(the thing being loaded off the airplane)









Answer to question above: This is a 5 MB (megabyte) Hard Disk in 1956. In September 1956 IBM launched the 305 RAMAC, the first computer with a hard disk drive (HDD). The HDD weighed over a ton and stored data equal to about 3 floppy disks (our current computers don't even have a floppy drive).


So, start appreciating your 8 GB IPOD or memory stick (8000 MB)!



So, what does all of the K, MB, GB and TBs mean?

K=Kilobyte, 1 MB = Megabyte (1,024k), 1 GB = Gigabyte (1,024 MB), 1 TB = Terabyte (1,024 GB)


Floppy Disk, 3.5" = 1.4 MB...or 1,400k ('A' Drive)


CD = 700 MB, Avg. MP3=5mb. If so, how many MP3 can you put on a CD? Why does a commercial CD only have 10-15 songs?


DVD, Single Layer = 4,500 MB or 4.5 GB = 6.4 CDs, DVD, Dual Layer = 9 GB (this is why copying commercial DVDs is difficult to do, combined with encryption)


BluRay - 25 GBs


JPEG Digital Image = 1-6mb (a 4mp camera at high resolution and minimum compression will generate a 1.5mb file. Higher res cameras will generate larger files. Most files from a digital camera are compressed before they are ever written to the memory card. So, unless you shoot in RAW, your camera is chunking part of the picture right after it takes the picture.)


Text document = 25k (.025 mb) This would be a Word Document, like a Focus...with out any pictures. MS Word documents can definitely be a lot bigger once you start inserting pictures into a layout. But simple Text Documents are very you can fit a BUNCH on a small device...and it is not necessary to throw away old docs just to save room.


PSD = 30 MB...Photoshop Document...will vary depending on how many layers...but the average Magazine cover is around 25 MB). PSD are generally the largest file. Once a JPEG has been opened and expanded into a multilayer PSD, the file size will become quite large as it is no longer compressed. Watch out for creating TOO many versions of your.


'L' Drive = 50 MB...very limited amount of storage on students share drive on school server. Located in the F Hall.


'P' Drive = 650 space allocated on Photography Server...located in the V61 Office (that's this classroom). The drive is actually a 2,000 GB (2TB) of which all students share.


'C' Drive (includes My Documents or Desktop) = Approximately 120gb total for all users. This is local to each if you save something here, it will not be on another computer.


'D' Drive = usually your CD or DVD Drive(s)


'E' Drive = usually an external hard drive, like a back up or external storage drive.


'F' Drive = usually your pocket drives (memory sticks, etc.)


'A' Drive = designated for the Floppy Drive. Since most computers don't have a floppy drive any more, you will probably not see any 'A' drive unless you buy an external floppy drive.


'M', 'X', 'V' etc. Drives = Additional virtual drives that may have been mapped


DropBox - 2gb - NEW...just into today (2012-04-09) referrals...up to 16gb.



*NOTE: Do NOT store things on the 'C' drive NOR the Desktop (which is the same as saving to the C drive). Your files are subject to being deleted either by accident or on purpose. Your Focus should be on your P drive.


Memory Size Summary:

Common Sizes

1.4 mb        =       1 Floppy Disk

1000 mb    =       1 gb    (gigabyte)

650mb       =       1 CD

4.5 gb         =       1 dvd (single layer)

9 gb            =       1 Dual layer DVD (commercial DVD)

25gb           =        Blu-Ray Disc

1000 gb     =         1 TB    (terabyte)


Exact Sizes:

 1000 Kilobytes = 1 Megabyte
1000 Megabytes = 1 Gigabyte
1000 Gigabytes = 1 Terabyte      A Terabyte =
1,000,000,000,000 bytes or a million megabytes
1000 Terabytes = 1 Petabyte
1000 Petabytes = 1 Exabyte -
1000 Exabytes = 1 Zettabyte
1000 Zettabyte = 1 Yottabyte
1000 Yottabyte = 1 Brontobyte


Digital photography (and video) has pushed the computer industry to produce larger quantities into smaller form factors. For example, the Public/Picture folder contains over 100k photos and takes up almost 300gb of space. And this is not even all of my photos.




Pictures of terms above:

Hard Drive:

Left: 2.5" Laptop drive (old...only 6gb, Speed 12ms, 4200 RPM, 66mb/sec) It has a height of only 9.5mm.

Right: 3.5" Standard Desktop Drive (VERY old 80mb drive picture. Modern day consumer drives exceed 2TB...yet still use the same form factor).

Bottom sides of the above drives. Notice the change in circuits from large logic chips (ROM and Cache, etc.) to much smaller circuit board of the laptop drive.


View of the inside of a drive. VERY little has changed about the design of these drives. Improvements include rotation speed. Most current drives spin at 5400 RPM (revolutions per minute). Faster drives spin at 7200...and 9200. Gamers use drives that spin at 10k RPM.

Floppy Disk: Very SMALL and VERY slow...only capable of storing 1.44mb of data (1 picture from a 4mp P&S digital camera).

RAM: Random Access Memory. Volatile...contents disappear when the power is turned off. When you start up your computer, the system and programs are loaded into this device.

Over the years, manufactures have improved the capacity and speed of these sticks. RAM has evolved from SIMMs to DIMMs, DRam to SDRam, etc. which is nomenclature to the density of storage and the type of chips on the stick of memory. IE. SIMM is Single Inline Memory Module...where as DIMM is Dual Inline Memory Module.

Heat Sinks and Cooling Fans: All of these components generate much heat that if for one fraction of a second your CPU runs with out the will overheat and quite possibly catch on fire. Computers have quite elaborate thermal overload protection that detects if the CPU fan is not working properly.

CPU: Central Processing Unit...AKA The Brain. Computers over the last 20 years have evolved because of lots of reasons, such as the increase in storage size...and decrease in physical size of the storage. But most importantly because of improvements to the ability of the CPU to process MILLIONS of instructions per second. The real modern marvel of the CPU is the change in size of this chip making smaller and smaller components, such as a laptop, cell phone, iPods, etc. possible.

Logic Board...or Main System Bus. This is where it all comes together. This one caught on fire...probably from a lightening storm. You can see the four silver toped capacitors along the top edge. Right next to it is a transistor that is COOKED!! See the burn hole on the top of each?


So, what does all of this mean to you?

Smaller Processors

Smaller Memory Storage

Making things like MacBook Air possible (2010):





Other memory references:

In "Did You Know", there is a reference to Exabyte. To which, I calculated that 40 EB = 40 Trillion Megabytes. In terms of CDs, that would be 714 Billion Floppy Disks, 1.4 Billion CDs, 222 Million DVDs or 200 Billion MP3s. WOW! So, get started downloading NOW. ;)

Have you ever wondered how a computer works? Here is a nice article: and a few other reference...,,,,,


Why is the size of things relevant today?

Despite the technological advances, we still have bottle neck challenges when it comes to the internet. Also, because of a shift in computing preferences, more people prefer to do their light to moderate computing on a portable device, frequently on a cellular connection resulting in even great network challenges.

While some people prefer to use a cellular connection, it does come at a great expense to productivity. Most of use don't like to wait. Well, even on a 4g connection speed, you might as well get use to waiting.

There are basically three ways to connect to the internet. The difference in speeds in quite dramatic:

In the graphic below, you can see the advantage of a blinding fast internet connection. Depending on how many people are using the internet (including the entire campus host of IP Phones) can make a dramatic impact.



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