Hard Disk Drive

Disk drives quickly store and retrieve information for computers.

The primary inventor is Reynold “Rey” Johnson. Previously, he invented and sold the technology that reads pencil dots, usually for taking tests, to IBM. Subsequently, he then joined them as a staff engineer. While at IBM he developed the hard disk drive.

The first hard drive, the IBM 350 RAMC, was about 1.5 sqm and weighed over a ton. Moving the disk drive required forklifts. It stored 5MB of memory (.05GB) and leased for $3,200 ($30,000 adjusted to 2019) per month. The only computer the drive worked with was the IBM305, a bemouth that used tubes and was programmed via wire jumpers.

After the hard drive, Johnson worked with IBM and Sony to develop the videocassette.

Eventually, after retirement, he developed the speech tech used in “speak to me books.”

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