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A 5 MB hard disk from 1956 (weight = over 1 ton).


An 8 GB flash disk from 2007 (weight = a few ounces).



A 1 Brontobyte drive from 2058? (weight = ?)





  • progress :) what i find a bit scary is how much the planes haven’t changed in that time.. we wouldn’t use a hard drive older then us.. but we regularly go up in planes that are over 30 years old.

    brilliant find dude

  • I’m also astonished how we’re still driving around in cars with engines dating back to the dawn of time. :-)

  • If you had a brain bigger than that of a ferret, you would have mentioned the prices, in absolute and inflation-adjusted terms.

  • As a “Brontobyte” would be 10^28 bits (approx) and avogadro’s number is only approx. 10^23; even if you could store one bit of information on each atom in a chunk of silicon, the minimum a brontobyte would weigh would be about 1400 kilograms or close to a tonne and a half. (and it won’t be available in 2058, either :-) )

  • Wanna make a bet, Steve? :-)

  • Current rates of areal density increase (for magnetic storage) is around 40% per year. At that rate, the 2.5″ drive at 8GB today (actually 8GB in a 2.5″ form factor is pretty low density, current disk dives are 160GB) will hold about 200PetaBytes in 2058. The surface of both sides of a 2.5″ disk is about 2.4E14 square angstoms. 200 PetaBytes is about 1.6E18 bits; more than 1 bit per atom. (since the two are off by a factor of 10,000 it is unlikely to be able to even sore that much in the volume of a 2.5″ drive.)

    The real point is that exponential growth rates cannot be sustained forever, very soon we will reach the point of one bit per atom. Before that our exponential rates will at best become linear growth rates if not flatten out completely.

  • Umm…I’m so out of my depth here it’s not funny. So I’ll just quit while I have a shred of dignity left. And mention – Volume Holographic Optical Storage Nanotechnology on my way out of the door. :-)

  • And what about crystal storage that many big co’s have been working on? A whole library on one crystal disc.

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