Tuesday, December 16, 2008

10,000 Megabytes for a Buck!

I blogged about the declining price of storage when the first terabyte drives for consumers came on the market, and then again when the price dropped below $250 for a terabyte drive. I recently bought my first one terabyte drive when I saw this Microcenter ad. To put this in perspective, the ad is selling, for $99.99, about $8 million dollars worth of data storage (at 1985 prices).

Do I need a terabyte drive? Not really, not right away maybe; but you have to realize this is a significant moment for an old timer like me. My first hard disk computer was a Kaypro CP/M machine with a 10 megabyte drive. The price of that system was around $3,000 when it was introduced.

When I built my first PC from scratch in 1985--using a hand soldered motherboard I picked up at a Silicon Valley swap meet, with a BIOS chip flashed in an actual Silicon Valley garage--the 30 megabyte hard drive that I put in it cost me $250 cash, handed over at the back door of a Sunnyvale warehouse just off the 101.

To be clear, that was 30 mega-bytes. Of which there are 1000 or so in a gigabyte. So at that rate the cost of a terabyte of storage would have worked out to be somewhere North of $8 million! So when I saw a price tag of $99.99 on a 1TB Western Digital drive, I just had to buy it. After all, it represents over $80,000 of 1985 storage for a dollar of 2008 money.

What am I going to do with this drive? Probably put it in my trusty IBM Thinkcenter box in place of the current 200 gig drive. Then I can use the 200 gig drive as a laptop backup device and the 1TB drive will be a central repository for all the video files I have been accumulating from various projects. I had been shifting  them to data DVD at the end of each project to keep my laptop drives from maxxing out, but then I find I need the files again and I put the DVD down somewhere and...you know how that goes.

Much easier to keep files online, luxuriating in the amazingly affordable vastness of a terabyte drive, for just pennies a megabyte.

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