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Hard Drives Down To A Dollar A Gigabyte 736

Posted by timothy
from the inflection-points dept.
Junky191 writes "I doubt anyone else noticed this- but today is the first day where mass storage is available for $1 per gigabyte (according to pricewatch,). There are several stores now selling 120GB models for $120 shipped. This is truly an amazing milestone for those of us who once spent $500 for the fantastically large 10MB models. I just can't wait for the days when things are $1/TB." With discounts, the price has been that low for a little while.
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Hard Drives Down To A Dollar A Gigabyte

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  • This is old news. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Faggot (614416) <choads.gay@com> on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:32PM (#5056639) Homepage
    Disreputable dealers have had 120GB for $110 for months now. FP, btw.
  • Buck a gig (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:34PM (#5056655) Homepage Journal

    Leet, now I won't feel so bad knowning that my swap space is only worth a buck.
  • Perspective... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Yoda2 (522522) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:36PM (#5056668)
    1957, the first hard drive was introduced as a component of IBM's RAMAC 350. It required 50 24-inch disks to store five megabytes (million bytes, abbreviated MB) of data and cost roughly $35,000 a year to lease - or $7,000 per megabyte per year. For years, hard disk drives were confined to mainframe and minicomputer installations. Vast "disk farms" of giant 14- and 8-inch drives costing tens of thousands of dollars each whirred away in the air conditioned isolation of corporate data centers.
    • It required 50 24-inch disks to store five megabytes

      That gives me a crazy idea: RAID5 with floppy disks! I'm sure this would have been big in the 60's, but alas, I was born too late.
      • Re:Perspective... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by PD (9577)
        That's what it would take for them to be reliable. Is it just me, or is everyone finding that out of 10 disks they pick up, about 8 of them won't even format properly?
        • Re:Perspective... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by slipgun (316092)
          That's what it would take for them to be reliable. Is it just me, or is everyone finding that out of 10 disks they pick up, about 8 of them won't even format properly?

          Not quite that bad, but certainly at least a third of the disks I buy won't format. Never mind, shouldn't be much longer before I'm exclusively using CDs to boot.
          • *Risks the wrath of the moderators by going off topic to release a bee from a bonnet*

            Finally! Someone else notices the problem!

            I'm not usually one for conspiracy theories, but I'm sure floppy disks aren't as reliable as they used to be. I can remember carting 3.5" disks around the place for *ages* before they died out... now it seems that if you drop one of the things then it will become unusable.

            So, who is behind it? Is it the manufacturers of the floppy drives, or the manufacturers of the floppy disks? Have Iomega secretly bought out every single one of the floppy disk manufacturers?

            Oh well, it gives an opportunity for even young people to state 'They don't make them like they used to' :)
            • I can remember carting 3.5" disks around the place for *ages* before they died out.
              At the risk of turning this into a dick-measuring contest, I had a 5.25" that I folded clear in half by accident in sixth grade or so. Creased and everything, and man was I pissed.

              Encyclopedia to the rescue! I put it inside one volume and then stacked a half dozen more over top of it, and left it for a couple days. Worked fine, not even a bad sector - I have no idea why not. I guess I lucked out and nothing shifted while it was bent, so nothing scraped.
            • "I'm not usually one for conspiracy theories, but I'm sure floppy disks aren't as reliable as they used to be. I can remember carting 3.5" disks around the place for *ages* before they died out... now it seems that if you drop one of the things then it will become unusable."

              True. If you look at older discs (1990s era) the two halves of plastic are glued all the way around. The 'new' floppies are only glued in the corners so lint, grease, etc can get in and wreck them more easily.

    • by image (13487) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:55PM (#5056903) Homepage
      > 1957, the first hard drive was introduced as a component of IBM's RAMAC 350. It required 50 24-inch disks to store five megabytes (million bytes, abbreviated MB) of data and cost roughly $35,000 a year to lease - or $7,000 per megabyte per year.

      Man, I knew I should have waited a little while longer before buying one of these.

