The Week in Vintage Hardware: IBM 5MB Hard Disk

Byh0VzJIYAE50WzIBM in the tech world is basically old as dirt and has been around since the beginning, more or less. This massive IBM hard disk stored only 5 megabytes back in 1956 and is absurdly large, not only by today’s standards, but by a decade before that’s standards, and even a decade before *that’s* standards. When was the last time anyone saw a fork lift load a hard disk over 1000 kg (2,200 lbs)?

I wanted to put that number (5 MB) into context for the average computer user today, so I browsed around my computer for something everyone probably has – a standard 1080P desktop background/wallpaper. Putting it in those terms, that massive 2,200lb hard disk could only store about ten background images (about ~500 KB each). This hard disk in the picture is getting loaded up a year after the start of the Vietnam War; even the airline it is being loaded on, Pan Am, hasn’t been in business for 24 years!

All in all, the massive hard disk that looks more like a refrigerator (which, by the way, became popular with consumers that same decade) really gives insight into how much technology has evolved.