

Wow -- your last post said "mid to late 80s" and now it could have been up to 1996. That's more than a decade, and you can't be more accurate about when you bought what you said was your first hard drive?

Must have been one hell of a college experience.

Re:Just in the last 16 years... (3, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 6 months ago | (#46491685)

Wow -- your last post said "mid to late 80s" and now it could have been up to 1996. That's more than a decade, and you can't be more accurate about when you bought what you said was your first hard drive?

Obviously, he calculated it on the Pentium box he put the disk into.

Re:Just in the last 16 years... (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 6 months ago | (#46494065)

I went to college for 11 years.

And actually I graduated in 1993 (didn't feeling like posting to correct that) so the drive was pre 1993- and probably pre 1991.

I don't clearly recall events that happened over 20 years ago (tho I can still see the house I bought the drive at- it was on a corner with a bayou behind it).

I was a teetotalar back then but I had cancer in 91-92 and the chemo noticeably affected my brain. These days I'm a social drinker.

But for the nitpickers...

The oldest drive I remember was a 5MB for the apple 2 a friend bought for several hundred dollars. Capacity rapidly doubled after (while price dropped) that so 5-10-20-40-80-used 80 was probably about 6 years after the invention of mass market hard drives.

Per the WIKI
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F... [wikipedia.org]

Hard drives had the capacity I remember around 1988 to 1990 so that fits.

Re:Just in the last 16 years... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#46492723)

In the late 80s I was living near Seagate, so I could get used MFM drives for $1/MB or so. I wasn't the only one getting deals like these. And the Amiga that followed my PC-1 had a SCSI+MFM controller card, so I could actually make use of them.

Re:Just in the last 16 years... (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 6 months ago | (#46490259)

I still have a functioning 20MB drive in an Amiga 1000 Sidecar.

Re:Just in the last 16 years... (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 6 months ago | (#46492057)

Wow, hold on to that. It's gonna get valuable! Sometimes I regret selling my A3000 with the 386SX bridgeboard.

Re:Just in the last 16 years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46490313)

I'd open old drives for the magnets. Some of the platters are real shiny too.... Shiny! :p

Please consider recycling (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 6 months ago | (#46492925)

and I put it in the trash.

I'm not sure if you mean that you actually threw it into the regular trash or not, but I'd like to point out that there are plenty of ways you can have old hard drives recycled. Every Best Buy retail location will accept old hard drives for recycling at no cost, and there are other places as well. They don't care what size / interface / etc, just take them up to customer service and they will happily take them. If you don't like Best Buy you can find other places to take them as well.

I expect you've heard this before, but e-waste really, really, does not belong in regular trash.

Re:Please consider recycling (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 6 months ago | (#46494403)

Actually I hadn't considered that.

Your helpful suggestion will result in up to 12 used hard drives going to best buy!

Grats! You made a difference!

Re:Just in the last 16 years... (1)

Reziac (43301) | about 6 months ago | (#46500753)

Bah. I still have a 20 MEG drive that works perfectly. (Actually, two. One MFM, one IDE.)

I got rid of most of my very old drives a while back too. And too late, discovered that some of 'em were worth big bucks to data recovery companies... $900 for that 10mb Rodine. [crying]

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46490027)

Does anyone really need that much porn?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46490097)

In my case movies and TV shows take up most of my space. I have a sizable collection of DVDs which I have ripped, plus some less-legally acquired stuff (a lot of it is stuff that you can't buy).

I've run some kind of local file server/NAS/whatever you want to call it since I could afford to. Every 3 or 4 years I seem to upgrade, and am still amazed that I can usually get the same storage I currently have with half (or less) the number of disks and much less the cost.

My first one used 250GB drives in a raid5 to give me 1TB (back when that was a huge deal). Right now I've got 20tb (12x 2TB drives in a RAID6). With 4TB drives now available for about what I paid for those 2TB drives, the trend has pretty much continued.

I've actually hit a point though where I really don't need more storage for the foreseeable future. Big part of that is probably that I'm not adding that much new media. I've pretty much got all the old TV shows and movies I had an interest in, and there's only so many movies and TV shows being produced that I have any interest in. My current setup might actually die before I have to increase it's capacity.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46490653)

Wait until you go through your collection and decide it's time to update to HD, 4K.