      It always happens. You buy the hottest/fastest toy out, and just 46 years later they're releasing something seven million times better.
    • Re:Perspective... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by John Harrison (223649) <johnharrison@gma ... minus physicist> on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:57PM (#5056932) Homepage Journal
      At the Gates Building (yes, it is that Gates) home of the Stanford CS department they had an interesting display near the entrance. It was a platter from the first hard drive the university ever owned. It was part of a card catalog system at Green Library. It is huge. If I remember correctly it was about 4 feet in diameter and an inch thick of solid metal. There was a large gouge in it where they had a head crash once. I can't remember how much it stored (7 megabytes sticks in my head for some reason) by the density was very low. The plaque next to it said that it wasn't very reliable and generated lots of heat.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 10, 2003 @03:22PM (#5057204)
      In this paper, dates were predicted for a megabyte per buck, a gigabyte per buck, and a terabyte per buck. I recall that this 1980 paper predicted a gigabyte per buck in 1999; pretty close!

      Jonathan V. Post, "Quintillabit: Parameters of a Hyperlarge Database", Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Very Large Databases,
      Montreal, Canada, 1-3 October 1980

      By the way, Post named in this article the "Shannon" = 1 mole of bits = 6.02 x 10^23 bits.

      Now THAT's a big memory!
    • Re:Perspective... (Score:5, Informative)

      by cr@ckwhore (165454) on Friday January 10, 2003 @03:24PM (#5057246) Homepage
      FYI, the parent post is a quote taken from this web page: http://www.angelfire.com/pq/pcmuseum/storage.html
    • Re:Perspective... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pclminion (145572) on Friday January 10, 2003 @03:28PM (#5057288)
      Heh. Work out the math using a 120 gig drive with those kind of costs.

      To lease a 120 gig drive at the same rate per megabyte would cost $860,160,000. For the purposes of that calculation I assumed 1024 megs per gig.

      Almost a BILLION dollars per year. Crazy.

      Work it out a different way. I picked up a 60 gig drive for about $75. That's about one-tenth of a cent per meg. (0.122 cents to be precise). This means the cost per meg has gone down by a factor of 5.7 million.

  • "$500 for the fantastically large 10MB models"?!?

    I once paid $1000 for a 100K floppy drive!

    (For my fantastically advanced TRS-80 Model III)

    So there!
  • Yeah, great (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    $120 for 120GB. That's lovely, but what about reliability? Where did that go?
    • Re:Yeah, great (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fmaxwell (249001)
      So show me some statistics to support your contention that today's drives are less reliable. No, I don't want to know some third-hand story about your wife's friend's brother who said his hard drive failed. I want real, statistically significant numbers.
    • Actually I've gotten several of these cheap drives and they seem to be doing fine. I was a little paranoid because I usually only buy Western Digital but for this project massive amounts of storage was more important than reliability.. anyway they seem to be working pretty well. Mostly Maxtor drives I've found at this price range.
  • by Cyclopedian (163375) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:37PM (#5056683) Journal
    Time to burn some Karma...

    Bah! You kids with your newfangled hard drives! Why, in my day, we worked with ferro-magnetic drives. Sure, the magnets were big, and they were powerful, and dammit if you didn't get a nice buzz while working around these things. That was the way it was, AND we liked it!

    AND I had to walk uphill! Twice! In the snow! Buzzed out of my mind!

    /end Old Man Rant

    • by RatBastard (949) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:47PM (#5056809) Homepage
      Well, I *DID* walk to school in the snow. Down to about -30 degrees F. Below that I could stay home. Granted, this was when I lived in Fairbanks, AK in the 1970's, but still..

      What what pointless rants are we going to fling at our grandkids?
      "Why, when I was your age we didn't have PVRs! You had to record your shows to tape!"
      "Spoiled brats! We didn't have cable TV until I was twelve!"
      "Oh, the teleporter is too slow? We had to drive for an hour in a car!"

      and other pointless irate ramblings.
    • by jackjumper (307961) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:53PM (#5056888)
      *Zeros*!?! You had zeros????

      All we had was the letter 'O'...
    • by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101.gmail@com> on Friday January 10, 2003 @03:04PM (#5057007) Homepage Journal

      Why, in my day, we worked with ferro-magnetic drives.

      You had MAGNETIC disks?? In MAH day, we lopped off the end of a wooden log and put pits in the wood with a chisel! And we spun it with a hand-crank! You jus' TRY cranking the disk with one hand while yer typing with the other hand! Damn sap gettin' all over the place...

