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Blog: Richard Hackathorn Subscribe to this blog's RSS feed!

Richard Hackathorn

Welcome to my blog stream. I am focusing on the business value of low latency data, real-time business intelligence (BI), data warehouse (DW) appliances, use of virtual world technology, ethics of business intelligence and globalization of business intelligence. However, my blog entries may range widely depending on current industry events and personal life changes. So, readers beware!

Please comment on my blogs and share your opinions with the BI/DW community.

About the author >

Dr. Richard Hackathorn is founder and president of Bolder Technology, Inc. He has more than thirty years of experience in the information technology industry as a well-known industry analyst, technology innovator and international educator. He has pioneered many innovations in database management, decision support, client-server computing, database connectivity, associative link analysis, data warehousing, and web farming. Focus areas are: business value of timely data, real-time business intelligence (BI), data warehouse appliances, ethics of business intelligence and globalization of BI.

Richard has published numerous articles in trade and academic publications, presented regularly at leading industry conferences and conducted professional seminars in eighteen countries. He writes regularly for the BeyeNETWORK.com and has a channel for his blog, articles and research studies. He is a member of the IBM Gold Consultants since its inception, the Boulder BI Brain Trust and the Independent Analyst Platform.

Dr. Hackathorn has written three professional texts, entitled Enterprise Database Connectivity, Using the Data Warehouse (with William H. Inmon), and Web Farming for the Data Warehouse.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Richard's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

September 2006 Archives

It was fifty years ago today! You ask.. What was?

At the IBM San Jose Lab, the RAMAC computer was unveiled. It was the first machine with magnetic disk storage. Before this introduction, data was stored on sequential magnetic tape or, worst, paper tape. It weighted over one ton, had 50 spinning platters, held 5MB of data, and cost $50,000.

Trivial quiz: What does RAMAC stand for? Don't cheat... Do you know? If you know, comment on this blog. Win a free drink at the next conference, courtesy of yours truly.

So, why the big fuss for Business Intelligence? Without the evolution of the random-access hard disk, BI would not have existed. And, I would probably be selling paper tape readers today! The whole concept of a single consistent view of business reality as embodied in the enterprise data warehouse would be a distance dream. Large enterprises would be totally ineffective in a global economy. And, globalisation would be confined to regions, at best.

What is amazing about the past fifty years is the dramatic evolution of disk technology. As quoted by Dan Fost of the San Francisco Chronicle, Dave Wickersham, COO of Seagate, compared hard disks to automobiles. "A car in 1956 cost about $2,500, could hold five people, weighted a ton, and could go as fast as 100 mph. If the auto industry had kept pace with disk drives, a car today would cost less than $25, hold 160,000 people, weight half a pound, and travel up to 940 mph." Amazing...


Posted September 13, 2006 10:43 AM
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