We have a quick quiz for you techie folks out there. Back in the 1950′s storage was measured not in how much the drive can hold, but how big it was. Storage units were measured in feet, and sometimes even in ton’s. Back then the state of the art drive was the IBM’s RAMAC 305; it consisted of two refrigerator-size boxes that weighed about a ton each. One box held 40 24-inch dual-sided magnetic disk platters; a carriage with two recording heads suspended by compressed air moved up and down the stack to access the disks. The other cabinet contained the data processing unit, the magnetic process drum, magnetic core register and electronic logical and arithmetic circuits.
So if you had to take a guess, relative to inflation and other factors, what would the cost of todays 1TB hard drive, which can be had for under $100 bucks, be back in the 1950′s? If you guessed a few billion you are WAY off. Try over $1 trillion dollars. Interesting to learn indeed.