The History of Hard Drives

I had a huge amount of fun writing A History of Hard Drives for Backblaze. It’s a look back at the six-decade history of the spinning hard disk drive, and a peek at what’s to come.

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Hard to believe, but 2016 marks the 60th anniversary of the hard drive, which debuted with IBM’s RAMAC system back in 1956. The first commercial hard drive had less than 5 MB of storage capacity and was bigger than a refrigerator. Now you can cram terabytes onto a postage stamp-sized SD card.

This piece has some special meaning for me, because my first job “in the business,” as it were, was doing tech support for a storage peripheral maker called Micronet Technology, back in the late 1980s. We used Seagate and Connor hard drive mechanism, put them in SCSI-equipped external chassis, and sold them to Mac users. We were an early advocate of RAID, too, though it was entirely software-based.

Anyway, check it out. There are some fun facts along the way.

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