Remember 20 megabyte hard drives?

Photograph of 3.5-inch floppy disc for Apple Macintosh HD20

I just found this while cleaning up the office: the start-up disc for Apple’s Hard Disk 20 from 1985.

This was the first hard drive for the then-new Macintosh. My beloved Fat Mac — “Fat” because it came with 512k RAM, not the original 128K — had two 800kB 400kB 3.5-inch floppies, one of which held the operating system

So this drive extended my data storage from under 1MB half a megabyte to a gargantuan 20MB. I was in heaven!

Later that year, a legal settlement from a traffic accident provided the funds for the other cool tool for geeks: the original Apple LaserWriter printer. I remember being extremely chuffed because it was on special: marked down from the list price of AUD$10k to a mere $7.7k

Yes, seven thousand dollars! In 1985 money!

This was the desktop publishing revolution!

Everyone — simple everyone — wanted to look at the glorious 300dpi print quality. And because I’d gotten hold of JustText, a code-based tool for professional typesetting, I could pass raw PostScript commands through to the printer and do complex layouts. TAFE offered me a job on the spot — which I declined.

It all seems so passé now…

This disc looks in pretty good condition. I wonder if it still works? Anyone got the hardware?

4 Replies to “Remember 20 megabyte hard drives?”

  1. @Nick Hodge: Hard drive space is one of those quantities, yes.

    @Simon Slade: The Macintosh Portable has to be one of the ugliest things o every come out of Apple, IMHO. Well, apart from Steve Jobs’ ego, that is. Sill, a great thing to have around.

  2. I have a SE or SE30 in my shed complete with apple carry case and 20Mb HD (not apple). Bought it a few years back at auction for the cables and carry case.

    Neatly packs so you can carry it from one location to the next. Not really a portable in the true sense, it is luggable but only just.

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