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Hard drives turn 50 today!

Cyrus Farivar

Fifty years ago, all of us at Engadget weren't even a glimmer in our mothers' eyes -- in fact, now that we think about it probably most of our parents hadn't even met yet. By that logic, it's hard for us to imagine a world without hard drives, which were born 50 years ago today, back on September 13, 1956. On that fateful day IBM created the original -- called the RAMAC 305 -- which held around 5 MB of data at the cost of $10,000 per megabyte, and was the size of two refrigerators. By 1980, Big Blue had one-upped itself with the introduction of the first one gigabyte hard drive, which was half the physical size, weighed 550 pounds, and cost only $40,000. Flash forward to 2006, where the fingernail-size microSD card kicking around in our cell phones and cameras these days (albeit not a hard drive) now costs about $10 per gigabyte -- gotta love the march of technology. By that logic, we should have a new type of terabyte storage device to carry around by about 2056, probably embedded in our bodies and hard-wired to our brains.

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