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Remember when 1GB hard drives were a huge amount of storage? Login/Join 
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When the latest generation of game consoles were announced a couple of years ago as coming standard with on 1TB of storage, the first thing I thought: why so limiting? (Without trying too hard--and not gaming all that much--I maxed out the resources on my old Xbox One with its "paltry" 1TB of storage)

Yes, things and perspective have certainly changed over the decades.

BTW, Iomega Zip Drives were sorta cool right up until one heard the dreaded 'Click of Death'. Very UNcool after that. One firm I worked for used Zip Drives for daily backups over a two week period, then would get written over. There were exactly two occasions where there was a need to recover files from a few days earlier, only to experience that cursed 'click'. After the second time, the firm invested in a proper file server with onsite backup capabilities, plus additional offsite backup services.

Posts: 1096 | Location: The commie, rainy side of WA | Registered: April 19, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I used to repair hard drives when I worked for Burroughs as a mainframe tech back in the 80's.

The main hard drive cabinets I worked on were the model B9494-5. Data storage was 65M per spindle with two spindles per cabinet. The cabinets stood about 4 feet high. The cabinets were tapped to run on 208V.

To load the pack in the drive it had to be screwed into the spindle. I think packs were between 18 and 24 inches in diameter with 3 usable platters, one head for each side of the platter.

There were multiple parts that could be replaced, heads, spindle, motors, belt, circuit boards, carriage and way assembly, etc.

As far as head replacement goes even if only one head was bad the tech should always replace all of them, 6 in total. Generally pack could be swapped between drives as long as the heads were aligned similarly between drives. As I recall every customer we had always liked to be able to swap packs between drives so the head alignment procure was done. After alignment the pack could be initialized and data loaded back onto it.

To do the alignment after the heads were replaced an alignment pack was screwed into the drive. The drive is spun up then using an oscilloscope and run box the head would be sent out to read cyclinder 496, 815 cylnders total. Each head was aligned one at a time. The head would be loosened and moved over the cylinder and observing the wave on the oscilloscope and the reading on the run box the heads would be locked down with a hand held torque wrench once the signal readings were correct. The pack would be spinning at 3600 rpm while the procedure was being done. The heads would ride just above the surface of the pack. We were told that the distance between the head and the pack was less than the diameter of a human hair. Even a fingerprint on the pack could cause the heads to crash. This was a very delicate procedure.

If we took calls where a head or heads actually crashed instead of generic failure to read or write we would always do a thorough examination of the drive to help determine what caused the crash such as debris on the carriage assembly.

If it was a system drive that was down then the system was down. There was no internet back then so when a banks system went down all the banks branches would also be down as they would only be using dumb terminals (centralized processing). Most of the customers that ran the B series systems were banks including the Federal Reserve Bank.

I've got a lot of fond memories of customers
and techs I worked with those years not to mention working on the systems and peripherals. I've done the head replacement and alignment procedure so many times I think I could even do it now some 30 plus years later.

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Posts: 571 | Location: Destrehan, La. U.S. | Registered: October 22, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Who can forget the IBM 5mb hard drive?

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Posts: 4792 | Location: Highland, UT | Registered: September 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Redleg06:
Or a 64K limit on RAM and running everything off 5.25" floppies. My first PC was a Kapro 64.

My mom sent me to computer camp in 1982 or 83 during the summer at Tampas Museum of Science and Industry. We used the TRS80….I thought it was super cool how we programmed the cursor to something different…took forever…

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Posts: 9545 | Location: Temple, Texas! | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The first computer system I was a user on was a Singer System 10 (yes singer sewing machine company). 105 k of core memory two 40 mb drives, assembler language. System was used in a manufacturing environment. We printed out miles of green bar printouts on line printers. Lack of storage required printing out daily detail but only storing week to date, month to date, year to date data. You want to do a detail search, dig out stacks of print outs.

Note this was in 70’s and system 10 used terminals not punched cards.
Posts: 892 | Registered: June 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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So after a bit of moving around and removing of some things and tweaks to a few settings with related programs, I got some room back on my drive Cool
Went from being in the red to having a bit over 1TB available again. I feel better now Big Grin Big Grin
Posts: 429 | Location: Sussex WI | Registered: April 04, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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First computer was a Compuadd 256 with optional large capacity RAM, 1 Meg of RAM. Standard issue was 600K.

We started out with WebTV and dial up.
Posts: 771 | Location: KC Metro MO | Registered: November 23, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peripheral Visionary
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More impressive still is the amount of storage on MicroSD cards now...

Posts: 10716 | Location: Texas | Registered: January 29, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The Operating Systems of today demand Huge amounts of space, all by themselves.


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Posts: 7810 | Location: 18 miles long, 6 Miles at Sea | Registered: January 22, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Since some are also recounting their earliest experiences with computers, I'll add that the Navy's AN/YUK-7 with 100kb of memory and 9 track tapes was my first.

As for personal computers my first was an Atari 800XL I won and then modified with bank selecting 64k memory modules for a total of 256k and toggle selected EPROM Operating systems (Atari OS and SpartaDOS) and a disassembler.

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Posts: 14149 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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