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Data Storage Hardware

Seagate Ships Billionth Hard Drive 245

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the ok-how-much-pron-is-that-now dept.
Lucas123 writes "Seagate's first drive, shipped in 1979 was the ST506, which had a capacity of 5MB and cost a cool $1,500 — or $300 per megabyte. Today, a typical Seagate holds 1TB and cost just 1/5000th of a cent ($0.0002) per megabyte. Seagate, which claims to be the first company to ship a billion drives, says all those drives amounted to 79 million terabytes of capacity, enough for 158 billion hours of digital video or 1.2 trillion hours of MP3 songs." Update: 04/23 14:56 GMT by CT : The quoted fraction is wrong. Someone complain to ComputerWorld. Update: 04/23 15:13 GMT by CT : TY. The site is corrected to say "just 1/50th of a cent ($0.0002) per megabyte." The universal equation is once again balanced.
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Seagate Ships Billionth Hard Drive

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  • Bad Sector (Score:5, Informative)

    by kmsigel (306018) * on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:07AM (#23171076)
    $0.0002 is 1/50th of a cent, not 1/5000th. Still a good value, though.

    My first hard drive was a 20MB Seagate that went into my 8Mhz 8088 Sanyo PC, which was originally bought with two 360KB floppies and no hard drive. I remember feeling very lucky at the time, because while I was saving up for the hard drive (which cost ~$400 in ~1985 as I recall) the 10MB model (which I was going to get) was replaced by the 20MB model at the same price.
    • Same as it ever was. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by willeyhill (1277478)

      It's funny how it always seems as if the next drive we purchase offers virtually limitless and impossible to use storage space but is never really enough [slashdot.org].

      • by gnutoo (1154137) * on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:44AM (#23171600) Journal

        Ugh. 20MB, 540MB, 5GB, soon 500GB all filled with binary crap over 25 years of use but free software changed all of that. I remember when 20MB seemed impossible to fill up. It was hard to do with nothing but text files but indeed adding a few games, AOL and a hand held scanner to a IBM XT clone cramped me for space. Then I remember when the 540 MB hard drive seemed like a vast space for text and images on a 486 box. It easily fit my old DOS stuff but then came Windows 95 and finally someone did me the "favor" of loaning me a copy of M$ Office so I could work with them and two 540MB drives was not enough. The same kind of cycle repeated itself with the next computer and a 5GB drive. Sooner than later it was filled with binary crap, starting with Windows 98. XP would have been impossible to run on the hardware and that's where I got off the treadmill. The same equipment has lasted to this day and was only replaced when I felt like having real hardware upgrades. Some of it, like a ten year old thinkpad, is still useful. It's also true that free software network storage has made it easier to get to the things I care about and drastically reduced my overall storage needs that way. Today, 500GB is way more than I need for my music and movies and I'll be able to buy a deeply discounted multi TB drive in a year or two when I feel pinched again.

        It's easier to ride the backside of the upgrade wave than to be pushed and crushed in front of it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ichigo 2.0 (900288)

          I remember when 20MB seemed impossible to fill up [...] Today, 500GB is way more than I need for my music and movies
          And after 10 years you'll be singing the same tune, and thinking that the capacity you have then is way more than you need. As computational capabilities grow, new uses for storage pop up. What that has to do with Microsoft is a mystery to me.
        • by ender- (42944)

          ...Then I remember when the 540 MB hard drive seemed like a vast space for text and images on a 486 box. ...

          Ah yes. I remember being insanely jealous when my girlfriend's father [now father-in-law] had TWO [yes TWO!] 540MB HDs installed in his computer. This was in 1994, so I'm sure it was quite expensive. I remember thinking at the time, "Wow! He's got a whole Gigabyte of storage!"

          At the time, I was running on 2 x 40MB MFM HDs, venerable ST-251's in a 286 box. I ran those up to the time when I had a Pentium 90Mhz in around 1997.

          A few months ago, I got a 2GB micro-SD card which is the same size as the fingernai

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Znork (31774)
          I used to think storage lasted a fair while.

