Retrotechtacular: A 180 GB Drive From 1994

Hard drive storage has gone through the roof in recent years. Rotating hard drives that can hold 16 terabytes of data are essentially available today, although pricey, and 12 terabyte drives are commonplace. For those who remember when a single terabyte was a lot of storage, the idea that you can now pick up a drive of that size for under $40 is amazing. Bear in mind, we are talking terabytes.

In 1994, that was an unimaginable amount of storage. Just a scant 24 years ago, though, you could get 90 gigabytes — 0.09 terabytes — if you didn’t mind buying an IBM mainframe and a RAMAC disk storage unit. You can see a promotional video digitized by, below. Just keep in mind that IBM has a long history of calling disk drives DASD — an acronym for Direct Access Storage Device. You pronounce that “dazz-dee”, as you’ll hear in the video.

IBM still has a product page for the device, which they stopped promoting in 1998 and stopped supporting in 2010. Amazing, actually, that the product had such a short lifespan.  From the product page:

The RAMAC 2 Array Subsystem consists of a Array Controller that is populated with from two to sixteen B13 or B23 drawer arrays. Each B13 drawer has a capacity of 5.67 gigabytes (GB) and each B23 drawer with 3390-3 emulation has a capacity of 11.35 gigabytes (GB), thereby providing a range of capacities from 11.35 GB to 180 GB in a single, compact footprint. The new IBM ULTRASTAR* XP 3.5-inch SCSI disk drives in the RAMAC 2 Array Subsystem double the capacity of the previous RAMAC drawer, thereby providing outstanding improvement in the storage capability in a single rack.
The array controller can be configured as either a dual cluster controller or a quad cluster (2 cluster pairs) controller thereby providing options for performance tailoring and/or intermix of DASD volume emulation modes. Options for controller cache sizes range from 64 megabytes (MB) to 2 GB. Cache memory is also resident in the drawer.

Each drawer was stuffed with 2 GB SCSI disks. Granted, it was arranged as RAID 5, and we are sure the I/O bandwidth to the controller was high. Still, it is amusing that they hoped to impress you by telling you that you could now fit 180 GB of storage in only 15.8 square feet! The power requirements were significant, too.

For all of that, articles from the time indicate performance wasn’t that great, and there was a limit on at least some of the controllers of 180 GB, even as larger drives became available. Since many IBM installations were leased and hardware sold at various prices, it is hard to peg down exactly what one of these beasts cost. But it is a good bet that a stripped down version was no less than $20,000 — which would be a lot more adjusted for inflation.

If you’ve got a thing for old IBM hardware, you might enjoy some of the posts we’ve covered about the IBM 1401 at The Computer History Museum. Or, if you want something closer to the RAMAC’s time period, you can always play games on an AS/400.


94 thoughts on “Retrotechtacular: A 180 GB Drive From 1994

    1. In 1986 my first harddrive was 20Mb. MFM. A few years later I upgraded THAT DRIVE to 30Mb by hanging it off an RLL controller….

      Copying the data from the 20Mb formatted drive to the 30Mb formatted drive without enough space to put everything “temporarily” involved a hack. I hacked Minix to view the drive as 17 sectors-per-track and 26 sectors-per-track simultaneously. Then a simple dd from the first to the second device converted the format.

      (Somehow it had been much easier to just use the 30MB RLL drive as 20Mb with only 17 SPT, leaving the last 9 sectors of each track unused. IIRC, that was because the OS had a table with harddrive geometries and the 20Mb 17 SPT was in the table and the 26SPT was not. )

      Another hack from that time: What do you do when you accidentally delete the whole kernel source? Hit the switch. The power switch. I took about a second-and-a-half to contemplate that little enough of that command would have it the disk that an FSCK would be able to fix it. And that turned out to be right.

      1. Remember when BIOS code was stored in ROM, not an EEPROM or FLASH, so you needed what was effectively a boot sector virus to rewrite BIOS code in memory to support HDDs larger than 504MB and later 8GB?

