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6 hours ago, Arcadia said:

Did hard drives exist before the 70's?

Well, I think disc drives been around for a little while at least, but mostly on those older computers that took up an entire room.  I once had a conversation with a programmer from those early days; she told me that in order to do maintenance they would walk inside the computer.  ("Where's Charlie?"  "Oh, he's over in Bit 3.")

My programming experience occurred mostly in the minicomputer era (when computers were "only" the size of a refrigerator).  Disc drives were very popular then.  The drives we used could hold as much as 5 megabytes!  And our computer's main memory was 8 kilobybtes!  The systems could be used in a normal office environment, with prices somewhere in five figures (equivalent to far more now).  We didn't refer to our storage devices as "hard" drives, by the way, because "floppy" discs (remember those?) weren't invented till a few years later.

Of course nowadays you can go to Walmart and buy a much faster laptop with far more memory and far more storage for a couple hundred bucks.

 

 

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Rockefeller-Center-Claps-Back-After-2020

 

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36145190-8990345-image-a-124_16064203704

 

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On 11/25/2020 at 12:23 AM, Carol the Dabbler said:

Well, I think disc drives been around for a little while at least, but mostly on those older computers that took up an entire room.  I once had a conversation with a programmer from those early days; she told me that in order to do maintenance they would walk inside the computer.  ("Where's Charlie?"  "Oh, he's over in Bit 3.")

Didn't those use magnetic tape? (Or is that just what they looked like?)

Hard to imagine that the first computer I used didn't even have any storage; you put one disc in and loaded the program, then took that out and put in another disc to save your files to. That did teach me some very good habits ... save your files often, and back them up!  Of course, both of those are now done automatically......

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5 hours ago, Arcadia said:

Didn't those use magnetic tape?


The ones in movies and tv sure did!  Those filmed "computers" were presumably just big cabinets with blinking lights and huge tape drives (or something that looked like them) whirling away.  Disc drives aren't very dramatic -- all the action takes place where you can't see it.

 

6 hours ago, Arcadia said:

the first computer I used didn't even have any storage; you put one disc in and loaded the program, then took that out and put in another disc to save your files to.


*ahem*  That was your storage -- it was simply removable.  The first computer that I used was similar, all the discs were removable, which gave us a fair amount of flexibility and minimized the danger of running out of space.  Ours had two drives, though, so we could make backup copies.

Big computers of that era had much larger disc drives, with multiple discs sort of stacked on top of one another.  I'm not sure those were removable (other than by a repair tech).

 

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