Tuesday, January 6, 2009

$2500 15 MB Radio Shack hard drive

I'm not sure when this dates from, but regardless, it's hard to imagine what people did with all that space!

I read somewhere that, back in the day (early '90s?), someone wrote a flight simulator program that was around 450K. I might be off on the exact figure, but it was less than a meg.

I also remember reading a William Gibson story (Johnny Mnemonic?) where a badass data courier had a whopping 100 megabytes of storage on his head chip!

I always figured that if one would write a spec-fic story featuring computer technology, jack your capacity and performance to well beyond what you will think it will be and then multiply that by a million. Then it might not seem so ridiculous to someone reading it 15 years later.

from Colt + Rane
via watcher of the skies


Bunk Strutts said...

Cool. My apple IIe was awesome, once I enhanced it from 64k to 128k. It booted from a floppy, and had a built-in modem, too.

airport_whiskey said...

It is extra awesome in that it can be locked with a key. I remember our BlazerXT from when I was a kid, and that it had a 4mb hard drive which seemed unimaginably huge at the time.

Now, just under 20 years later, LaCie has come out with a 2TB external drive for about one tenth the price. Which would have been about the right amount for Johnny to have carried in his head...

John M. said...


I was hoping someone would share their stone-age computer stories!

airport_whiskey said...

Built in modem? That's some fancy stuff. Ours was a hefty brick, capable of stunning 2400 baud speeds. It was great for pre-internet BBS's and text-based gaming action. When we made the transition to a VGA color screen, I couldn't believe what I had been missing. Before that everything was just shades of green.

Then we got a Macintosh SE-30 for graphic design and the like and I've used Apple ever since, but I still kinda miss my old C prompt.

Alan Evil said...

My brother had a Timex Sinclair computer that used a cassette drive for storage. He had upgraded the internal memory from 4MB to 8MB!!!

John M. said...

My earliest computer memory (other than pong and some punch card gizmo we played with in Cub Scouts) was playing Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and some other adventure game on an ancient green-screen computer. Don't remember anything else about it. I remember playing with one of the earliest Macs in 1984. All this other stuff is Greek to me. Pretty cool, though.

I was always good at working my way around these things, but my technical knowledge was limited. I've learned a lot in the last 10 years or so.