Re:Why? (1)

Dryheat (661347) | about 6 months ago | (#46504259)

What about UHDTV.
8K UHDTV (7680 × 4320), 22.2 surround sound, Dolby Vision, 120 fps.

Re:Why? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 6 months ago | (#46491219)

I just don't have the attention spa

Using 'songs' as units of measurement? (3)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46490035)

"Today, a 4TB 3.5-in desktop drive (soon to be 5TB) can hold 760,000 songs"

This is how I'd try to explain the disk capacity to my parents, and how marketing departments may handle it. It is irrelevant due to variations in song length, style and compression methods. It reminds me of hard drives advertised as big enough to store 5 gigabytes of *compressed* data. Not very useful.

Re:Using 'songs' as units of measurement? (5, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | about 6 months ago | (#46490119)

To be honest, it wasn't a terrible unit of measure early on, especially with things like mp3 players, cameras, and SD cards.

Yes, an mp3 can vary in size dramatically, but there is a fairly consistent average. Most mp3's are going to be somewhere between 3 and 10 MB. That's close enough to give a rough estimate of how many "songs" you can fit on your mp3 player.

It was a reasonable measure for a non-technical person because it was a capability they were actually concerned with. These days it's silly though, because the number of songs you can fit on even the cheapest walmart mp3 player is in the "probably more songs than you will listen to in your lifetime" kinda range. It's turned into a big cool sounding number rather than a useful piece of information.

Re:Using 'songs' as units of measurement? (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 6 months ago | (#46490821)

These days Slashdot is heavily dumbed down. This is a tech news site for nerds, we can handle saying that 5MB hard drives were the norm back then.

It's just part of the slow decline of Slashdot. Bullshit articles intended for non-technical people thrown in as filler. SoylentNews arguable has too many stories now but at least they tend to be technical in nature, not on the level of "herp derp computers, like everything else in the world, improved over time".

And yes, I do vote on the submission queue, just not fast or regularly enough apparently.

Re:Using 'songs' as units of measurement? (1)

Reziac (43301) | about 6 months ago | (#46500695)

What I've noticed since the, um, Great Migration referenced in your sig, is that slashdot now has a lot of posters I don't recall having ever seen before..,. some of every stripe, but generally without the fire in the belly, if you know what I mean. I think that, more than the current crop of articles, has caused a shift in tone.

I now spend more time on SN. Fuck beta!

Re:Using 'songs' as units of measurement? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 6 months ago | (#46490851)

Most mp3's are going to be somewhere between 3 and 10 MB. That's close enough to give a rough estimate of how many "songs" you can fit on your mp3 player.

MP3 player manufacturers used 'You Suffer' by Napalm Death encoded at 32kbps as their reference MP3.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y... [wikipedia.org]

"You Suffer" is a song by the British grindcore band Napalm Death, from their debut album, Scum. The song has earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the shortest recorded song ever. It is precisely 1.316 seconds long/quote.

It's like hard disk manufacturers using the decimal version of a megabyte to make their drives look bigger.

Well, if it's "size of the mp3"... (1)

Two99Point80 (542678) | about 6 months ago | (#46490889)

This song [wikipedia.org] might be shorter.

Re:Using 'songs' as units of measurement? (1)

u38cg (607297) | about 6 months ago | (#46491073)

Presuming you specify the encoding method, the law of large numbers means that 760,000 MP3 tracks specifies a fairly accurate amount of storage, probably within the bounds of the uncertainty over 1000kB=1MB nonsense.

Re:Using 'songs' as units of measurement? (0)

Dan Askme (2895283) | about 6 months ago | (#46491203)

Imagine that in 1952, an IBM RAMAC 350 disk drive would have been able to hold only one .MP3 song.

Considering in 1952, MP3 songs didnt exist, i cant really imagine it.
Oh sorry, we are moving onto Beta Slashdot, where the target audience are perceived as so dense, they need the marketing standard "MP3 units" size system.

Go trashdot!

Re:Using 'songs' as units of measurement? (1)

failedlogic (627314) | about 6 months ago | (#46491627)

Not once did the author of TFA bother to use the LOC (Library of Congress) as a measure of data. Now I'm totally lost. I don't even know how much data a GB or a TB can store. Please use the LOC measure next time! It is less confusing.

