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History of the Hard Drive

Posted by Roland on 12/16/2013
IBM invented the computer hard drive around 1956. Since its inception, hundreds of styles and designs have been created to support specific functions and operations while storing everything from photos to manuscripts full of information. Without hard drives, our whole economy would be radically different from what we have today. They have expanded our business potential and given rise to a readily available source of information for populations worldwide.

Hard drives began their life performing general-purpose functions for IBMs, new computer setups and storing information gathered from their mainframes. The first hard drive used large platters to store data, and compared to today, the access time was extremely slow. However, this was a vast improvement over their magnetic tape storage. They continued to refine and reinvent the usefulness of their hard drives as the technology became more developed.

When the desktop arrived on the scene, hard drives had already spent about 25 years in the hands of engineers and computer developers. It was now a smaller, faster and more efficient model. It took up limited space and helped create a cheaper, more dependable information-sharing platform. Slightly bigger than your palm, this new style gave offices, corporations and educational institutes the ability to access information on demand. The desktop hard drive allowed everyone to access the Internet and gather information about everything from recipes and photos to sales trends and market projections.

In the 1990s, laptops arrived with a lot of fanfare. The ability to take your computer with you was revolutionary, and technology was moving out of the office and into homes by leaps and bounds. The hard drives were becoming smaller, performing better and were a lot more reliable. Entrepreneurs jumped at their chance to enter new markets and create their fortunes. They were able to keep their sales strategy, marketing information and customer database readily available at all times. As these fields progressed, business-minded professionals relished the ease of access and increased efficiency that these hard drives provided.

Thumb drives, flash drives and USB drives are the smallest hard drives available today. They hold more information in their 2- to 3-inch framework than most of the early systems held in their entirety. These hard drives make programs, software and information transferrable between a variety of computers, laptops and tablets. Information is now transportable in ways we could not have imagined.

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