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The Hard Disk Drive turns 50

September 14, 2006 Awww shucks – we missed another birthday. Yesterday was the big FIVE OH of the hard disk drive, as on September 13, 1956, IBM shipped the 305 RAMAC. The 305 was the first magnetic hard disk for data storage, and RAMAC (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control) technology became the industry standard in short order. The storage capacity of the 305's 50 two-foot diameter disks was 5 megabytes of data, cost tens of thousands of dollars a year to lease and weighed in at more than a ton (that's it pictured with the girl on top). Just to put it all in perspective, the modern computer is 60 (born February 14, 1946), the colour television is also 50 (born July, 1954), the digital camera is 30 (born October 7, 1975), the Apple II that became the first successful mass-produced PC is 29 (born April 17, 1977), the Sony Walkman (arguably the first identifiable forefather of the MP3 player) is 27 (born July 1, 1979), the IBM PC that started the whole IBM PC-compatible boom is 25 (born August 12, 1981), the computer virus is 20 (first known occurrence January, 1986), the MP3 is just 11 (born July 14, 1995) and the banner advert is 11 (born October 25, 1994). The first computer? Try 184 years old, for Charles Babbage’s programmable, steam-powered, “difference engine” and the world’s first computer programmer (Babbage's assistant and daughter of English poet Lord Byron, Augusta Ada King, the Countess of Lovelace) would be 191. Some excellent piccies in the image library with this story.  Read More

Infrant Technologies Releases new ReadyNAS NV Network Attached Storage Product.

February 6, 2006 Infrant Technologies has just released an new addition to their already excellent ReadyNAS line of small NAS servers, the ReadyNAS NV. As digital life requires ever more personal digital storage, maybe it’s time to look at one of the new Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices now available – think of these as personal and small business equivalents to the large files servers that corporations use. Of the devices that we've seen, Infrant Technologies' ReadyNAS 600/X6, and their new ReadyNAS NV have impressed us the most. Dave Weinstein had the chance to test the new NV device and found it was smaller than its predecessor with hot swappable drives and a faster processor. Infrant even supports UPNP-AV (universal plug-and-play audio visual extensions), so when you store all your music on your ReadyNAS, you'll be able to access it from your media PC or media center extender or any other device compatible with the standard.  Read More

4.0GB from Toshiba’s 0.85-Inch Hard Disk Drive

September 8, 2005 Toshiba continues to push the envelope on small form factor storage with its latest market introduction, a multi-gigabyte hard drive that is 0.85 inches in diameter.It was in June that we announced Toshiba had cracked the 2 GB barrier with its .85 inch hard drive so we guess it was about time they announced another breakthrough – at IFA this week, the Japanese company announced that the same drive has now been increased to 4 gigabytes capacity. Only a quarter the size of a 1.8-inch hard disk drive and about the size of a postage stamp, the 0.85-inch HDD will boost the functionality of a new generation of products, including mobile phones, digital audio players, PDAs, digital still cameras, camcorders and more.  Read More

More “Groundbreaking” Hard Disc Drives

June 9, 2005 A travelling Martian could be excused for confusing the digital storage and construction industries as it seems not a month goes by without a number of significant “groundbreaking firsts” in both camps. Whatever problems humanity will face in the future, massive digital storage in a very small form factor will not be one of them. In an industry characterised by extreme competitiveness and a level of excellence that can be quantified, each new product range seems to hold a number of “groundbreaking firsts.” Seagate’s new range of disc drives was released yesterday and the product plans outlined point to a future where every one of our main possessions has its own specifically-designed disc drive. What began as home PC storage capacity has been supplemented by digital storage in PDAs, MP3 players, game consoles, digital cameras and personal video recorders (PVR) and will soon be added to in our automobiles and mobile phones. Yesterday’s Seagate announcement included a number of “groundbreaking storage firsts” designed to enable a range of consumer electronics and traditional applications, including the first 2.5-inch hard drive using perpendicular recording, the first hard drive with Full Disc Encryption, the first 8GB 1-inch hard drive for handhelds capacities and a ruggedised hard drive designed specifically for automotive applications.  Read More

Hitachi lays groundwork for 20-GB Microdrive with century-old technology

TOKYO – April 5, 2005 – It seems like once a month that we write about the promise of a radical new digital storage medium. Accordingly, it’s ironic that Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has announced new advancements to a century-old magnetic recording technology that will set the stage for ultra-high capacities such as a 20-gigabyte Microdrive or a one terabyte 3.5-inch hard drive. To achieve this, Hitachi has demonstrated the industry's highest data density at 230 gigabits per square inch (Gb/in2) on perpendicular recording. Hitachi believes 230 Gb/in2, which represents a doubling of today's highest longitudinal recording densities, will be implemented in commercial hard drive products in 2007. When fully realised over the next 5-7 years, perpendicular recording could enable a 10-fold increase in data densities over longitudinal recording, paving the way for new heights in capacity such as a 60 GB one-inch drive.  Read More

Hard Disk Drives Expected to Move Beyond the PC

November 8, 2004 As the PC market matures and the amount of digital content available to the consumer and the desire to store it continues to increase, the number of devices integrating hard disk drives in consumers' homes will explode, according to In-Stat/MDR. As a result, the high-tech market research firm expects that, while hard drives in the CE segment represented about 5% of the total hard drive market in 2003, they will represent about 33% of the market by 2008. With this segment representing a variety of opportunities for storage companies, shipments of CE with integrated hard drives are expected to represent a very attractive 67.1% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) over the 2003-2008 period.  Read More

Slimline pocket drive holds up to 60GB

Tuesday October 14, 2003: "Size" - in terms of both data capacity and physical dimensions - is the operative word when it comes to what is now an indispensable tool for most regular computer users: the portable external hard-drive. The Gold Pockey USB 2.0 demonstrates just how far the available technology has advanced on both counts...  Read More

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