          Then came MythTV. You have no idea the levels of storage you can utilize for video recording if you're not that discriminating (and hey, all those companies saying content is valuable, it's like storing money! Well, ok, I just have issues with throwing stuff away... you never know...).

          Then we got MultiRec in Myth which allows you to record all channels on the same multiplex. 6 DVB tuners and you can record every channel transmitted... Imagine the archive! No need
      • Even since decent filesystems were invented, a law of computing has been, "Data expands to fill the space available". Now a client is pestering me to use S3 for backup.
    • by david.given (6740)

      I used to have an uber-expanded 8088 computer of about the same vintage: a Zenith Z150 with passive backplane, ethernet, 1.5MB of RAM, 3.5" floppy, Hercules graphics --- and *two* 20MB Seagate MFM drives. Those things were awesome. Not only was the revving-jet-engine noise as they spun up seriously cool, but when the machine was turned on I didn't need any heaters on in the room...

      I slightly miss those old MFM drives. While modern ones are far more sophisticated and generally better in every way, the old

      • by BigBlueOx (1201587) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @11:12AM (#23171954)
        Zenith Z150 ...

        Oh YES! My Z150 r0Qd! Mine had a off-brand "hard card" which, for all you punks who were born in the Clinton administration, was a unbranded Seagate MFM hard drive mounted on an IDE expansion card. I forget why.

        Oh, and it was 30 megs!! Awesome! Actually, it was a 20 meg drive but there was some trick they did with the old MFM drives to make 20 meg drives hold 30 megs. I forget what it was.

        That machine was mondo kewel. Had CGA graphics too! I forget what happened to it.

        Let me tell you some more about the old days.
        Where are you going?
        Get back here!
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by david.given (6740)

          And it had the passive backplane (which meant that the processor was on an ISA card and plugged into one slot, and the RAM was on another ISA card and plugged into another slot)!

          And the full-length HDD/FDD/serial port card (WTF?) had not just one but *two* monster ribbon cables connecting to the hard drives in order to achieve the staggering data throughput of, nearly, a megabyte a second! Beat that, SATA!

          Mine ended up getting skipped. I wish I'd known how much in demand they are now, I'd have kept it..

        • Re:Bad Sector (Score:4, Informative)

          by compwizrd (166184) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @12:59PM (#23173422) Homepage
          RLL encoding vs MFM.
    • by explosivejared (1186049) <hagan.jared@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:17AM (#23171230)
      ll those drives amounted to 79 million terabytes of capacity, enough for 158 billion hours of digital video or 1.2 trillion hours of MP3 songs."

      I remember the first time I put the whole Library of Congress on a hard drive. It brought tears to my eyes, as I felt so lucky. Of course, this was in 2007, so I still had a few hundred more gigs to fill up with wares and music. Still it was an important experience.
      • Any one else remember using an RLL controller with an MFM drive to get 50% more capacity? (And 200% more failures? ;)

        Don't get me started on Perstor controllers... Those things were voodoo...
      • by pegr (46683) *
        Ah yes... The days of MFM hard drives, when real mem low-level formatted their drives, and Steve Gibson was relevant...
        • by sconeu (64226)
          I remember when I bought my first AT class box... I told the shop to low-level format the harddrive with the case standing on its side, since I would be using the box in a tower configuration.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by UncleTogie (1004853) *

          Ah yes... The days of MFM hard drives, when real mem low-level formatted their drives, and Steve Gibson was relevant...

          ...let's not forget the brief period after that where Real Men learned that early IDE drives did NOT like a low-level formatting...

          Only took one drive to learn that lesson...

      • by EvilNTUser (573674) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:38AM (#23171526)
        How much is that in football fields?

        Seriously, though, I don't understand why people feel the need to simplify things in slashdot submissions. Why would you write "79 million terabytes" when the proper way is both more understandable and more concise. Just say 79 exabytes or even just 79 EB. News for nerds, ok? We didn't smoke our way through high school.

