I just found a old digital camera including a SD Card where the size on it was marked with 512 MB. So I just looked up the capacity of the drives release in 1998.
The new disks released in 1998 had a capacity starting at around 2 GB and up to 8GB. Yes, GB (Gigabytes) not TB (Terabytes). A disk with more than 2 Gigabytes was a huge disk. There were some articles around like “Who really needs 8 GB of storage”. This is 20 years ago and right when my journey into my passion as a developer started.
Fast forward to 2018. If we just compare spinning drives we managed to increase the capacity of the disks not by 100 or 1’000 but by 7’000 times. Today the smaller disks start at around 2 TB and go up to 14TB available per disk. There are also versions with around 30TB announced. This would be 15’000 times the size of the disks 20 years ago.
Even the midrange smartphones of 2018 have 16 or 32 GB of storage. The CF-Card in my camera has 64GB and the NAS at home around 40TB+ raw storage. If I take 64 images in RAW format with my Canon EOS 5D I already fill a 1998 2 GB disk. And such RAW files are still small compared to something like movies. I have more than 2 TB of storage only dedicated to the images I took. I did not even start speaking about such things like youtube or the large cloud platforms. That’s just insane how much data we store today.
And not to forget the new SSDs, that are really fast or the even faster m2 disks directly attached to four PCIx lanes. The size of these disks just went up. And this is just the beginning.
I’m just happy to be a part of this crazy industry and that I had the chance of growing up with all this technology. I wonder what’s coming next. I’m sure there will be a whole bunch of exiting new things to come during the next 20 years!