The hard drive turns 50

From the Mercury News:

On Sept. 13, 1956, an IBM lab at 99 Notre Dame Road in San Jose began shipping a product that changed history.

It is Silicon Valley’s unsung hero, though it taught us bits and the mega, giga, tera, peta and exa bytes. Dubbed RAMAC, or Random Access Method of Accounting and Control, it was the original hard drive, a funny-looking giant machine with 50 spinning, 24-inch-wide disks covered with red paint.

It cost about $50,000 a year to lease in 1956 dollars — equivalent to nearly $350,000 today — and had 5 megabytes of information, about enough space to store one song on an iPod.

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