Ancient Objects Uncovered
Excavating the mysteries of the design past.
While excavating in our server room, our team of Design Archaeologists (it’s a thing) uncovered curious objects from the distant past. The team brought these forth to Wise Old Elders for identification.
“Bring them here, to the light.” said the First Elder, as she stood in a shaft of dust motes, beckoning the team to her with a gnarled hand. “These are the First Archives,” she said, squinting her old eyes, hands trembling holding the magnifying lens.
“They were called…floppy disks,” said the Second Elder, chewing his gums. There were gasps of astonishment as the Young Designers carefully and reverently passed the objects from one to the next. “For the storage of data.”
“But they are not ‘floppy’ at all?” said a Young Designer, in reticent challenge.
The Wise Old Elders chuckled. “Yes,” said the first, “This was the way. The first of these kind were made to bend and flop. But this generation was created to hold more and be better protected in this shell. You see?” She tapped one of the objects on the desk. “Yet the name from the original stuck. These are our very first job archives. From the Before Times!”
“Incredible. How much data could they hold? They are so large! They must’ve have been mighty, yes?” asked another Designer, turning the object in the light.
“Hmmm…They contained 1.44 of what were called megabytes.”
“Surely you mean TERABYTES?” questioned the Designer.
“No. No. Megabytes. One often had to choose between loading an application and saving one’s data. Since often there was only a single input interface to insert these disks, one would have to eject a disk and then insert another. Round and round it went. Writing and saving, writing and saving.”
“Programs came on these?” asked an impudent Designer.
“Oh yes,” replied the second Elder. “Sometimes on up to six such disks. But at least programs, as we called them in the Before Times, were written with such efficiency they COULD fit on one or two disks. AND YOU OWNED THEM! Rather than the infinite amount of space your applications greedily demand in these times, more and more space, more and more money…” He began thumping his cane in agitation. “Lazy developers and their terrible code, stacked and crammed without—”
“That is enough, Elder, return to your pudding.” said the Lead Design Archaeologist, and they left the Wise Old Elders back at their dusty desks.
“My, but they do go on,” said one of the Young Designers, sadly.