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Saturday, 27 March 2010

Size Matters.

Today, i ordered a new USB memory stick. Partly because of a trip i am taking soon. But, also because in these memory hungry days you just seem to have to upgrade every so often, don't you?
Now, this new memory stick is a 16GB version. Which i suppose this is pretty large? But, it suddenly dawned on me that at 16GB, this actually makes the USB stick bigger than the first computer i ever owned!

Ok, so i did own a Sinclair ZX Spectrum back in the 1980's. But, i'm not sure that that really counts. Maybe it was a sign of things to come though?

What gets me about all of this, is just how quickly this has all happened.
I really can't remember when i bought my first "proper" computer. But, the fact that it had a 13GB hard drive should date it pretty well & that was considered big back then, honest!
I do remember though that my father-in-laws first PC had a 2.5GB hard drive.

Now, my present computer has a 250GB hard drive & i also have three external hard drives. the biggest of which is 1 Terrabyte in size.

Boy, we really have a long way in such a seemingly short time. I didn't really expect to get to the point where i had to start thinking about updating my USB memory sticks. Well, not this soon anyway.

I wonder if we will now start to look back with affection to those "pioneer" days of personal computing when the only external hard drive available was a 1.44MB floppy disk. I used to have boxes of those & only threw the last of them away fairly recently.  I doubt that you can even buy floppy disks today.

Yes, i know that there were personal computers around before even floppy disks arrived. But, i'm thinking more of when PC's became far more widely available & their use more widespread.

All of this suggests to me that maybe Moores Law, where the number of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit board doubles approximately every two years, works for computer hard drives as well?

Where will this all end? Who knows?
But, if Moores Law does hold true for hard drive space, we have a long way to go yet.
I wonder what the name is for 1,000 Terrabytes?


  1. Your first computer had a 13Gb drive? Must have been fairly recently. I'm pretty sure my first Mac had the newly expanded and over-sized 80Mb hard drive. Yes, that's "megas" not "gigs." And, of course, the box of 1.44 Mb floppies. And if you really need some, I can take you to a store where the still sell those things ;^)

    Oh, and Moore's Law always applies.

  2. I could be wrong about the size of that hard drive. But, that's the first figure i can remember.
    I had a feeling you'd have been a computer geek before me. Not sure why?
    I bet you were pretty happy with that 80mb hard drive, at the time, weren't you?