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54

R&D stuff isn't manufactured (at first). It's usually partially constructed, ripped up, and redone, multiple times, with long testing and debug cycles in between, all the while with payroll running up the tab. Tons (literally) of fried or used components and partial assemblies can go into the junk bin. The specifications then often evolve with the ...


36

I looked at trade periodicals from the time in question, because the intended customer for a hard drive in the early 1980's was almost certainly a business or school (look at the prices, particularly after they are adjusted for inflation!) PC Magazine only started operations in February of 1982, but there were already several hard drives announced or ...


24

So what was the other $478,000 spent on? Paying people to design and build it would have been a fairly big component. People often underestimate the cost of labour, particularly if it is their own time. Also looking at the photos of it on wikipedia, there were a lot of components besides valves. There were racks and other cabinets and what looks like a ...


20

One of the biggest factors is that when you have a machine that requires 5,000,000 successful solder joints to function properly, you need to make sure that all of your solder joints are really really good. If 1 in 10,000 of your solder joints is subtly bad, that means that the first time you try to put everything together you will have 5000 bad solders and ...


19

TL;DR: How much did the first hard drives for the IBM PC or Apple || cost, and how big were they? Ready to use setups started around 3,000+ USD for 5 MiB in 1981 Long (Hi-)Story As usual defining 'first' is hard, as of course some people always attached drives to their micros way before there wer standard offering - our own Bruce Abbott gives a great ...


7

Here's a video about manufacturing UNIVAC 1108 (circa 1965, so a bit later but still illuminating). Notice how much is done by hand, even things like winding coils. According to the University of Minnesota the UNIVAC division employed about 10,000 people. Price list for some UNIVAC 1104 components (long page of text, search for "UNIVAC 1004 PRICE LIST&...


6

Disclaimer: I don't recall the exact prices and dates, so it's only rough estimates. For my Z80 CP/M system, around 1984 I bought a 20MB hard drive for 3000DM (~ US$ 1200 by that time). It had the 5.25" full height form factor and an ST506/412 interface. For interfacing with my machine, I used a SASI-to-ST506 controller plus an ECB-based SASI adapter. ...


5

what was the layout of the prime cost of early 8 and 5.25 inch hard drives? From Seagate and competing manufacturers? BOM Cost and retail margins (including relationships with dealer networks), R&D costs and financial burden ... While it may be interesting to those studying manufacturing economics in the 1980's, I don't think think that breaking down ...


4

Retendo has photos of the following: Europe, PAL: Grey, with black label. Australia, New Zealand, PAL: Gold, with gold label. US, NTSC: Gold, Grey, (Player's Choice) Grey, (Not for Resale) Grey, all with gold label. Japan: Grey, with black and white label. Taiwan: Grey, with gold label. Hong Kong: Grey, with gold label. This American advert indicates that ...


3

The first hard drive I ever saw for sale was at a Radio Shack around 1979 or 1980, as an add on to the TRS80. It was a 1.5 megabyte drive, priced at $1000. Chief advantage of it over a 180k floppy drive was higher speed and longevity. Floppy discs had a limited lifespan, and could easily be damaged in handling. In 1990, I bought a 500 meg SCSI drive for $1k, ...


2

I just found a great web page: Disk Drive Prices 1955+, which has one simple chart showing yearly, and in later years monthly, prices of drives. The page was made by John C. McCallum - more details about it on his home page. Most of the earlier examples are either IBM/DEC drives (not so easily attached to microcomputers) or floppy drives. One that is ...


1

In the early 1980's Lithgow Electronics [based in Greenock - not so far from "Spango Valley with its own railway station "IBM Halt] had the contract to assemble just 5,000 IBM PC's - single floppy drive. We assembled 50,000 that year ! Then we decided to get some for our own use: First addition was a 5mb TallGrass Winchester unit with a tape backup....


1

Are you limiting your question to "IBM PCs?" Because hard drives for hobbyists existed long before the IBM PC. I built my first computer, a Heathkit H-89, from a kit. It included 4kB of RAM! I designed and built 64kB of RAM for it, which I built on perf board with wire-wrap wire. I had a pair of ONE MEGABYTE 8" hard drives that I bought for it!...


1

Yep, I was a service manager for one of the first Apple stores (before Apple screwed us and sold through Sears...) The Apple Profile came in 5MB and 10MB and were very slow and prone to failure if moved. Our service contracts had to specify that we would move the profiles as customers were just unplugging them and moving them while the platters were still ...


1

By the time the first hard drives were becoming common at retail for early "clone" PCs, you could buy a 10 MB one for about $250 to $300 in the US. That was the actual price for a 10MB "disk-on-a-card" drive assembly consisting of a Western Digital drive attached to a controller ISA board. Of course, drives were much more expensive in the ...


1

It turns out that the price difference was not as large as I thought it was. According to http://www.oocities.org/peterochocki/computers/1980comp/swtp6800.htm the $395 for the SWTPC was in kit form, which means it compares to $430 for the Altair, a rather small price difference. Raffzahn is probably right that the $35 difference is accounted for by the ...


1

Some time in late 1985 or early 1986. If you went to an industry supplier like RS or Mouser, you could get a 286 as soon as it was available. But anyone who wanted more than the 8086 could offer tended to just use a 68k, which was simpler to interface, simpler to program and had of course been available for years. So there was not a lot of demand for the ...


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