Thursday, February 10, 2005

Moore's Law and Then Some

Earlier this week I finally broke down and ordered a sorely needed new hard drive, along with a GeForce 6600GT.

The new 250G drive, coupled with the already present 120G and 160G drives means our primary computer is now sporting a mind-boggling 530G of space, or about half a terabyte.

Interestingly the very first hard drive I ever bought on my own (as opposed to hard drives supplied by my parents) was a Western Digital 540MB drive. This was back in early 1994, when it was pretty much the largest mainstream IDE drive you could get.

At the time I had just started working at Best Buy, and really needed the drive (I think it completed a computer, so that I could have one of my own). Unfortunately you couldn't use your employee discount at Best Buy until you had been employed for 90 days. Instead I had to convince Brenden to buy it for me with his discount.

I believe at the time the drive was retailing for $399, or about 74 cents a megabyte. With the discount, I believe the drive ended up being a bit less then $350 or somewhere around 64 cents a megabyte.

I distinctly remember being really pumped at the awesome deal I was getting, and plotting all the ways I would be able to fill up such a gigantic drive. I installed every game we had, installed Slackware Linux (off a tape drive no less), had an OS/2 Warp partition, and generally wasted space left and right and was still not able to use up the whole drive for quite a while.

Roughly 11 years later, my computer now has almost 1000 times the space, outpacing Moore's Law by a healthy margin.

And none of the three drives were even close to the price of that old 540M drive. In fact, if I was willing to get normal EIDE drives I'm sure I could easily get 540G of space for less then the $350 I spend back in 1994.

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