Storage — Then and Now

(revised November 2015)
by Rich Pasco

In 1956, the IBM RAMAC system 350 Disk File stored about 5 megabytes and required a fork-lift to load onto an airplane (see left picture below). It's hard to estimate a cost, because IBM never sold the disk drive individually, only leased it as part of a full system, but a fair estimate might be $50,000.

In 2015, 59 years later, over twenty-five thousand times as much data can be stored on a device which costs just $25 and hangs on your key ring.


ramac 1956 Lexar 128 GB Flash Drive
1956 2015
IBM Lexar
RAMAC 350 JumpDrive
5 MB 128 GB
$50,000 $25 at Costco
References: 1 | 2 | 3