I wrote my first computer programs in HP-Basic on a HP-85 desktop computer. The year was 1980 and we stored our programs on special "high-speed" cassette tapes. I remember proposing to buy a "Winchester-Drive" for our lab, but our management refused to approve the purchase because of its ridiculously high price tag. Does anybody remember how much the price of a Hard-Drive was in those days? And what storage-capacity we were dealing with?
The July 1983 HP-85 price list includes the following stand-alone Winchester drives:
- 9134A (just under 5MB) for $3,500
- 9134B (9.6MB) for $4,360
These were also available as combination drives with 3.5” or 5.25” “flexible” drives.
As Raffzahn points out, for comparison, the price for the HP-85A computer is given as $2,750, and the B model was $2,995, so a single hard drive cost significantly more than the computer it would end up attached to (and there were cheaper Series 80 models). $3,500 in 1983 is equivalent to $9,600 today (see this inflation calculator).
(All prices are given in US dollars.)