    • by lostboy2 (194153) on Friday January 10, 2003 @03:15PM (#5057124)
      Heh. I still have my old "portable" (size of a suitcase) Zenith with TWO 5-1/4" floppy drives (no HD). TWO! No more swapping floppies when you want to run a program *and* save something, or when you want to copy a file from one floppy to another. L33T!

      "When I was a kid, we didn't have 'L33t'. All we had was 'Cool', and we were damned glad to have it!"

  • it's all relative (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jpsst34 (582349) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:38PM (#5056695) Journal
    I just can't wait for the days when things are $1/TB.


    And at the same time, our storage needs are 2^10 times as large due to 10^3 more data, 10^3 more illicit mp3's, 10^3 more pr0n, 10^3 more overhead in a microsoft binary document format, etc., etc., etc.

    • by Duds (100634) <{dudley} {at} {enterspace.org}> on Friday January 10, 2003 @04:58PM (#5058189) Homepage Journal
      True, but we may have reached a slight plateau.

      Sound files are not getting much bigger per minute. Totally uncompressed audio is no more than 5MB/min tops in a format like shn.

      Video isn't going to get a heck of a lot bigger than DVD-Video sizes.

      I mean, the 40MB drive I had just over a decade ago, no music, no video. And that's what's driving it.

      Unless someone finds a huge new use for space (delete microsoft joke) then maybe it'll at least slow.

      course it won't stop immediately. But Music, then Video drove expansion in size. What NEW is coming along to do that?
      • Home video, maybe? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by 2nd Post! (213333)
        While a DVD may only be on the order of gigabytes, the raw video used to make that DVD is going to be on the order of hundreds of gigabytes, and what with Apple's push for iLife (iMovie3, iDVD3), I don't think there's any problems at all with sucking up 200gb in making a home movie masterpiece.

        Now imagine when Apple releases the home consumer version of Shake (for compositing and SFX) or Logic Audio (for home music composing), and it's easy to imagine the need for more storage. The movies you make, the raw footage, the intermediate files, etc.
  • by evilpenguin (18720) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:38PM (#5056697)
    I'd applaud this too, if only the reliability weren't going down faster than the price. Hell, I'll sell you a 5-inch-footprint hunk of metal that won't work for just $50. I'll even stamp 50TB on it.

    So, in other words, I agree that it is a milestone, but I think they are already pushing the technology and cutting QA corners to get the price point. I will always either pay more for my drives, or by about 20% lower capacity than the biggest cheap drives (usually the latter, because I'm cheap, cheap, cheap!). That way I seem to avoid the semi-annual crash/replace/rebuild ritual.
    • I haven't had any more trouble with HDDs I've bought in the last couple of years than I ever have.

      Mayhaps you are exaggerating, or perhaps your semi-annual crash/replace/rebuild is caused by another problem?

      Frankly, I'd rather spend 120$ for a 1 year warranty drive than 500$ for a 3 year one. Simple math shows it to be cost-effective.
      • by GauteL (29207) on Friday January 10, 2003 @03:19PM (#5057163)
        That is something you can only say if the data is not valuable to you.

        In a business, saving $140 over three years for choosing the cheaper drive is going to make you look very stupid when that drive fails.

        One single extra day of lost work for one single employee might very well cost more than what you saved.

        Simple maths? I don't think so.

    • Has it ever occured to you that cheap stuff is cheap for a reason and that if you bought quality up front you would have fewer problems and save money in the long run? I have had no more problems recently that at any other time in the past 20 years.
    • by lostchicken (226656) on Friday January 10, 2003 @03:08PM (#5057061)
      Would you pay twice as much for the same capacity? If so, then get two, big, cheap drives, and use mirroring RAID. You get much faster data rates, and you have backups.

      Best of both worlds...
    • by Cyno (85911) on Friday January 10, 2003 @03:11PM (#5057085) Journal
      That's something I've learned about PC hardware. You must plan for failure. That's what RAID and backups are for. I've been buying harddrives for $1/GB for over a year now. I buy the cheapest drives I can find, 80GB Seagates, and use a few 100-200GB drives to build a RAID. The Seagates work well in swapable drive bays and have been very stable. I had one problem and it was only a missing pin, no data loss or corruption. But then again none of the data I store of them is important by itself.