        Similarly, it would be more useful to define a quality level for some well known video codec and estimate how many hours that would be instead of just giving us a semirandom number. Not that even that is necessary, since the real news is Seagate's achievement.

        The submitter shouldn't feel like I'm targeting him specifically. I just wish more people would take advantage of the fact that people on this site should have a basic understanding of things like SI prefixes. It would just be a nice touch to make things that small bit more readable.
        • We didn't smoke our way through high school.

          Speak for yourself. ;-)

          Seriously, I don't think it's a bad thing, just a conversational approach that seeks to engage the reader.
    • by alcmaeon (684971) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:47AM (#23171628)
      Now they can change their logo to say "Over a Billion Platters Served."
    • by LMacG (118321)
      > $0.0002 is 1/50th of a cent, not 1/5000th.

      They outsourced the math to Verizon [verizonmath.com].
    • by TeknoHog (164938)

      $0.0002 is 1/50th of a cent, not 1/5000th.

      I'd also like to nitpick about the general notation of fractions. I've learned that 1/50 is pronounced "one fiftieth", or perhaps "one over fifty".

      Thus, 1/50th means "one over fiftieth" or 1/(1/50) = 50, not quite what was intended.

      Maybe this is one of those things I'll never understand as a non-native English speaker, like the cases where a double negative means single negative. Writing "1/50th of a cent" is likewise redundant, if you mean "1/50 of a cent".

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Geldon (444090)

      $0.0002 is 1/50th of a cent, not 1/5000th

      Not if you work for Verizon:
      http://verizonmath.blogspot.com/2006/12/verizon-doesnt-know-dollars-from-cents.html [blogspot.com]
  • capacity (Score:5, Funny)

    by frisket (149522) <.ei.liramlis. .ta. .retep.> on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:10AM (#23171106) Homepage
    ... or one Microsoft OOXML spec doc
  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:10AM (#23171124) Homepage Journal
    Does anyone need that much porno?

    To which the answer is a resounding, YES!
  • Wrong photo! (Score:5, Informative)

    by pegr (46683) * on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:11AM (#23171126) Homepage Journal
    The article has a photo of a drive that's supposed to be the ST506. It looks more like an ST225, as the ST506 was full height. Jeez, you'd think Computer World would get the technical details right!

    Of course, maybe you have to be over forty to know the difference... ;) Get off my lawn!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by $RANDOMLUSER (804576)
      You're right. The ST506 was full-height, (remember the squeaky monkey-like noise it made?) the ST225 was half-height - somewhere in my basement, I still have an ST225 I paid $250 for.
    • The article has a photo of a drive that's supposed to be the ST506. It looks more like an ST225, as the ST506 was full height.

      The article pictures what looks like a 40MB 5.25" (half-height) drive, the ST412.

      As you say, the ST506 [pcworld.com] is a full height drive, twice the height (and weight) of the drive pictured.

    • by scsirob (246572)
      Absolutely right! The ST506 was full-heigth, 306 Cylinders, 2 heads, 17 sectors per track, 512 bytes per sector.

      My first harddisk was even smaller, only 4MB. It was part of a Grundy 8200 series CP/M business machine. That system couldn't boor from harddisk, it needed to load the bootstrap from 8" floppy...
    • by rickb928 (945187)
      Can't tell if it's an ST225 or ST250R or ST251 or even an ST 251-1, my favorite of that era.

      But it ain't a 506. My old boss had a 506 and an ST312 on his desk. I told him they were collector's items in 1994. Well, anyways.

      Remember the old MFM interface was called the '506/412' interface? Remember bad sector maps? Delivering new PCs to customers and running HDTest to see how many sectors went bad during the car trip and the potholes? never carrying a spare drive cause it would either die after a few th
  • by Dachannien (617929) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:11AM (#23171134)
    That's also roughly 4 million Libraries of Congress.
    • by qw0ntum (831414)

      That's also roughly 4 million Libraries of Congress.