Re:Using 'songs' as units of measurement? (1)

RicktheBrick (588466) | about 6 months ago | (#46492013)

So a hard drive can store 760,000 songs. Lets say it cost just $1 per song so that hard drive would have $760,000 worth of songs on it. I hope it is backed up and has an armed guard watching it 24 hours a day. It is obvious that most people can not legally come close to filling up their hard drives as it would cost many times what the hard drive cost. So lets store movies and songs that one will never again watch or listen to just to say we have them. So what are we using all this storage for? Soon I will have to file my income tax for last year. Is there a hard drive somewhere with all of my income data for last year? No! I have to keep watch on my mail for over a month in hopes that I do not miss a tax document amongst all the useless junk mail. It does not matter to me how much hard drive storage we have since we can not properly use what we have already.

Re:Using 'songs' as units of measurement? (1)

Mars729 (3469921) | about 6 months ago | (#46499465)

760,000 songs may be close to all the digital songs in existence. If you don't need your hard drive to hold movies (and some other niches like scientific data) then today's hard drives are more than big enough in size. You can easily get a solid state drive nowadays that can hold everything. They are much faster than hard drive, but have shorter lives. So the future is in increasing the speed of storage while also increasing the lifespan of the storage. If 20 TB hard drives come out in five years -- I'll say so what.

Just aint enough (1)

invictusvoyd (3546069) | about 6 months ago | (#46490037)

And I still aint got enough storage to satisfy my data hoarding habit . My last purchase was a 1TB internal SATA which cost me ~ $60 . I 've hoarded movies that i'll probably never watch .. I deleted poltergeist (all of em) though ..

How long id a song (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 6 months ago | (#46490047)

How long is a song?

I have .mp3 tracks that last upto an hour, and others that are less than a minute.
Using a song as a measure of data storage is silly, even worse than using football fields or states of Rhode Island for linear or area measure.

Maybe they would use 140 bytes (a tweet or SMS) as a standard

But all of slashdot should know that a KiloByte is 1024 bytes
and a MegiByte is 1024 Kilobytes

Re:How long id a song (1)

ThatAblaze (1723456) | about 6 months ago | (#46490101)

But all of slashdot should know that a KiloByte is 1024 bytes
and a MegiByte is 1024 Kilobytes

WRONG! A MegiByte is when a wizard bites you.

Re:How long id a song (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46490137)

At least he didn't use that asinine "Mebibyte" crap that was going around awhile back.

Bitches, no, it's a megabyte. Mebi? Mebi I'm going to punch you in the face for coming up with something so stupid sounding, you goddamned whore of Western Digital.

Sorry. I'm still infuriated by lame-arse hard drive manufacturers blatantly lying about capacity.

Re:How long id a song (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 6 months ago | (#46490301)

What I find odd these days that you can get, for example "128GB" SSDs, which size being a power of 2 would suggest them also using megabytes of 1 048 576 bytes, but no, that is a 128 000 000 000 byte drive.

Re:How long id a song (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 6 months ago | (#46490391)

At least in RAM a gigabyte is 1073741824 bytes

Of course with SSD some space is reserved to replace those blocks that have worn out.

Re:How long id a song (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about 6 months ago | (#46491013)

And a "Gigabyte" really means a single byte that is very large; weighing in at least 10 pounds or more.

Re:How long id a song (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 6 months ago | (#46490139)

It made a certain amount of sense to advertise how many _average_ sized songs you could fit on say, an mp3 player back when this was actually an often limiting factor. The same could be said about cameras and SD cards. It was a useful piece of information to a non-technical person, and in general, wasn't really that inaccurate.

These days, even the cheap "Coby" type mp3 players can hold thousands of songs, so it's just turned into a big shiny number.

Re:How long id a song (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 6 months ago | (#46490161)

All of slashdot should know the hard drive industry uses 1000, not 1024. It makes their drives seem bigger.

Re:How long id a song (3, Informative)

Jeremi (14640) | about 6 months ago | (#46490197)

All of slashdot should know the hard drive industry uses 1000, not 1024. It makes their drives seem bigger.