        1. I seem to remember something about certain Linux/UNIX distros, because they access the disk directly vs using the BIOS like MS-DOS did, that if you had a drive that was too big for the BIOS to support, you just needed a compatible boot partition, the BIOS itself wouldn’t access over a certain size, but with some tricks once it booted the operating system itself could see the whole disk. I remember when the 2.5GB Quantum Bigfoot bit the dust in my parents’ desktop, the smallest hard drive my dad could find at the time was a 20GB. All Windows would see was 8GB, because that’s all the BIOS supported. I dual booted it with Linux, and Linux could see the whole drive, was nice having that 12GB set aside :-P

      2. A cheap and easy way to turn an ST-225M into an ST-225R, and pick up a “free 50%”.
        I thought it was odd that the MFM and the RLL controller cards were the same price at my local SoftWarehouse (later renamed CompUSA)

          1. No, it’s quite accurate: 0,08 ~ 1/12., so in a 12 point font, 1/12 is one point or dot. Even on a 5*7 dot matrix printer the “.” is less then 0,2 “1”s :-) Accurately it would be 0,9 “1”s, as the “1” in a typical 5*7 font consists of 11 points:

            * *

    2. My family ordered it’s first PC in 1994… a pretty high end Micron workstation. Pentium Pro 200MHz, 32MB RAM, 1GB SCSI-2W disk, 28.8k modem, 17″ NEC CRT, and some other accessories. I can’t remember if CD-ROMs were out back then, but I do remember the OS (Windows NT 3.51) came on a very tall stack of floppies and took forever to load. Total cost was somewhere around $5k.

      1. I remember my high school had a computer with CD-ROM in 1992. Replaced the slow microfilm machine with electronic system that had the entire index and could tell which disk to load, you took the correct disk (in caddy like giant 3.5″ disk) and inserted it in the drive. THen I could load and view anything quicker than the old microfilm machine.

        Anyway CD-ROM were out before 1992

    3. I fondly remember buying a 80GB Maxtor brand external hard drive from Costco/Club Price for ~$200 and thinking it was amazing, considering not long before hard drives were 10GB, and before that mere megabytes even. I felt like the future was “now”. :’)

    4. Well, I managed a diskfarm of about 4 TB, made out of 200 units of IBM3380 DASD drives, each about 20GB.w And nightly backups were a nightmare until we installed a robot running around servicing tape cartridge units. Was in about 1995.

  1. My first was 5 meg and was not portable. Someone gave me a st506 20 meg WD that didn’t work. I identified the faulty bespoke 8 pin DIL and rang them, they sent me a couple through the post FOC and it fixed it. I still have the other chip for next time one needs repairing.

      1. I had one of those from an 8080, I think it was a Compaq clone of an XT. I use to play Zork on it. The drive was a 5.25″ double height drive. We used it as a door stop for the longest time..

        1. You sure it was double height? Bearing in mind a modern DVD drive counts as half height. Double height would be a good bit taller than it is wide. Only ever full height drive I’ve seen was a pair of floppies for a Commodore PET. They were very sturdily manufactured, there was a port on the side for pouring in the petrol.

          1. Wait, petrol as in lubricant or fuel? either way, it’s crazy to think that someone would have said “Oh, I need to do an oil change on my floppie drive.”

    1. I, too, have done that (talked the company out of an otherwise unobtainable chip). In my case, it was the chip that controlled the tachometer in my friend’s MG Midget (a customized version of one of their standard parts). Tachometer was unrepairable, a new one was many hundreds out of our price range. Someone at TI came through, and the repaired tach worked again!

      It’s a great feeling when the person on the other end of the phone tells you, “No worries, I’ll drop a couple in the mail to you.”

      I have tried to pass that forward. Especially to younger hackers..

      1. A lot simpler back in the day with big and easy to replace off the shelf parts. Today it’s tiny parts and some are proprietary. So if something fails, the company be like “Out of 30 days warranty? Sucks” and hang up on you.

  2. Around 1990 I put 1GB (2x500MB) in an AT. “Who could possibly need that much?”
    It held all the telephone subscriber info for USWEST. The data was on CD but searching the CD was too slow.

    1. We got our first 1Gb drive around that time (I think it weighed 55 pounds).
      We were elated, but I took the wind out of the sails when I asked, “But what if we lose a Gig of data?” We used tape reels for backups, I don’t recall, but it was 9 or more 9-track reels to back it up.

      1. When I got my first 1GB Micropolis SCSI in 1993 bpeople asked “What are you going to do with all that space?” or “You’ll have to leave a trail of breadcrumbs so you won’t get lost!”