      Something I've always wondered... when measuring a Library of Congress, are we talking about the text data from the books, or each page of the book as perhaps an image? I'd imagine that for many of those books, there is a good deal of relevant information that is not in the book's text, such as the condition of the book, etc. Not to mention the many historical documents I am sure are in the Library; the information contained within them is richer than just their text. Has this been taken into account in yo

      • Quoth Wikipedia:

        It is estimated that the print holdings of the Library of Congress would, if digitized and stored as plain text, constitute 17 to 20 terabytes of information.
        79 million TB, 20TB per LoC, comes out to 3,950,000 LoCs. So yes, we're talking about raw text.
      • by jandrese (485)
        I thought they just make up a completely arbitrary number that was kind of big and said "this is how much data is in the Library of Congress."

        Clearly what we need is the ISO standardizing the LoC into a proper unit.
    • by oni (41625)
      158 billion hours of digital video

      or 18 million years of porn.
  • I find that hard to believe. Looking around their products pages [seagate.com], it appears that 1TB is the highest capacity offered for some of their models. Am I just missing something?

    Either way, congrats to Seagate, it is a very remarkable milestone.
    • by Thanshin (1188877) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:52AM (#23171688)

      I find that hard to believe. Looking around their products pages [seagate.com], it appears that 1TB is the highest capacity offered for some of their models. Am I just missing something?
      Yes.

      Customer: "I want one of those congress library storing things for the computing machine I bought for my kid".
      A: "What capacity? 1 Tb is the typical size. Less than that and you risk your kid turning gay overnight. And die."
  • Its all relative (Score:2, Interesting)

    by phpmysqldev (1224624)
    While todays hard drives may be much larger, its not going to be long before we move on. I remember when I got my first 100mb HD and thinking "wow this is it ill never need any more storage than this". But now we know that as HD capacity increases so will the features and size software and media. Think of how big the first windows distro was and how big Vista is. Soon we'll all have HD DVD rips and real life quality music filling our new 100TB HDs

    In short, we as consumers don't need to worry about how to
    • Re:Its all relative (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rlk (1089) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:28AM (#23171400)
      The problem is that bandwidth (and for that matter latency, only more so) hasn't kept pace with capacity. So yes, we have a lot more storage capacity, but getting the data onto and off the disk hasn't improved by nearly as much.

      It's relatively not *too* bad if you're working with large files that can stream. A system I bought in 1994 had a 420 MB disk, which was state of the art at the time. Its bandwidth was on the order of 1 MB/sec. In contrast, the 500 MB disks I'm using now get about 60 MB/sec (internal SATA, at any rate -- USB disks are still limited to 20 MB/sec). That's about 1200x the storage with 60x the transfer rate, so the relative transfer performance (a word I just made up) is about 5% of what it was then.

      Latency's another matter altogether. Both seek time and rotational latency are about half what they were then (rotational latency based on 7200 RPM today vs. 3600 RPM in the mid 1990's). So if you're latency-bound, you're really in tough shape. If you're streaming ogg files or what have you, you don't have this problem, but if you're paging to disk (or use applications that create a lot of small files, or scan directories containing lots o'files) you're really in a world of hurt.

      Enterprise SAS disks tend to be a lot lower in capacity (74 and 150 GB are common sizes), but rotate at 15000 RPM. So you're spreading out your data over a lot more disks, improving your net throughput, and you're suffering much less from latency. If your application's multi-threaded, with plenty of threads performing queued I/O and plenty of workers, you can make progress even while you're waiting for other I/O ops to complete.
  • I would love to see a huge sign outside Seagate Headquarters similar to that of McDonald's. Anybody with Photoshop skills and in the mood to waste their time? I would love to see this.
  • by russotto (537200) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:14AM (#23171186) Journal

    Seagate, which claims to be the first company to ship a billion drives, says all those drives amounted to 79 million terabytes of capacity, enough for 158 billion hours of digital video or 1.2 trillion hours of MP3 songs.