Also, it follows the standard. (and by standard, I don't mean the computer industry's informal, approximated, bastardized de-facto 'standard', I mean the actual standard [wikipedia.org] that just about every other scientific and engineering enterprise on the planet conforms to)

Re:How long id a song (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46490229)

Metric is all well and good, but [the vast majority of] computer systems are not base-10 (decimal), they're base-2 (binary). That's why computers use 1024 (10000000000 in binary). HDD manufacturers latched on to using metric solely for marketing purposes - the hard drives themselves and the file systems used on them store information in binary.

Re:How long id a song (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46490283)

You beat me to it, so all I"d like to say is "Ha ha, bitch done got told."

Re:How long id a song (4, Informative)

Fweeky (41046) | about 6 months ago | (#46490655)

Why always picking on the HD manufacturers? Your GigE network runs at 1,000,000,000 bits per second, not 1,073,741,824, what a scam!

Memory is measured in multiples of powers of two because that's how the addressing works [github.com] . Disks and network have no such fundamental limitations - they count in sectors and frames, which are themselves not necessarily powers of two.

Re:How long id a song (1)

geoskd (321194) | about 6 months ago | (#46491215)

Why always picking on the HD manufacturers? Your GigE network runs at 1,000,000,000 bits per second, not 1,073,741,824, what a scam!

Data transmissions are based on resonant frequencies of reference crystals, and have no fundamental connection to a binary counting system (except perhaps in terms of harmonics). Hard disk drives use sectors which at some basic level have to be addressed by a powers of two binary addressing system. This means that no matter what else you do with sector sizes or block sizes, the binary counting system *always* comes into the picture. Base 10 by contrast is the interloper there.

Memory is measured in multiples of powers of two because that's how the addressing works. Disks and network have no such fundamental limitations - they count in sectors and frames, which are themselves not necessarily powers of two.

Wrong, and wrong again. *All* computer peripherals transmit data to and from computers encoded in binary signals. It means that all computer based addressing is essentially binary. Back in the early years, some bit twiddling idiot tried to force a decimal system onto computers (see BCD [wikipedia.org] ) The whole thing was such a stupid idea it was pretty effectively dropped for almost everything except scientific computing, and even there it wouldn't really be necessary if those pesky scientists were half as smart as they think they are.

BCD is used in accounting (1)

klubar (591384) | about 6 months ago | (#46491481)

Actually BCD was (is) mostly used for accounting application where rounding isn't acceptable. Scientists mostly use floating point where the rounding doesn't matter. For those who want a COBOL example PIC 9(6)V99 could well be stored and calculated as BCD arithmetic and would retain 8 digits of precision.

Re:How long id a song (3, Informative)

Fweeky (41046) | about 6 months ago | (#46491517)

Hard disk drives use sectors which at some basic level have to be addressed by a powers of two binary addressing system. This means that no matter what else you do with sector sizes or block sizes, the binary counting system *always* comes into the picture.

Right, they're addressed using LBA48, which happens to be encoded in binary because that's how we build computers. That doesn't imply disks naturally only support powers of two for sector counts or sizes - they evidently don't.

CDs and DVDs have 2,352 and 2,418 byte physical sectors. Some Fibre Channel HD's support 520 byte sectors, and of course like optical discs all HD's have substantially bigger physical sectors internally for error detection and correction. A quick sampling of some of my HD's reveals drives with 732,566,646, 3,907,029,168, 500,118,192 and 312,581,808 sectors (at least they're all even?).

Ethernet is even more flexible, supporting any frame sizes between 64 bytes to over 9KB, hardware permitting. Note 9KB is not a power of two.

Wrong, and wrong again. *All* computer peripherals transmit data to and from computers encoded in binary signals. It means that all computer based addressing is essentially binary

Um. Yes, the numbers are encoded in binary. No, this doesn't mean computers can only handle number maximums that are a power of two. Memory happens to be like that because it has to be insanely low latency and simple bit operations like masking off the lower portion of an address is very efficient, but not everything is so restricted.

Re:How long id a song (1)

Agripa (139780) | about 6 months ago | (#46494949)

Ethernet is even more flexible, supporting any frame sizes between 64 bytes to over 9KB, hardware permitting. Note 9KB is not a power of two.

Jumbo frame size restrictions are hardware limitations. The protocol allows sizes up to 2^16-1.

