Thursday, November 28, 2019

Best Buy's Black Friday $90 5TB hard drive:
quite a deal, considering it holds the the data
of nearly 46 billion punch cards

A nearly 1-ton IBM 5-megabyte hard drive
being fork-lifted into a plane in 1956. It would
take 1,048,576‬ of these to equal a $90
5-terabyte Black Friday external hard drive
that a toddler could hold in his hand.
So Best Buy is selling a Black Friday Western Digital 5-terabyte portable hard drive for 90 bucks.
     Such a device holds the equivalent of almost 46 billion IBM punched cards (120 bytes each), which would have set you back (in 1996) $800 million dollars (at $42.085 for a box of 2000) and some change (that being $3,349,771.78)
     Forty-six billion punched cards would have taken IBM's 1930s Endicott factory more than 12 years to make (10 million per day, 7 days a week).

     In 1956, IBM introduced a 5-megabyte hard drive weighing nearly a ton; it had to be fork-lifted onto a truck or plane. Best Buy's portable hard drive, which fits a jacket pocket, stores as much data as a mere million of those.

Bits in an 80-column 12 row IBM punched card: 960
Bytes: 120
Bytes in a Terabyte: 1,099,511,627,776
Bytes in a 5-terabyte hard drive: 5,497,558,138,880
Number of IBM punch cards required to hold 5 terabytes: 45,812,984,490 2/3
Size of IBM punch card: ​7 3⁄8 by ​3 1⁄4 inches (187.325 mm × 82.55 mm)
Height if stacked: 5,056 MILES (143 per inch)
WD Easystore 5TB External USB 3.0
Portable Hard Drive: Width: 3.2"
Height: .8", Weight 8.1 oz.
Length if laid end-to-end: 5,332,556 miles
Cost of IBM punch cards (UC Davis 1996 Central Stores Online Catalog): $42.085 per box of 2,000
Cost per byte of above: 1.75354166666667
Cost to store 5,497,558,138,880 bytes on punch cards: $803,349,771.78

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