Computers have them, cars have them, phones, tablets and televisions have them. Hard drives store all of the digital information in existence. Whether it’s in your little laptop you were gifted 5 years ago, your Smart TV that you keep trying to finish the final season of The Office on Netflix, or a server at Google that helps you find what the weather is supposed to be like tomorrow, hard drives are vital to our daily lives. However, they haven’t always been used like they are today, and perhaps, in the future, will fade away to join 8-Tracks and Laser Disc.
IBM shaped the world
In 1956, a team of experts in San Jose developed the IBM 305 RAMAC computer, with a very capable 3.75MB of hard drive space. Today that might hold only a photo, but then, it was the first in a new era. This meant, for the first time, if a computer’s memory went bad, or shut off, all of the information would still be accessible and not lost, and constant tape backups were a thing of the past. In 1968, Memorex shipped the first hard drive to consumers that could hold up to 70MB. From that point on, the technology for both computers, and hard drives, became more and more prevalent in society, and also more affordable.
The spinning world stands still
Technically, the newer, Solid State Drive was invented alongside the current Hard drive, during the age of Vacuum computers in the 1950’s. Essentially, it’s a set of microchips that stores data instead of spinning discs. However, because of the affordability and reliability of the other technology, production and design ceased. Skip forward to the late 70’s and early 80’s and we begin to see the implementation of solid state drives in corporations for mobile computing, like on oil rigs. After being used and tested by the military for some time, due to their resistance to shock and drop damage, it wasn’t until around 2007 that we started using solid state technology on a mass consumer scale. With the technology being developed more, and price driven down, a new age dawned. This allowed for devices like iPods and iPhones, tablets, and other low power electronics to have storage, and run actual programs and operating systems on the go.
It’s obvious, the world is moving toward speed, and convenience. That really pushes the Solid-State Drive market forward, for now. However, a new type of storage has dawned in the last decade. Cloud storage has traditionally been used to keep a few important files safe, just in case something happens to our phones or computers. Businesses then started using it to do off-site backups, so viruses and power surges wouldn’t destroy all of their company data. Google is on the forefront of what will be tomorrows drive usage, which is cloud based computing. This means storage will no longer be needed with an internet connection. Files, pictures, programs, even operating systems could be run over the internet, with no hard drives needed. We’ll see what tomorrow brings, but in the meantime, stay connected, and prepare for the next big thing.