Ethernet jumbo frame length is specified in the encapsulated IP header length field, which is 16 bits wide, when the 16 bit EtherType field is set to 0x8870 instead of an Ethernet frame length below 1536. The hardware does not support the maximum power-of-2 length of 65,535 bytes for the same reason that hard drives do not support their maximum power-of-2 capacity of 2^48 sectors; the interface or protocol sets the ultimate limit.

Re:How long id a song (1)

multimediavt (965608) | about 6 months ago | (#46491621)

Why always picking on the HD manufacturers? Your GigE network runs at 1,000,000,000 bits per second, not 1,073,741,824, what a scam!

Easy. For the same reason you'd be pissed off at a builder that built the rooms ten percent or more smaller than advertised in your house, or translated requirements to meters and intentionally then built in feet. It's fraud! If you needed a twenty-by-twenty room to fit your living room in and the builder made it sixteen-by-sixteen wouldn't you be pissed? Networking technology is known to have degraded efficiency percentages due to transients, bad cables, etc. there is an acceptable amount of loss expected, but if gige only gave you 200Mbps you'd get pissed. Memory is known to have certain defects, but we usually don't tolerate those as swapping out ram is not detrimental to your stored data. When HD manufacturers went to tens to calculate HD sizes, we the consumers were defrauded. The whole change was a way to make drives that wouldn't normally pass yield sellable so the manufacturer could make more money at our expense. And we just let them...

Re:How long id a song (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 6 months ago | (#46492571)

Network interfaces work on bits and HDs work on bytes. Network devices do not require alignment but HDs do. Network devices do not require an address space, HDs do. Because of this, HDs need to work with powers of two and network devices do not. Imagine if your L1/2/3 cache was in base 10. You can't because it's impossible with binary, or you can because you don't understand how they work.

Because one device works on bits and the other requires working on bytes and uses an address space, one is base 10 and the other is base 2.

Re:How long id a song (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 6 months ago | (#46494115)

Hard drives don't share an address space with other hard drives, memory does.
That's the difference.

Re:How long id a song (1)

Fweeky (41046) | about 6 months ago | (#46496787)

Reality disagrees with you. The user data portion of a sector is normally a power of two for convenience, being used on computers with power of two page sizes, but drives themselves are no more limited to power of two number of or size of sectors than your computer is limited to power of two size array or structure lengths, and this is readily confirmed by the existence of disks with 520 byte sectors (and somewhat different [wikimedia.org] physical sizes) and an irritatingly diverse range of sector counts.

Re:How long id a song (1)

Jeremi (14640) | about 6 months ago | (#46501163)

Memory is measured in multiples of powers of two because that's how the addressing works

Having memory manufactured in quantities reflecting powers of two makes perfect sense.

Hijacking well-defined metric prefixes to express something that they do not actually represent, however, is a problem. Hence the recent introduction of alternate prefixes [wikipedia.org] to describe powers-of-two based values. (Yes, they sound silly, because we're not used to them, but not nearly as silly as e.g. using "kilo" to mean something other than 10^3)

Re:How long id a song (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 6 months ago | (#46490403)

", I mean the actual standard that just about every other scientific and engineering enterprise on the planet conforms to)"

If they (industry, science and engineering) followed the actual standard, then 1000 Kilograms would be a Megagram

and also we wouldn't have batteries with capacities like 2000 milliamp-hours - it would be simplified to 2 amp-hours

Re:How long id a song (1)

CSMoran (1577071) | about 6 months ago | (#46490963)

and also we wouldn't have batteries with capacities like 2000 milliamp-hours - it would be simplified to 2 amp-hours

Surely, you mean 7.2 kamp-seconds, or just 7.2 kC?

Re:How long id a song (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#46490417)

The standard is mathematical reality, not some "we like zeros" standard. 2^10 = kilo, 2^20 = Mega. Binary trumps decimal when dealing with computers.

Re:How long id a song (2)

fractoid (1076465) | about 6 months ago | (#46490531)

I prefer to use power-of-two values for my length measurements, too. At 2 cm = 1 inch, I'm way more inches than you.

Re:How long id a song (1)

u38cg (607297) | about 6 months ago | (#46491087)

Law of Large Numbers, meet Rossdee. Rossdee, meet the Law of Large Numbers [wikipedia.org] . I'm sure you'll get on.

Re:How long id a song (1)

smhsmh (1139709) | about 6 months ago | (#46491947)

At least an American football field is a well-defined standard unit. (Canadian is different, as is international football.) But you can find these sizes on Wikipedia or in the official rules of the organizing committees.

Not so the standard unit song which does not appear on the Wikipedia disambiguation page for "song."

I believe I first saw "song" used as a measure of storage capacity in an Apple ad, perhaps for an early Ipad. At the time I thought it was an slippery and slightly dangerous way for marketing hype to corrupt technical specifications. Perhaps I misremember, but simple calculation put the size of a song somewhere in the low 3 MB range.

But a quick check of early Ipod print ads on YouTube suggests Apple used 1 MB also, derived from the claims that a 1GB Ipod could hold 1000 songs and a 2GB Ipod could hold 2000. These are obviously rounded numbers, but deviate significantly from 3+ MB.

A random spec sheet on kingston.com implies a song is 4 MB. A current spec sheet on sandisk.com implies about 3.85 MB.

BTW, did you know that more than 20 million unpackaged I7 chips will fit on one American football field, including end zones?

Re:How long id a song (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 6 months ago | (#46494125)

The original ipod was described thusly [everymac.com]

The original iPod features a 5 GB hard drive (10 GB option available after March 21, 2002) capable of holding 1000 songs in 160-Kbps MP3 format (or 2000 on the 10 GB drive), a high output amplifier (60-mW), a FireWire port, and a standard 3.5-mm headphone jack in an ultrasleek "iBook white" and stainless steel case with a 2-inch white backlit LCD display. Battery life is an estimated 10 hours

4 minutes per song. Which may be a the long side.
when hawking a large hard drive, it may be wiser to describe it in terms of "hours of high definition video", because compared to video, audio, even lossless audio, seems a bit of an afterthought.

Keeping up (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46490113)

It's not a matter of the storage technology "keeping up" with the trend.

People and organizations adapt their need based on how much storage they can afford. The more the technology develops, the cheaper it gets, the more storage people purchase, and the more storage people use.

The summary has mixed up cause and effect.

Re:Keeping up (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 6 months ago | (#46490155)

Yup!

Even for home use this is true. I've now ripped my entire (quite large) DVD collection because the cost of the storage to make it happen became low enough to be worth it for the convenience of having my whole collection available on my file server.

That was a few years ago, and at the time I ripped everything to h264 and mainly just ripped the main feature (not all the commentary/bonus tracks/etc). Now storage is cheap enough that if I were to do it all again, I'd probably just store disk images.

Wait wait wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46490123)

There wasn't a single mention of space being the driver behind technology. As we all know, putting a test pilot in a rubber suit in a tin can in the upper atmosphere is what gave us the wheel, all computers, all electronics and all progress, ever.

As amazing as that is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46490221)

genome sequencing has doubled in capacity at twice the rate.

Soon there will be insufficient storage for all of the genomic data being produced.

I dont understand this songs measurement (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 6 months ago | (#46490257)

how many libraries of congress will it hold?

really an MP3 can be a 3 second fart to infinity, what asinine crap measurement is this? oh yea joe six pack who cant log into the internet on a wifi cable inernets

My glass is half full (3)

jones_supa (887896) | about 6 months ago | (#46490309)

Imagine that in 1952, an IBM RAMAC 350 disk drive would have been able to hold only one .MP3 song. Today, a 4TB 3.5-in desktop drive (soon to be 5TB) can hold 760,000 songs.

So what! At least it can hold a full song. Put a good song there and enjoy. It's better than having 760,000 misc songs which I never have time to listen to anyway.

Re:My glass is half full (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46492165)

yeah ... take a look at the disk drive: http://tjampenscedric.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/245293-ramac-350.jpg

"Put a good song there and enjoy."

Re:My glass is half full (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 6 months ago | (#46492271)

Well, obviously I would also hire a personal forklift driver, which would always say "here's your song, sir".

