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Claim: Photograph shows a 1956 computer disk memory storage unit.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, January 2007]
Origins: When mid-20th century prognosticators tried to imagine what life would be like in the
In 1956, IBM introduced the 305 RAMAC system, generally acknowledged as the first (commercially successful) computer to feature what we would now call a "disk drive" or "hard drive" (i.e., data stored on a magnetic disk and accessed via a moving head). An EETimes article described RAMAC's capabilities and size as follows:
It started with a product announcement in May of 1955. IBM Corp. was introducing a product that offered unprecedented random-accessWhat is pictured above is the IBM 350 disk storage unit utilized by the IBM 305 RAMAC:
The disk drive was big, not quite ready for today's laptop. With its vacuum-tube control electronics, the RAMAC (for "random-access method of accounting and control") occupied the space of two refrigerators and weighed a ton. It stored those
The 350 Disk Storage Unit consisted of the magnetic disk memory unit with its access mechanism, the electronic and pneumatic controls for the access mechanism, and a small air compressor. Assembled with covers, the 350 wasAn IBM RAMAC 305 with a 350 disk storage unit leased for about $3,200 per month back in 1957. Over a thousand of the
Disks rotated at 1,200 rpm, tracks (20 to the inch) were recorded at up to
With storage capacities of 5 million and 10 million digits, and the capability to be installed either singly or in pairs, the 350 provided the
Last updated: 4 December 2007
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