      The best technology today IMO is a few cheap 1394 controllers, some 1394->IDE converters and the cheapest $/GB drives you can find. Build a RAID, probably in a custom case with like 8 or 12 5.25" drive bays, use swapable IDE enclosures and have the box email you when the logs show a drive is about to fail. It might cost a little initially but it is mostly fault tolerant and dirt cheap in the long run.
  • I've been there. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by watchmaker1 (540289) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:40PM (#5056712)
    June, 1987. Graduated from high school, got a huge stack of cash as gifts.

    Bought an Atari SH204 20meg hard drive for my beloved 520ST, $985.

    Inside was the circuitry to make the atari interface speak MFM/RLL, and a full height 5.25" Rodime 20meg hard drive. 65ms seek time.

    If I've done my math right, that's $50,432 per gig.

    • For some of us, it's still 1987. I have an SH204 for my 1024STfm. But I'm trying to get scsi working on the atari interface, so I can use some real storage...

  • Those were the days (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mmoncur (229199) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:40PM (#5056717) Homepage
    Wow, this is amazing if you've been around for a while.

    My first hard drive was 105MB (that's mega, not giga) and cost $600. Of course, that included the SCSI interface for the Atari ST I was hooking it to.

    The big question is where the lower-capacity drives are going. It seems like a decent drive always costs about $100 - and the amount you get for your $100 keeps increasing - but where are all of the 40GB drives that should be floating around for $40 apiece?
    • by cdipierr (4045) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:49PM (#5056829) Homepage
      They don't exist anymore because there's no money in it for the manufacturers. The costs to create a 40GB drive (not to mention packaging and shipping) is likely only a few $$$ less than producing a 120GB drive. Since the 120 sells for twice as much, it obviously makes sense to promote those.

      With that said, you can still get 20, 30 & 40 GB drives w/o much of a problem, just not at $1/GB.
    • by crow (16139) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:50PM (#5056847) Homepage Journal
      Much of the price of the drive is independent of capacity. The additional platters and heads for high-capacity drives are significant, but so are the electronics and motors that are identical in 40G and 250G drives.

      Hence, the cheapest $/byte drives to manufacture are the highest capacity drives. However the highest capacity drives are often sold at a premium, leaving the best price point somewhere in the middle.
    • by stratjakt (596332) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:50PM (#5056851) Journal
      They stop producing them as demand dries up. If their production line is churning out 40 gig platters, the drives are built with 40 gig platters. If they had to open a new factory every time they want to make a bigger platter, they wouldnt be 1$/gig - and legacy drives would cost just as much to make as ever.

      It's like chip fabs - where are the new 486dx's for me to build cheap routers out of?

      Newer XBoxes are shipping with 20gig drives, even though they only partition and use 8. 8 gig drives just dont exist, 20 gigs is the cheapest option.

      Now quit fighting progress. I like my 120 giggers.
    • by spongman (182339) on Friday January 10, 2003 @03:01PM (#5056974)
      the first hard drive i ever used was about 7Mb. It was connected to an Acorn BBC-B with a weird interface that made the disk look like 70 floppy-sized partitions that you could switch between using a custom command. I think that was around 1988.
  • by m.e.l.l.e.n.t.i.n.e (305369) <[jared] [at] [mellentine.com]> on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:40PM (#5056725)
    Did anyone actually go look at the drive listed? It's a 5400 rpm drive. My grandma can remember information faster than that.
  • by teutonic_leech (596265) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:40PM (#5056727)
    Well yes, the prices have dropped immensly indeed - however it might be worth considering that the basic concept of physical storage has not changed a bit. We are able to squeeze more bits into each square millimeter, but access speed has maybe changed by a factor of 50 or so (I'm guessing here, so please correct me). At the same time, processor speeds have aptly doubled in speed every 18 months or so.
    I do appreciate cheap mass storage on my desktop, don't get me wrong, but I really long for things like static memory or holographic storage devices. And the use of spinning copper disks is not exactly power efficient either - so on the laptop front, new storage technologies could make a big difference.
  • at MicroCenter, for about a month already. Other than that - yes, it is an important milestone. I'm still waiting for another one: Solid State Memory, Compact Flash format (as the least expensive) - 1GB for $100. Any takes when it happens? So far the best price I've been seeing (also at MicroCenter) is 512MB CF card for about $160 (after rebates).
    • Here's my question.. SDRAM is cheap as it gets.