Time Machine (1)

MindPrison (864299) | about 6 months ago | (#46490333)

I sometimes wish I had Stevie Griffins time-machine and to go back in time visiting that local computer store on the corner, just to wave my 32gb "stamp" in their faces. You can keep your amazing 5mb ST-drive. Of course, the point is MOOT since I probably wouldn't get the interface to work with their old computers anyway, not to mention the "large disk" compatibility.

One MP3 in 1952? (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about 6 months ago | (#46490341)

that low quality crap? That's one too many!

So when (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 6 months ago | (#46490427)

When will we get a drive that can hold an actual Googol Byte (Ten to the power of 100)

Re:So when (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46490929)

When will we get a drive that can hold an actual Googol Byte (Ten to the power of 100)

never

1993 (5, Interesting)

Solandri (704621) | about 6 months ago | (#46490487)

In 1993 I'd just bought a Thinkpad 700 laptop [theregister.co.uk] with a 80 MB hard drive. The company I was working at sent me to help model test a new ship at the DTRC (the biggest US Navy tow tank). About my third day there, there were a bunch of washing machine-sized plastic and metal boxes piled up haphazardly near the entrance. I asked one of the DTRC employees who was helping us what they were.

"Hard drives."
Bemused, I asked what their capacity was.
"Oh, about 10 MB."
"Damn, how old are they?"
"1970s, maybe 1960s.
"So you guys just shoved them in the warehouse and are finally getting around to throwing them away now?"
"Oh no, we were still using them up until yesterday. The budget requisition for new hard drives finally came through."
"..."

Still, it makes me wonder if modern hard drives could last ~20 years in a research/industrial environment.

Re:1993 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46490679)

There probably isn't a need to make HDD that reliable.
The cost of replacing would be far less than making them super reliable.

Re:1993 (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 6 months ago | (#46494251)

Indeed, if you have a time-tested system that does a certain job well, why change it? It's possible in older apps it wasn't possible to easily migrate to newer hardware because of compatibility differences. In fact, it's still a problem today, as apps written for older OS's often have issues being moved. Software is often the cost bottleneck, not hardware. Compatibility between hardware generations can be a bear.

Re:1993 (1)

FolkDude (823432) | about 6 months ago | (#46493289)

Yeah, I did a project in the 1980's that involved writing software for a late 1970's- vintage Texas Instruments computer. The client loaned me the computer while I was developing the software, so I had it set up in my basement for a few months. It had a 10MB hard drive (5MB fixed + 5MB removable), and we needed 4 guys to carry it down the stairs.

Re:1993 (1)

mcrbids (148650) | about 6 months ago | (#46494793)

Remember that old hardware is subject to a selection bias: the stuff that was crap died long ago; only the good stuff remains!

I have a ancient Pentium 3 with 512 MB of RAM that I use as a network monitor. It's done that job continuously for 10+ years and I haven't replaced it because it has literally never given me a problem. If it was doing "real work" I'd have replaced it long ago, but it does what it does fine, and uses so little power (18 watts) that I feel no need to replace it.

I was a bit relieved when CentOS 6 came out with a 32 bit version, letting me coax another 7 or so years out of it...

Seeing that 1PB cabinet in the last slide... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46490505)

...it's not surprising that intelligence agencies are able to store enormous volumes of communications traffic.

"store capacity" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46490599)

Where's dem editors when you need'em?

Mobile Hard Drives have been stagnant (1)

ToastyKen (10169) | about 6 months ago | (#46490809)

2.5" Hard Drives have been stagnant though. While SSDs have been steadily improving, the biggest 2.5" HDD you could get a few years ago was 750 GB, and now it's still just 1 TB.

Re:Mobile Hard Drives have been stagnant (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 6 months ago | (#46490919)

I assume you're talking about 9.5mm drives because there have been 2tb 15mm drives for quite a while. And Samsung recently released a 9.5mm 2tb drive but they're only selling it in portable cases for some stupid reason.

Store all the things! (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 6 months ago | (#46490911)

I've got more storage now than I ever thought existed when I was a kid. I have a 32tb fault tolerant array in my RV. My little pocket camera has 32 gigs. So does my phone. I've got 4 2tb drives I cycled out of my array that are just sitting in boxes because I have no use for them.

