Back in the early 1990s, processor speeds where measured in dual-digit megahertz, RAM was measured in single-digit megabytes, and hard drives were just beginning to creep from the two- to three-digit megabyte capacity. During that time, commercially-available storage in the gigabyte range looked like the big disk, pictured above among the more common 3.5 inch floppy disks for size comparison.
It’s an optical disk cartridge with 2.62 GB capacity. The plastic case isn’t much more than a jumbo-sized version of a 3.5 inch floppy, and the disk medium is the close cousin of CD and DVD R/W technology. If you’d like to get your hands on one, it can be yours for $50 on eBay.
To give you a better idea of its size, here’s how you’d carry it around:
And while it looks like a floppy disk, it’s never going to fit in that A: drive:
These ODCs, as they were called for short, didn’t see much use outside enterprise computing. Instead, these smaller, cheaper backup storage devices rose and for a while were the hottest peripherals to have:
…and if you really needed more storage space (I did, as I was developing interactive CD-ROMs at the time), you had one of these: