January 11, 2006

LaCie Mobile Hard Drive

Like Glenn Reynolds, I got one of these little beauties for Christmas. It's a 50 GB USB (2.0) cable-powered HD, about the size of a DVD case cut in half. Worked right out of the box. Backed up everything with plenty of room to spare.

When I worked at Linguatech a decade ago, creating content for CALI (computer-assisted language learning) software, we had a 1 GB drive for mastering CDs. It originally cost $1000 ($1.00/MB) and broke down about every 6 months. In an article I wrote in 2001, I calculated the cost/MB at $.01. Now it's less than $.002. In ten years, the cost/MB has come down a factor of over 500. Amazing.

An Instapundit reader also describes the disk drive units that came with IBM 360/370 mainframes, a stack of platters each more than a foot in diameter. I can still remember seeing one on a high school field trip (yes, I'm that old). A tech pulled the drive unit out of a machine to show us where the data was stored. It looked like a stack of rust-colored LPs. (Wait, does anybody know what an LP looks like, anymore?)

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# posted by Anonymous Anonymous
1/16/2006 6:02 AM   
0.01/0.002 = 5. You've lost a decimal point somewhere.

Oh, and I've recently picked up a 250GB external hard drive for less than £100.

I have also seen and handled punched cards when very small.
# posted by Blogger Eugene
1/16/2006 9:34 AM   
The factor of 500 is a comparison to the first 1 GB drive I used 10 years ago. I'll throw in a parenthetical to clarify that a bit more.