    2. ~1998 or so for Christmas my folks said we were going to go to Fry’s (I think it might have still been Incredible Universe then) and buy some parts to upgrade my PC (Which at the time was a 486 DX-2 66 that I had head sinked and overclocked to 80 MHz), I remember looking at the rack of hard drives, at the very end was a 12GB or so drive, I think the price was somewhere around $1500, I remember looking at it and thinking “Why on Earth would you need THAT MUCH SPACE???” Flash forward 20 years and I know people who throw away flash drives under 8GB :-P My mother in law bought me a 3TB external for Christmas a few years ago, when I opened it she asked me if it was big enough for me and if not we’d go exchange it for the 6TB, my response was “I could put every hard drive of every computer I’ve ever owned on here and have space left” :-P

      1. Funny thing is that’s how I migrate from computer to computer. Just copy the old HD on the new one. It feels as if I have all these cardboard boxes in the attic, but I really can’t be bothered to clean them out and I don’t want to loose the contents either.

        Good thing the search algorithms have improved far faster than I can gather the bits and bytes.

  3. My first drive(s) were 10MB removable 10-head 6-high 19″ platter disk(s). The drive(s) were washing machine sized drives which housed one 10MB removable disk. They were manufactured for Friden/Singer/ICL System Ten (mini)-Computer between 1970-1976 and in 1976 the drives cost $16,000 each. The removable disks cost ~$500 ea.
    BTW back then DISK was spelt with a K, not C.

    1. somewhere I remember reading an argument about the spelling and re-writable disks such as hard drives are disK where non-writable such as CD-ROMs are disCs (Although I’ve also heard that the platter(s) inside a hard drive are discs where the drive is a disk or something like that, with disc referring to the physical shape, or something like that. I always have spelled it with a K.

        1. Main reason disc became common with a ‘c’ is because the Compact Disc came out of Philips in the Netherlands (and Sony Japan), not the US. Disc is the Standard English spelling and many Dutch speak excellent English. Disk is the generally accepted spelling in American English, which like many of the differences between Standard and American English hark back to the 1600s and 1700s when those old spellings were often used in England. In Victorian era British Empire, spelling became far more rigid, but the changes didn’t flow through to the Americas after 1776.

          The explanations about disc / disk representing different shapes or re-writability is a recent back-port explanation.
          Back in the 70s and early 80s all hard and floppy discs/disks were spelt with a ‘c’ in the UK and most Commonwealth countries (Aus,NZ,India,SAf) as well as Anglophone Europe, but with a ‘k’ in the US and Canada.

          1. I didn’t write an OS, but in 1976 I did Wire Wrap an 8080A system on a breadboard, with 4K static RAM. It took two boards, one for CPU/RAM, the second for IO, and plugged into a Tektronix TM503 power frame. No disk drive until 1980 in a Big Blue PC, which I installed a WD 60MB (if memory serves) drive-on-a-card.

            In the early 1980’s I also used to assemble, first boot, and set up mini, and medium scale systems with 1-high Diablo, 1 fixed & 1 removable CDC drives, and the washing machine sized drives.5-high and 10-high (10 & 20 heads respectivley). Head alignment became second nature. The nice part about the fixed drive was that there was no alignment required, as the platter was bulk erased, and reformatted from scratch. Just put the heads approximately in the middle of the alignment range before formatting.

          2. “Is a person that builds their own computer from scratch on a breadboard a sadist too?”

            I think he meant Masochist and judging by the cussing I hear about cheap computer cases (and the blood) I’d have to say yes, you are :)

    1. Where was the problem? 240Meg were available in 1990 and I am quite sure, I did buy the 1G drive before 1994, perhaps even the 3.something (3,2G ?) drive was before 1994. I am not really sure any more. The feeling “what shall I do with that much space” did never last long :-)
      The only problem was the price. The 240M disc alone was more expensive in 1990 then my whole PC in 2004, which had a 200G disc, 4G of RAM instead of 4M in 1990 and a P4 with 3GHz instead of 33MHz.

  4. My first hard drive was a 5 megabyte, 5.25″, full height MFM from Tandon. It had one platter and 2 heads. The 10 meg would’ve had two platters and 4 heads in the same housing. It used a stepper motor head actuator with the home position sensor external to the drive. I had to use a park program to force it to home the heads the first time before it would work. I installed MS-DOS and all the other software I had – the drive was *half full*. Then I did a full backup, onto 360K floppies. Feck! Big stack! Never did that again.

