May 26 2017

The Computer Chronicles – Storage Devices (1983)

Getting to another episode of The Computer Chronicles today, we have Storage Devices – the way we save our data. Today, we use hard drives with sizes easily in the terrabyte ranges, or solid state drives that while at a somewhat lower capacity provide incredibly fast read and write speeds. Hell, my phone, a budget grade Android smartphone, has as much on board storage (no, not “memory” but storage, to counter what so many people incorrectly say) as my computer from around 2001 did on its hard drive!

Anyway, this episode of Computer Chronicles is all about, you guessed it, Storage Device technology in 1983! Okay, so it isn’t nearly as exciting a subject as I’m making it out to be, but well, it’s still an important one to cover. We have gone from massive disks holding only a few Megabytes at most of data to not just the standard and slim format hard disks we know of, to tiny flash chips that can still hold over 100 Gigabytes of data in a piece of plastic smaller than a dime! It’s crazy to think about!

The video does have some odd “predictions” about the future that proved wrong, but in some ways, still correct – for example, the guy saying that “semiconductor storage will never beat out magnetic storage” didn’t know USB would be developed allowing easy insertion and removal of semiconductor-based storage – the “flash drive” we all know today. Others are silly though, like the smaller size floppies not taking over – this was the early days, where people didn’t think that we actually would abandon one standard for another, which we did, obviously, as technology advanced.

Something cool of note, the show a CED demonstrating how video storage devices might be able to be put into use with computers – something that actually would happen, to a degree, with the LaserDisc and later the Compact Disc, and the DVD. Isn’t the past looking into the future wonderful?

That’s why I share these videos with you – to show just how odd this era of computer technology was!

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