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.

History of hard drive 768x432

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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