    Years later, while hunting something at a scrapyard, I came upon a pair of huge racks that had contained hard drives. The bottoms of them had massive power supplies and there were fans everywhere. Inside the building was a stack of apparently SCSI hard drives but with some funky proprietary connection, NOT SCA-80. They were 9 gig each. I went back out to the empty racks and counted connectors. It had been a 1 terabyte storage array, the size of several 22 cubic foot upright freezers. 500 gig drives had just recently been introduced. I assume that massive array had been replaced by a 2U rackmount server with two or more 500 gig drives.

    Another obsolete storage system I came across, this one at an auction, was from IBM. Several washing machine sized tape drives and their control unit, about the size of two freezers. After looking it up online I found that each tape could hold 200 megabytes. The whole assembly could store just over a gigabyte and had cost around $250,000. Leasing would’ve been a much more popular option than outright purchase.
    At the time a 1 gig USB stick was a new thing, for around 1/10,000th the price. I wondered why a thing the size of a washing machine would be needed to work with a tape about 1/2 the size of a VHS cassette?

    1. several reasons, primary being that the high speed tape units tended to draw a length of tape into an air column on each side of the head assembly. This allowed for high acceleration of the medial at the heads without overtorquing the reels. THere is a lot of inertia in a reel of tape. And there is not a lot of friction between layers. Too high an acceleration tended to slip layers and fold up the media, requiring a lot of care to untangle and recover the data, if possible at all.

      The air column required mechanical support of a vacuum blower, filtering, and controls. Several high torque motors were involved, with the associated controls, and so on. I used them, but never serviced one. They were a marvel.

  5. Mid 80s I bought an Adaptec board to convert between the SCSI connector on my Atari 520 (converted to a 1040 by bricklayering RAM) and an St205 interface. Had TWO Lapine 10 MEG drives. Whoa, 20 MEG! Before I got the Lapines I had a full height 5 Meg. In the tablet I’m typing this on is a 256GB micro SD the size of my little fingernail…

    1. Few months ago I was digging in my mass of old computer junk in the garage and came across my copy of Descent II, decided to install it in a Win98 VM and play it (I think I stayed up until like 3am playing it too).. In the install options it had “Minimal, normal, huge, and insane” and “Insane” was basically “Install everything to the hard drive including the music tracks” and it was like 570MB or something like that.

      Took me back to the early 90s when the local video store rented computer software and I came home with the Who Framed Roger Rabbit game.. Dad complained that the complete install was 5 MB.

  6. in 92, I purchased a USED 250mg hard drive at auction for $50, at the time it was a hell of a deal, I still have it and it still works, I spin it up once a year to play with the last good install of DOS 6.22 with windows 3.11 I did.
    Good times.

  7. My first HDD was 40Mb and, even then, the software I was using could fit on 20-30 floppies….. total. That included a full Word Processing package and a small CAD program – pretty much what I tend to use all the time nowadays but today requires 10’s of Gb to install….. who said ‘bloatware’?

    I realise today’s software is more capable but when you look at the facilities you REALLY use (in a word processor it’s just formatting and spell checking really) I’m still perplexed at how programmers could make something so ‘simple’ into something so ‘wasteful’…..? Another thread of course….

  8. Guy at 4:30 is super punchable. From the way he sits at the meeting to the salespeak drivel being spewn, what an asshole. Not a fan of sales videos aimed at clueless CIOs.

    I imagine Hitler heard the same pitch. Lets not forget IBM CEO and Founder Thomas Watson received medal, Merit Cross of the German Eagle with Star, for “service to the Reich”, from Hitler himself, while visiting Berlin.

    This is a real IBM poster advertising machines designed to architect genocide:

  9. Al Williams must be living in the future.

    “Rotating hard drives that can hold 16 terabytes of data are essentially available today, although pricey, and 12 terabyte drives are commonplace.” Is simply not true.

    The largest hard drives currently on the market is 12 TB, and common they surely are not. Especially considering that they are a nice 16% more expensive per byte then the substantially more common 8 TB drive. And compared to 3 TB drives that are currently some of the cheapest per byte, then the cheapest 12 TB drive is 40% more expensive per byte compared to rather common 3TB drives. (effectively meaning that one will only buy it if one really needs it, or wants to be “cool”.)

