Maker's Name: 
circa 1970
65 × 96 × 121 cm

This cabinet was originally used to store punched computer cards. It was supplied by the International Business Machines corporation and was made around 1970. It has 32 separate drawers and each drawer can contain up to 2000 cards. This means that the cabinet can accommodate 64,000 punch cards. While this may sound like a lot, each card can only contain 80 8-bit bytes. This means that despite the cabinets impressive size it can only hold 5.12 Megabytes at maximum capacity. In comparison, the microSD cards used in many phones today can hold up to 16 Gigabytes of information, over 3,000 times more than this punch card cabinet. Additionally, these microSD cards are approximately 4.6 million times smaller than this cabinet. This means that today our methods of data storage now easily achieve a storage density of over 14 billion times more.

It cost $180 around 1970. Presently it is used to store small museum items.

This item is part of the UQ Physics Museum ‘Paper Tape and Punched Cards’ Tour
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