      So why can't I have a couple gigs of that in my system instead of a paging file on the hard drive?

      512 megs of primary system ram (DDR333) and 2 gigs of secondary (PC133/100/66). That'd be a huge performance boost over swapping to that ridiculous spinning piece of magnetic media.

      Stick 2 gigs of it on a PCI card - present it to the system like a secondary IDE controller (like disk-on-chip), just configure OS of choice to use it.

      ?
  • I'm pretty sure that this is the second time this has happened. The first time it was the 80G drives for under $80. However, that was back when Pricewatch didn't include shipping in the price.

    What's even more interesting is when the best $/byte drive changes to a higher capacity. Currently you pay a big premium for your storage if you go with something larger than 120GB. With the recent addition of 250G drives, it might not be long before 160G drives take over the best price per byte spot.
  • $1/TB? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SuperDuG (134989) <be@NOSPam.eclec.tk> on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:42PM (#5056747) Homepage Journal
    What the? Why on earth would you need that much harddrive spacee to justify $1/TB??

    Attention: Please Stand Up, Power Computer Down and Walk Away. Thank You.

    Even if you ripped DVD's into VOB's ... you'd still need to rip over 100 to justify even 1 TB, and who the hell rips to just vob, that's like ripping to wav with a CD, you just don't do it.

    Even with 4.7 gig DVD Burners, the days of multi terrabyte storage systems for the home is a little further off. Unless someone comes out with more justification for that much space (like a TiVO that can record 100 channels at the same time??)

    Lets face it, the mp3 and other multimedia files has justified multi gig harddrives. Plus games that take up 600 megs a pop aren't exactly hurting the old cause. There's going to need to be justification for multi TB drives if they ever want to sell, well ... duh :-)

    • Re:$1/TB? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Etcetera (14711) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:52PM (#5056867) Homepage

      the days of multi terrabyte storage systems for the home is a little further off. Unless someone comes out with more justification for that much space

      When virtual reality (fully 3d, immersed environments) start to appear and be used in the home, there'll be a need for this kind of storage. Combined with processor advances to do the massive crunches needed for such an interface/game/devetool/whatever... the average home user will finally have the ability to experience it.

      Given the advances in OS engineering, i'd put the initial uses of this (at home) in six years or less.

      I don't think we'll be at $1/TB for a decade though (10 years ago we were at $1000/GB). And I agree, we don't need storage space to be *quite* that low for VR itself to take off.

      IMHO.

    • Re:$1/TB? (Score:4, Funny)

      by 1984 (56406) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:54PM (#5056891)
      You're quite right. 640KB should be enough for anybody.
    • Re:$1/TB? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Friday January 10, 2003 @03:05PM (#5057021) Homepage
      I remember using similar arguments in 1985 when I decided on the 10 MB Hyperdrive for my Mac, for $1500, instead of the 20 MB model for $2000.


      I have no idea why anyone would ever need a TB drive at home...but if it comes down to betting, I'll bet with history, and bet they will.

    • Re:$1/TB? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Dynedain (141758) <slashdot2 AT anthonymclin DOT com> on Friday January 10, 2003 @03:05PM (#5057031) Homepage
      Even if you ripped DVD's into VOB's ... you'd still need to rip over 100 to justify even 1 TB

      Did you know that DVDs only have a resolution of 720x400 (16:9 proportions) and that the maximum resolution of HDTV is 1920x1080?

      Thats 7.2 times as many pixels.....and we are still talking compressed data here (VOB is MPEG encoded).

      If in the future we switch to uncompressed data (which would be a good thing) we are definately going to need TB drives.

      And what if the industry decides to move to 60fps instead of the traditional 24fps for film and 30fps for TV? Double the frames, double the data.

      Trust me, we'll need it.
  • More and more we are seeing that dependability, reliability, and faster access times are paramount to overall storage capacity of hard disk drives.

    Is a 100GB hard drive even worth $100.00 if it suddently stops spinning or the disk access arm breaks off after two years of use?

    I do appreciate the storage capacities going higher as time progresses, but I do not appreciate the craftsmanship decreasing at such a rapid rate that warranties are now down to a year for your typical drive rather than 10 years as it should be.
  • ...I can afford to replace them yearly, as that is all the warranty you get anymore. There is no excuse for backing up, however.