    And 16 TB drives has yet not come out onto the market. (Maybe later this year, who knows, but non as of current.)

    Though, reading from last weeks article from Al Williams, then apparently the common I7 CPU in most higher end computers is having higher performance then any current I7 on the market…. (Written in the first paragraph.)

    It would be nice to see less exaggerations beyond current reality.

    If the two numbers in the article were 4 TB smaller, then it would be more inline with current hard drive technology.

    1. I did say ‘essentially’ — they are slated to roll out “any day now” at a high price. I can (and do) order 12TB drives from Newegg so they are commonly available. Toshiba has a 14TB drive I haven’t bought, but I’m told I can.

      So I don’t know if anything there is really untrue or exaggerated. In any event, this post wasn’t about the current state of the hard drive market.

      1. But your statement is “12 terabyte drives are commonplace.”
        And the definition of the word commonplace, is that it is ordinary, in other words that we are likely to find it in a statistically significant amount of situations.

        But considering that a 12 TB drive costs more then 500 USD at current, while an 8 TB drive costs around 300 USD then it isn’t going to be a surprise to see that most people would go for the more economic 8 TB option above the 12 TB one. (this is even true for most data centers)

        That isn’t even taking into consideration that 2 and 3 TB drives are though far more economic yet again, and is actually what we find in most off the shelf computers and servers.

        So no, 12 TB drives are not commonplace. Even 10 or 8 TB drives aren’t commonplace either.

        Yes, you can still buy them in most stores selling IT stuff, but that doesn’t mean that they are common among actual users. For the same reason 10 Gb/s network systems aren’t commonplace in most homes and offices. (though, most IT stores still sells that equipment.)

        Simply stated, how easy it is to acquire something doesn’t state anything about if it is common or not.

  10. In 1985, I installed a pair of 20MB Winchester hard disks into some 19″ communications racks. Each was the size of a small footlocker. Individually they took the full width and depth of the rack units, and were apparently worth more than my life!

  11. My father worked for Gould / Encore which built similar drive arrays from 95 – 98. A one terabyte system ran around $250,000 USD. They were also huge power hogs with 1″ square copper bus bars. Cost a couple grand a month in power to keep that monster fed. Sun Microsystems bought them out in 99 and it was the end of that.

  12. “In 1994, that was an unimaginable amount of storage. Just a scant 24 years ago, though, you could get 90 gigabytes — 0.09 terabytes — if you didn’t mind buying an IBM mainframe and a RAMAC disk storage unit.”

    Soo…. obviously, this thing is intended for major industry/supercomputing/research type environments. But – you’re talking about *1994*. That would be literally the *stupidest* time in history to buy something like this. Everyone was switching to magnetoresistive heads at this point, and with GMR on the horizon it had to be obvious that hard drive capacity would start scaling much, much faster than it had been (I mean, I know it was obvious for *me* at the time, at least).

    Plus 1994 was the end of IBM’s magnetoresistive head monopoly, so literally, that year people would’ve been able to guess that competition was going to accelerate things *a lot*.

    1. So cute! you think CIOs actually analyze this stuff ;-). Re-watch the video, did you see/hear any real world hard data? other than max capacity?
      Stuff like this is being settled on golf courses, charity dinners, and yacht races. This is how you end up with IBM, Oracle, Salesforce everywhere corporate.

      You probably also think IBM chose Microsoft because of their BASIC expertise, and not because Gates mother happened to personally know IBM CEO at the time? ;)

      1. “So cute! you think CIOs actually analyze this stuff”

        Uh, no, that wasn’t the point?

        I mean, in 1994, if you’re in IT and something like this gets ordered… you *have* to know you’ll be able to replace the whole thing in ~two years with a single machine. Of course you’re not the one who ordered it, but you’ve got to be thinking “why am I wasting my time…” I mean, it likely wouldn’t even be worth figuring out how to swap drives on the thing, because the array will likely be obsolete before any of them fail!

        It’s an interesting difference between then and now, because *nowadays*, if you built a 90-drive array, with an ~exabyte capacity, it’ll likely live out its lifespan staying useful.

        1. When you buy disc array *nowadays* (NetApp, EMC) you arent even being told the real physical capacity :) Did I say buy hardware? I meant buy support contract letting you use some stipulated virtual capacity (compression/dedupe are invisible/secret/under NDA to you).

