... the punch card mess and of course 14 inch hard drive platters that were 3 to 10 MB's...
Yep. You ever drop a box of cards like I did? LOL If I remember right, a single 14" hard drive platter was ~3MBytes and a 3 platter stack was ~10MBytes. And these were vertically loaded, flat, in a small washing machine sized box. The disc cartridges were "sealed", but I think you could open them so you could clean the discs off with compressed air, but I could be wrong. I last used one in 1979-1981 hooked to a DEC PDP-11. (A 16 bit machine which originally came with only 32K BYTES of internal memory.) You had to start the machine by loading the boot instruction sequence manually with switches on the front panel. Lots of pretty blinking lights on the front panel, too!
This pic, and the bottom box on the right:
is JUST the CPU if I remember right. The box is 19" wide and cost $20,000 in 1973. (Average US income in 1973 $12,900, average cost of a house #32,500, gas 40 cents/gallon)
Here's a pic of Dennis M. Ritchie (standing) and Ken L. Thompson (seated), inventors of UNIX, at Bell Labs in front of a DEC PDP-11 computer, ca 1970. Courtesy, Computer History Museum.
You notice there is no CRT screen. Today, the cheapest cell phone that is given away is probably faster, more powerful, and has more memory than that whole wall of equipment. An iPhone definitely is. Kids today have it made.
And when 8 bit microcomputers came out, the above is a minicomputer LOL, bulk storage was paper tape, then cassette tape, then floppy discs. They were 8" in diameter, stored about a megabyte and really were "floppy" which is how they got their name. http://en.wikipedia....iki/Floppy_disk
. 5 1/4" discs were developed because many of the computer applications of the day didn't need that much storage space. An entire megabyte? Who would ever use it all? OK, enough ancient history.
Cheers and Regards
Edited by bphlpt, 04 February 2012 - 03:25 PM.