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Thread: The Original IBM PC 5150 - the story of the world's most influential computer

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    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
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    The Original IBM PC 5150 - the story of the world's most influential computer

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    This is the story of the first IBM PC - the computer that's the original ancestor of one you probably still own. Today, nearly 40 years after its introduction, modern PC's are used for everything from the kinds of business applications the system was originally designed for, to scientific work, to high-end gaming. But it all started back in 1981 with the IBM 5150.



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    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    We used floppy disks in my first jobs. That machine looks very familiar.

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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    We used floppy disks in my first jobs. That machine looks very familiar.
    Floppy Disk? Ha! What devilish luxury is that?

    My first computer was a Commodore 64 with a Cassette drive. For those of you that are too young to remember a Cassette is a... Well, it's like a, …

    Never mind, it's what cavemen used to sharpen their spears with.

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    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    My first computer was a Commodore 64 with a Cassette drive. For those of you that are too young to remember a Cassette is a... Well, it's like a, …
    The offspring of a roll of gift-wrap ribbon and a bowl of boiled spaghetti. It starts out looking like the former and then gradually evolves into the latter.
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    A mini, self-enclosed reel-to-reel.

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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    A mini, self-enclosed reel-to-reel.
    Yes, gift-wrap reel to spaghetti reel.
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    A mini, self-enclosed reel-to-reel.
    Yes, gift-wrap reel to spaghetti reel.
    Actually, this may come as a surprise to many here, but to this very day, magnetic tape is still being used for data storage in the enterprise world, albeit that it's not being used for any data requiring direct access. It is exclusively used for making backups. Even though the tape cassette itself is not immune to failure, research has shown that the data retention of magnetic tape is much higher than that of optical media like CD-ROM, DVD or even Blu-ray.

    A magnetic data tape does not have any filesystem on it like a hard disk, a solid-state disk, a DVD, or even a floppy disk. It is instead accessed as if the device itself were a mere archive file, similar to the .zip files most people will be familiar with. It is therefore not possible to retrieve a single file from a magnetic tape device without sequentially reading the entire tape and then rewinding it again. That makes it way too slow for direct access.

    That said, not all enterprises use magnetic tape for backups, though. With the price of large-capacity SATA hard disks having plummeted, most data centers will simply use hot-swappable hard disks in dedicated storage area networks for backups. These hard disks are then also installed in RAID arrays, so that when a disk breaks down over time due to wear, it can easily be unplugged and replaced with another disk without powering down the machine, and without data loss, given that there is redundancy. The logic in the array will then automatically restore the data on the newly inserted disk from the redundancy pool, all in the background.
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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