  13. As a grad student, I talked my way into a summer job, working on a DEC assembly line, testing and aligning RK06 (2 platter, 14Mbyte) disk drives. Think “compact washing machine”, more like a microwave size. Three or four DEC quad modules in the back and a large voice coil to position the heads. Three of the surfaces were for data and the fourth was dedicated to servo information.

    I learned much that summer. I would have worked there even if they didn’t pay me.

    The plant was next door to an ANG base in Westfield. One day, I pulled into the parking lot, and was treated to a formation takeoff, on afterburner, by two F-4 Phantoms. Right over my head. “Loud” doesn’t even begin to describe it, even with my fingers jammed into my ears.

  14. I saw a Corvus 120 megabyte drive at a Computer Faire in San Francisco must have been 1981 or 82. It was the size of a washing machine.

    At the time, typical tower mounted hard disks were 5-10 meg. This was a lot given that a floppy disk held 160k.

    1. The double-sized, double-density 8-inch floppy, introduced in 1977, had a formatted capacity of up to 1.2 megabytes for conventional MFM formatting. In principle, RLL formatting and tight control of disk rotation speed and other tolerances could increase that to 2 megabytes.

  15. DASD = dumb and slow disk. 1800IBMSERV, old Tandem NSII with about 1.2 gig of disk, a TRS80 add on drive that held 1 meg, 2400 reels make evil frisbees, VMS Oracle clusters may not restore if the firmware and Oracle releases don’t line up, so make sure you do journal backups too. Your BOFH expects Hell to take note if he loses a tape drive w 24x7x365 support. (good old days kinda stunk)

  16. People forget how SLOW old hard drives were compared to anything these days. I worked at DEC and was using a workstation running x-windows in 4MB RAM and having a 40MB local MFM disk. Discovered pretty quickly that the workstation was more responsive if I set it up the paging disk as the one on the mainframe across the 10Mbit ethernet connection (about twice the speed of the ST-506 interface, and the mainframe disk seek time was a LOT better).

  17. I went from a C64 to an IBM 486 in 1992 that had a 170MB hard drive. I was told I’d never need that much storage space, but I filled it up in less than a year.
    Also this was the time period where every advertisement said their drives were twice as large as they actually were. So they’d say they were selling a 340MB* drive when it was really just a 170MB drive.
    *(After using doublestore) or stacker or some other drive compression software.
    I don’t know if the ad for my computer did the same, but I’d assume IBM would be more on the level than that.

  18. My first home one was 5mb – and I remember when I upgraded to an amiga with a10mb drive..

    The prices in this article are pretty cheap for the size though – as it had all got a fair bit cheaper by 94. I actually have a receipt somewhere for my first 1GB drive (scsi) array at work (it was made up of smaller drives) , and it was $100K AUD (circa 1990). In today’s dollars that would be a lot lot more…

    In the 45 years since I wrote my first commercial program, I have never never ever wondered what to do with more disk space, or thought that hard disk space was too big to fill.. Not once. I still don’t, as it’s quite easy to fill disks today with video, and will be for quite a while yet… And yes, we knew 40 years ago (when the amiga came out) that we wanted to put video on hard disks (though we just put audio on it..)

    – and from memory, the 3380’s disks on the mainframe were about $250K for about 2.5GB (mid 80’s)

  19. Here in my attic I still keep a T1000 (80C88 4.7MHz 512kB 1xFDD 720kB) with a BackpackerHDD 100MB. They connect via parallel printer port. No it cannot boot off the BackpackerHDD.

  20. I’m definitely later to the game than some of you for sure.
    My first build was in ’99/’2000 and I spent $220 for a Western Digital 20GB drive from Market Pro computer show. I swore at the time I’d never fill up that 18GB D:\ partition but a 56k US Robotics and Napster / Gnutella would soon change that.

    1. I bought a pair of 40GB drives around 2000 or 2001 for $180 each. I had a cable modem and a pretty good idea that they would quickly fill up. Also, an active gamer but a full install of a game back then was rarely >1GB. Nowadays it’s more like 50-80GB for a single modern game.

  21. I remember seeing a bank of hard drives with a single-digit number of GB of storage at a local television station back when single GB’s of storage were excessive. This enormous amount of storage had already paid for itself, apparently. It was being used to add a time delay to the start of _Late Night with David Letterman_ feed in order to fit a few commercials in before starting the show.

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