    Immediately following the announcement, the MPAA and RIAA each sued Seagate for 5 quintillion dollars in contributory and vicarious copyright infringement.
  • by Corf (145778) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:16AM (#23171224) Journal
    At 93 ft^3 per unit, how many Volkswagen Beetles full of telephone directories does that equate to?
  • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:16AM (#23171226)
    I'm guessing that they haven't sold 1 billion Seagate branded drives, but that they're including all the drives made by all the other drive companies they've bought in the past.
    • by Gat0r30y (957941)
      As you may know, Seagate bought Maxtor a couple years ago. Yea, they are including Maxtor branded products, Which are generally now Seagate products with the Maxtor brand label.
  • Units? (Score:5, Funny)

    by sootman (158191) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:17AM (#23171232) Homepage Journal
    Wait... is that their 1,000,000,000the hard drive, or their 1,073,741,824th?
  • Imagine that... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by onion2k (203094) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:22AM (#23171310) Homepage
    158 billion hours is a shade over 18 million years. If you had a camera fixed to record for the past 18 million years you'd only have started in the Miocene era ... it'd all look really quite modern. It'd have been a bit more grassy, but there'd be recognisable mammals like deer and wolves, birds like ducks and grouse.

    It sounds a like long time, but it really isn't.
  • I thought nostalgia was remebering the good times?
  • Seagate, which claims to be the first company to ship a billion drives, says all those drives amounted to 79 million terabytes of capacity, enough for 158 billion hours of digital video or 1.2 trillion hours of MP3 songs."
    -OR- 14.73 TBytes of failed backups!
  • by revlayle (964221) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:30AM (#23171424) Homepage
    Library of Cong... no wait... was done

    How about a beowulf clus.... no... no makes no sense.
    Heh, I, for one, welcome our large-capacity-cheap-per-megabyte-storage.... argh


    ok fine - no one wants to hear it!

    DOES IT FUCKING RUN LINUX?
  • I'm amazed (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SeePage87 (923251)
    Just thinking about how much of that storage is filled by redundant data blows my mind. It seems like such an inefficient structure. Imagine how much could be saved if there was only one copy of each song (lossless, why not), each movie, etc, and instead the trillions of dollars spent on storage, we spent slightly less trillions to build up massive networking infrastructure and a few server farms that make it all accessible on the fly. Obviously unrealistic, but a fascinating idea. I have approaching 2.
  • OK for music? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by redelm (54142) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:36AM (#23171504) Homepage
    Hmm ... IANAL, but this sounds very much like those hard disks are "marketed for the primary purpose of making digital audio copied recordings" [cornell.edu]. Why else would the full capacity be quoted as music/MP3?

    Their lawyers must work out the royalties, but consumers get a very nice copyright exemption. [cornell.edu] Dunno about P2P, but it might also be covered.

  • by peter303 (12292) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:37AM (#23171518)
    5MB or 500GB.
  • I'd really like to know how many of those thousands of terabytes were from the last year or two.
  • Milestones (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:40AM (#23171546) Homepage Journal
    They've also just celebrated receiving their half-billionth RMA hard drive.
  • Wasteful (Score:2, Insightful)

    by moxitek (744525)
    This makes me wonder how many of those drives are leeching heavy metals into the ground water tables while they rot in landfills or metal scrappers in China. Computer HDDs have to be one of THE most wasteful consumer electronic devices ever created.
    • Just wondering how you arrive at your conclusion.

      AFAIK, hard drives don't use any more toxic materials than any other consumer electronics, and in many cases outlast the computers they are installed in. They also perform a useful function better and more economically than any other alternative at present.