    Now, what to do with all my 120K to 60 gig hd's?

    Personal Strap-On Aircraft for Auction on eBay [xnewswire.com] Strap on?

  • First Hard Drive (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RetroGeek (206522) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:43PM (#5056773) Homepage
    The first hard drive I bought cost me $500.

    It was a 10 MByte (yes, that's mega) Seagate. Full height 5 1/4 (hint, a CD drive is half height).

    I partitioned it into 4 drives:
    C: 1M - DOS (V 2.0 !)
    D: 4M - Applications
    E: 4M - Data
    F: 1M - Testing

    Mind you after struggling with two 5 1/4 floppy drives, this was heaven.

    I still have it, after all, where could I possibly sell it?
    • I remember trying to format one a hard disk, and having to do it in debug. The hard disk had the format program on the drive in one of the sectors, and the idea was that you just loaded up that sector in debug and ran it. It was apparently very common, just I'd never tried or done it before.
  • by nolife (233813) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:45PM (#5056793) Homepage Journal
    Retail stores are a very good place for HD's. You will often find BestBuy/CompUSA/Staples/CircuitCity/OfficeMax etc will have lower prices on HD's then what is at pricewatch, local computer stores, and even regional computer expos. More then likely you get a retail drive in a box with full warranty (mainly 1 year now) and maybe even a UDMA cable and 5.25 adapters. Most mail ordered I've seen are OEM and 30 days at best. CDRW's are the same way.

    Sometimes you may have to deal with a rebate to get the good deal but at least one of the above retailers has one good deal a week. Not sure if SalesCircular [salescircular.com] covers all areas of the US but it is a good place to scope out retailers sale prices for a week.
  • In 1982, the place I worked bought a 50 meg hard drive (40 megs fixed, 10 meg removable platter) for $30,000 to hook up to a CP/M based network.

    In 1986 I bought an "HD 20 SC" for my Mac Plus for $1,195.

    God you young kids don't know how lucky you are to avoid the dark ages! :)

  • by Sentry21 (8183) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:46PM (#5056801) Journal
    I just can't wait for the days when things are $1/TB.

    Yeah, but by then, Super Windows XP Pro Ultimate Championship Edition will be out, will have backwards compatibility to all prior 8-, 16-, 32-, 64-, and 128-bit architectures, take 8 solar days to load, require 800 terabytes to install, and the neuro-holographic interface will crash regularly, wiping out more data than a human being can process in a lifetime, and throwing people into neural shock. You'll die, but it will be illegal to have any negative feelings towards the occasion, because of the Digital Oblivion Mind-Control Act.

    Linux, of course, will still be around and install fine, but no one will care, because they get an extra 7 updates per second playing the Windows version of Quake 82, so it will still be considered a 'toy' OS.

    Sometimes I scare myself...

    --Dan
  • by mustangdavis (583344) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:47PM (#5056813) Homepage Journal
    That's great and all that they have disk space down to $1/GB, but what about some performance?

    This is like saying you can buy a new car for less than $10k ... but what are you going to get for that money ... probably a four banger ...

    Now when they get SCSI drives into that lower price range, that will be something to celebrate!

    Besides, who is really going to run a database that requires that much disk space (120 GB) on an IDE drive??? yes, I know you could use IDE RAID ... but lets get real. If you have THAT much data, you're going to use the REAL thing.


    Sorry to be the party pooper, but I think the "celebration" is a bit premature ...


    Just my $0.02



  • by imadork (226897) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:51PM (#5056855) Homepage
    Buried in my in-laws' basement is a primitive custom-built computer (i believe it was 8086-vintage, could have been 286) from the 80's timeframe. Inside the computer chassis were two huge full-height 20MB hard disks.

    Attached was a note from the person who built the computer for them, saying something to the effect of "This is more storage space than you will ever need."

    I imagine that at the time, 40 MB of storage was friggin' huge.

  • Speed not capacity (Score:2, Insightful)

    by charnov (183495)
    I now have 10x the HD capacity that I can afford to back up (DLTs are still insanely expensive) and the access and transfer speeds haven't changed in years.

