April 23rd marks a significant milestone for Seagate Technology -- it ships its one billionth hard drive.
And while it has taken the company 29 years to reach the one billion mark, Seagate claims the next billion will ship in less than five.
Seagate's hard drive business debuted with the small form factor 5.25in ST506 drive in 1979. This 3,600 RPM drive had a storage capacity of 5MB and could read or write more than 12 records, spread randomly over the disc, in less than a second.
However, the birth of the hard drive happened years earlier. In 1956 the IBM 305 RAMAC (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control) was introduced. The 1 tonne device had a 5MB capacity and contained 50 disks, each 24in in diameter. It revved at 1,200 RPM and sucked up 5000 W of power compared to today's devices which consumer around 2 W of power.