Timeline: 50 Years of Hard Drives | PCWorld. Perhaps the one biggest thing driving computer technology over the last fifty years has been the increasing capacity of data storage devices. Computer data is the reason we can use them for so many modern tasks; and, the price performance ration has been astounding. The ten megabyte hard drive I purchased in the Eighties for my Toshiba portable computer (ten pounds of svelte computing power) cost almost a thousand dollars, and they were Eighties dollars. Today, I saw an ad at B&H photo for a 500 Gigabyte drive on sale for $39.95. I am not a math whiz; but, that means you would have to buy 50 thousand 10 meg drives to equal the forty dollar drive of today. Jeez.