    How about an 80 Gig drive that lasts 5 years and can transfer at about 1 Gig per second that costs $200. THAT I would buy.
  • Yes, it's great, isn't it? Even a cheapskate like me can afford a huge drive now. I vividly recall back when I was able to find a Miniscribe 3650, 40mb, for $400. Wow! Nowadays, anything less than 40gb isn't worth looking at.

    We stuffed that 3650 in Igloo, running Microport Unix., and went to town :) Goddess, the fun of shopping for a controller card that could support a 1:1 interleave, and fine-tuning the system's skew factor to really max out performance. Even better, grab an RLL controller, and turn the 40mb into 60! Way cool :)

    Ahh, the fun times back then :)
    • Nowadays, anything less than 40gb isn't worth looking at.

      I'll gladly take those 40GB drives off your hands. I've got a fileserver (for the house) that I sure could use them for.

      Since they're "not worth looking at" I'll assume you'll simply want to throw them away. Allow me to dispose of those for you.

      Thanks.
  • by ACNeal (595975) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:54PM (#5056895)
    This would be even better news if it related to the smaller hard drives. I would love to be able to spend $10 for a 10 gig drive, or $40 for a 40 gig drive.

    I have no use for super huge drives, but super cheap drives would always come in handy.
  • My first hard drive (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jlower (174474) on Friday January 10, 2003 @02:56PM (#5056921) Homepage
    Since everyone else is giving away their age by telling how big their first drive was and how much it cost, so will I. I'll never forget it...

    10MB Techmar with a serial interface - $2000. This was ~1984 and I was damn glad to have it!
  • by Lysol (11150)
    there are no cheap 120GB backup systems yet. I asked our IT guy at work what he said, "well, just buy another hard drive and back it up with that."

    I dunno, I feel much better with tape. So, this begs a bigger issue: with the cost and corner cutting going into todays hard drives, how safe are your gobs of music and video files? And what do u do to keep that info safe?
  • Hmm (Score:3, Informative)

    by loraksus (171574) on Friday January 10, 2003 @03:03PM (#5057002) Homepage
    I have to say that single hdd for cheap is cool, but not as impressive in the price drop on arrays, etc.
    I recently got a 10KRPM [10 drives] 40GB Rack mount ultra wide scsi 2 array with hot swap and a 32mb cache for $40. I thought this was an insane deal, this thing cost thousands new, but then I looked at ebay and it is more or less in the same price range as other similar systems - that, imho is the most impressive [except perhaps for the 0 frames dropped while recording video :) ]
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Friday January 10, 2003 @03:05PM (#5057028)
    At $1/Gig, you can have 240 GB of speedy (45 MB/sec), death-resistant (mirrored) storage for $500. That should make any pr0n user, scientist, or geek happy.
  • by uradu (10768) on Friday January 10, 2003 @03:20PM (#5057170)
    if you could pick up a 40GB drive for $40, or a 20GB for $20, without having to fool with rebates. As it is, the cost of hard drives seems to be staying at around $100, almost regardless of capacity, limiting you in just how cheap a system you can build. Right now the most expensive item in a bottom feeder system is the HD. On Newegg you can build a minimal Duron system for:

    20GB HD: $69
    All-in-one mobo: $51
    CPU: $31
    Case: $28
    128MB SDRAM: $22
    CD-ROM: $19
    Floppy: $8

    Total: $228

    If that 20GB drive were $20 instead, that would be only $179. Of course, there are reasons why the drive isn't $20, I'm just lamenting.
  • by pariahdecss (534450) on Friday January 10, 2003 @04:40PM (#5058024)
    I had to mine the iron ferrite by hand. I would then arrange the ferrite shards by candle light in a fixating substrate of dried human mucous. The mine was located at the summit of a 5325m mountain near my home in Kiev in Soviet Russia. These homemade disks could only hold 62KB ... so don't tell me about perspective . . .
  • by zerofoo (262795) on Friday January 10, 2003 @04:56PM (#5058166)
    Yet tape drives are still around $30/GB! Who cares about big monster drives if you can't backup the data.

    Hard drives still fail, you know.

    -ted
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Friday January 10, 2003 @05:27PM (#5058500) Homepage Journal
    Seriously though, the reliability of these cheap high capacity drives suck.

    The recent reduction in warranty length should have proven that to most anyone.

    Where are the smaller, and more reliable ones, being sold for these costs?

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