Holy crap! My new 1GB USB drive is tiny!

When thumb drives first started becoming a thing, 15+ years ago, 256K on a drive was fairly common. I spent 99 bucks on one. .

In 2009, I bought a 2 gig micro-SD card (for a camera, I think) that was two gig, for about 12 bucks including a very tiny USB reader. I think the card alone was 6 bucks. The card was about the size of my little fingernail. In 2011 I bought a 32G card, for about 79 bucks - so about half as much per gig in 2 years. I just looked at Amazon and a 1 TB card is about 139 bucks. 30 times the capacity of the 2011 one, for twice the price. Or roughly 15 times as much storage per dollar as the 2011 card - over 10 years. It might be interesting to plot the price per gig over time to see if it’s accelerating or decelerating.

In 2019 I bought a 500 gig solid state hard drive (i.e. not just the memory card, but a full unit) that fits in a small pocket, for about 90 dollars. So: more $$ per unit of storage than the 1 TB micro USB card right now, but then this is a fully functional solid-state drive. Those are actually still selling for about the same price - I just checked.

My first job out of college, 40 years ago, involved an IBM mainframe. When the company began to have budget cuts, one way they saved money was to cancel a memory upgrade - 8 kilobytes. I suspect my Metro card’s built-in chip has that much memory!

Other price points: We bought our first Mac, an SE, in 1986 (I think). It had a whopping 1 meg in internal memory. - AND it took the 3.5 inch floppies that held 800K apiece. Woohoo! We later upgraded it, for a couple hundred bucks, to have 2.5 meg. AND, we bought an external hard drive: 20 meg, for 600 dollars.

I seem to remember the first hard drive my company bought was a 10MB hard drive for a first gen Mac. Scuzzy! I think it was a thousand bucks. Just bought a 5TB drive for $100 at Costco.

And you had to replace it every 2-3 years.

When I was in grad school my group had one of those washing machine sized disk drives attached to our PDP-11. Each of us had our own disk pack. I don’t know what its capacity was, since I never came close to filling it up.
Filling up core memory was something I did often, though. I think we had 18K or something. Yes, not a power of 2.

My first job was at Memorex in the late 1970s, writing test software for one of those washing-machine-sized disk drives. The disk pack (the platters) was removable; you’d screw a plastic handle into the top of the stack of platters, pull them up out of the drive and put them in a storage box. My software was supposed to detect bad sectors, map them out, and perform what to me at the time seemed an amazingly sophisticated algorithm to detect linear chains of defects and map out any gaps in the line, under the assumption that the platter surface was scratched, and any sectors covered by the scratch which still appeared to be good were probably marginal and would fail some day.

Kids and their fancy “disk drives” and “core memory”. Real Programmers made do with these

$500 cheap for a 256-bit tube (late 1940s dollars). Keep it warmed up!

In about 1970 or 1971 a disk drive company offered to send defective disks to anyone who wanted one, to prove how good their testing was, I suppose. My friend and I got one. Then we rolled it down the corridor of the MIT Computer Center, and freaked those people right out.

I remember zip drives

what a lovely museum pieces …

ok rewritten post

I remember zip drives i laughed when they came out because hell I remembered when you hooked up a cassette tape player to some of the micros and the damn things never worked right, I

funny story : I remember one that did for my VIC 20 and had “lemonade” on it … it was a grade school math lesson disguised as running a lemonade stand for a week …

Well since it was on a normal cassette tape my dad accidentally grabbed it with hit tapes when he had to go somewhere and played it in the car …it sounded like an old analog modem

he thought the radio was messed up and was taking it out of the car and messing with the speakers up until he remembered I had games on tape …

I remember my first USB thumb drive I got in the early 2000’s and could hold up to 128mb of files which didn’t seem that big even at the time as most computer games were already at least 1GB by then. It was mainly useful for actual work related reasons, transporting WordPad or PowerPoint presentations and smaller videos.

when i bought my first 1 gb drive i think 500 mb was ike a 3 cd game …

I think you’re misremembering. The earliest CD-ROMs could handle 650MB of data per disc. You’d need at least 2 GB to fit three of them. That is, unless compression factors in in some way.

Now a 500MB drive would be more than three ZIP disks. ZIP disks did very quickly become obsolete with the advent of cheap writeable CD-R and later rewriteable CD-RW. And then, with the advent of flash drives and such, they lost their speed advantage. They made sense as a technology to pursue at the time they came out, but the sunset of portable magnetic storage was not far behind.