IBM 305 RAMAC: The First Computer to Use a Hard Disk Drive

This is a photo of the first Hard Disk Drive (HDD) being removed from a cargo plan via forklift. It was about the size of an upright piano. It weighed over a ton but only stored 5MB of data.

Introduced by IBM in 1956 IBM was part of the IBM 305 RAMAC (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control). The drive had fifty 24-inch diameter storage disk. It could locate a single record in 600 milliseconds (0.6 of a second).

While 5MBs seems like nothing today, it was the equivalent of 64,000 punched cards! The container could have held more disks, and therefore could have had more storage capacity. The 5MB limit was set by IBMs marketing department. They couldnt figure out a sales pitch for anything greater than 5MBs

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