      If you want to talk about wasteful consumer electronics, crap like remote controls for car stereos, USB-powered electric pencil sharpeners, or LED-studded kid's shoes seem to beat hard drives hands down.
  • Redundant data (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MozeeToby (1163751) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:49AM (#23171660)

    all those drives amounted to 79 million terabytes of capacity, enough for 158 billion hours of digital video or 1.2 trillion hours of MP3 songs.
    This just made me realize how much redundent data there is in the world. Think about just how many copies of some media there are and imagine what could be saved if we could find a way to do highspeed, centralized, streaming server for multimedia. Yeah, you wouldn't be able to listen to your music everywhere you go, but does the world really need a million digital copies of the new Brittany Spears cd?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      All that centralized server hardware and network capacity for streaming. Imagine what could be saved if we could find a way to store it all locally.
  • by starglider29a (719559) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:51AM (#23171680)
    I tore an ST-238 apart after it died the 3rd time. The two platters were SO BEAUTIFUL, their iridescent copper color. And they rang like bells when you suspended them. Those and a couple more modern, smaller, silvery drives and they make the most lovely wind chimes.

    Now, I'm trying to figure out how to coat my bike tank in that coloration.
    • I'm trying to figure out how to coat my bike tank in that coloration.

      Its called Ferric Oxide, Fe2O3, or RUST!

  • Looked up the ST506 specs. 3600 rpm and 612 tracks. Thus I calculate it can read 60 tracks/sec or about 500 kbytes/sec or 10 secs to read the entire disk. Current 1 Tb disk drives can read about 50 Mb/sec which means to read the entire disk would take about 20,000 secs or about 6 hours. Didn't find how much it weighed but recall these old drives weighed somewhat around 10 lbs and actual MTBF was about 1 year for an office environment. Also recall computer had to wait 5-10 secs on boot up for drive to g
  • Anybody know what data storage measurements are in the Potrzebie system?

    It's the only one I understand any more...
    • Far fewer than all the other brands, I'd imagine. We've tried just about everything over the last 15 years, and always come back to Seagate for reliability.

      Of course, we don't buy server drives from anybody but our SAN vendor these days. "Rolling your own" storage just isn't possible anymore when you need high-end SAN featuers. Crack open one of their hot-swap carriers, though, and it says Seagate on the mechanism. I imagine our SAN vendor, which sells millions of drives, has taken a hard look at reliabilit

  • Inflation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by skraps (650379) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @11:56AM (#23172584)

    Seagate's first drive, shipped in 1979 was the ST506, which had a capacity of 5MB and cost a cool $1,500[...]
    Adjusting for inflation, that is $4,718.83 in today's money.
  • Back in my day... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CaptDeuce (84529) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @12:10PM (#23172746) Journal

    ... we called a 5.25 hard drive a "mini-winnie" since the established 8 inch hard drive at that time was called a Winchester .

    Back then the two CP/M Z-80 "micro computers" at university lab where I did my class work used 8 inch floppies. Real floppy disk Users dismissed mini floppies not only because of it's paltry storage capacity but because some pinhead decided to reduce the disk rotation speed of the mini floppy by one half thus reducing its data transmission rate. At least that's how I remember it.

    Some other graybeard is gonna have to take over for me now cuz I gotta go chase some kids off my lawn...

  • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@keirstea d . o rg> on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @12:39PM (#23173172) Homepage

    Seagate, which claims to be the first company to ship a billion drives, says all those drives amounted to 79 million terabytes of capacity, enough for 158 billion hours of digital video or 1.2 trillion hours of MP3 songs."

    How many libraries of congress per VW Beetle is that?

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @01:46PM (#23173948) Homepage
    Man, I remember in the early 90's being given the manual for the ST506 drive controller so I could write the "bare metal" interface to actually write the drivers for an OS my prof was writing for his research work.

    Pretty cool shit, push bytes into a couple of registers to make the damned thing seek to a given track. Service the interrupt. Push in a couple of other bytes to cause a sector read. Service the interrupt. It didn't get any lower-level than that.

    We specifically avoided the Linux code at the time since we didn't want to GPL our code or use their implementation.

    Writing my own low-level device driver for accessing hard-drives was pretty cool. Before long, I had written a bunch of the simple UNIX command-tools for DOS -- ls, rm, cat, cp. Boot out the DOS handler, read the raw FAT data off the HD, format it, and interpret it.

    *sigh* Anyway, this is apropos to nothing. Just waxing nostalgic about a university project 20 odd years ago. It's all been downhill from then. :-P

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