Who's keeping up? with whom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46494343)

"As much data as the digital age creates (2.16 Zettabytes and growing), data storage technology has always found a way to keep up."
It is obvious that the user's cannot store data more quickly than industry can produce storage media, except by creating a pool of paper manuscripts that will have to be typed-in someday. Thus we should argue that the reverse is true: "as much storage capacity as industry has produced, users have allways kept up and found a way to fill it."

I remember the way back.... (1)

MtViewGuy (197597) | about 6 months ago | (#46491053)

....When a 20 MB Seagate ST-225 hard drive at US$499 including controller was considered a good deal--and this was way back in 1984! Today, I can get _three_ 3 TB hard drives and still have US$50 left from that same US$499.

Cheaper to backup to Hard Drives (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 6 months ago | (#46491149)

I paid close to $300 for an 80 Meg scsi hard drive while my friend had a 200 Meg hard drive the size of a dishwasher (what most thought it was) for his Unix.

I kept backups on 3.5 floppies (one of three) http://i42.tinypic.com/2hwpx82... [tinypic.com] , then on 700 Meg CD's upto Blueray DVD's that hold some 24 Gigs. Only one BlueRay DVD made it though with no errors, yet no data loss.

It's cheaper, more reliable, and a damn lot easier now to make my back-ups to USB hard drives and sticking them away until needed.

The incredible shrinking datacenter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46491157)

For a real insight into increased density of storage, look at the enterprise level SANs. 10 years ago 10TB of storage took up several racks. I just installed a 3PAR array. It's configured for 60TB and takes up 1/4 of a 42U rack, and uses 1/10th of the power.

"Size of an atom"? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 6 months ago | (#46491177)

19 nanometers is, in fact, about a *hundred times* the estimated size of an atom (as measured as the distance from one atom to the next in a solid).

and the #1 hit in 1952 for that MP3 (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 6 months ago | (#46491181)

A recording of "Blue Tango" [youtube.com] by Leroy Anderson "Pops" Concert Orchestra. Made for some pretty risque dance moves.

Re:and the #1 hit in 1952 for that MP3 (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 6 months ago | (#46494351)

Some of those old songs are actually kinda fun:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

(The 1952 date for IBM's disk is probably wrong, a few years too early, per another post.)

Bring back the floppy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46492135)

Can we bring back the floppy 8', 5.25', 3.5' sizes with more storage? If we can have 100GBytes+ hard drives why can we also have this amount of storage on a 8' floppy disc.

American grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46493049)

"As much data as the digital age creates (2.16 Zettabytes and growing), data storage technology has always found a way to keep up."

Huh?

Re:American grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46493477)

As many clueless AC posts as appear here on a daily basis, this one stands out.

Were you perhaps expecting "...a way to keep up, wot?"

1952 typo? (4, Informative)

Tablizer (95088) | about 6 months ago | (#46494217)

in 1952, an IBM RAMAC 350 disk drive would have been able to hold only one .MP3 song

Where is that 1952 date coming from? It wasn't commercially available until about 1956, in limited quantities, and as best I can tell, it's from a research project that started in 1953 with the goal of testing the various storage possibilities, disk being one of many. Thus, it's not likely that working prototypes would be available until about 1954 or '55.

Bad luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46494315)

Consumers in the early 50's were often seen cursing their bad luck of only being able to store one MP3 per disk.

Backups (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 6 months ago | (#46496173)

Unfortunately, backup capacity does not scale as storage does, network throughput being a common bottleneck.

Data corruption (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46499693)

The larger disks, the more data corruption. I quote the wikipedia article on ZFS:
"...The main problem is that hard disk capacities have increased substantially, but their error rates remain unchanged. The data corruption rate has always been roughly constant in time, meaning that modern disks are not much safer than old disks. In old disks the probability of data corruption was very small because they stored tiny amounts of data. In modern disks the probability is much larger because they store much more data, whilst not being safer. That way, silent data corruption has not been a serious concern while storage devices remained relatively small and slow. Hence, the users of small disks very rarely faced silent corruption, so the data corruption was not considered a problem that required a solution. But in modern times and with the advent of larger drives and very fast RAID setups, users are capable of transferring 1016 bits in a reasonably short time, thus easily reaching the data corruption thresholds.[8]..."

a better question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46501069)

is how much the ratio of bad music has increased. i can't gauge my amazement.

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