The World’s First Hardware
The World’s First RAM: （內存）
Arguably the first (writable) random access memory was Magnetic Core Memory (also called Ferrite-Core Memory) and was invented in 1951 as a result of work done by An Wang at Harvard University’s Computation Lab and Jay Forrester at MIT.
Core memory was a family of related technologies that used the magnetic properties of materials to give them a similar functionality to transistors. They stored their information using the polarity of tiny, magnetic ceramic rings with wires threaded through them. Unlike today’s RAM, core memory could keep its information even after the power was turned off.
Core memory was common until it was replaced by integrated silicon RAM chips in the 1970s. The “core” in core memory is why a memory dump is called a “core dump” even today.
The World’s First Hard-Disk: （硬盤／硬碟）
PS: 1TB = 1000GB = 1000*1000MB = 1000*1000*1000KB
The IBM Model 350 Disk File was the first hard disk drive and was part of the IBM 305 RAMAC computer that IBM started delivering in 1956 (mainly intended for business accounting). It had 50 24-inch discs that together could store about 4.4 MB of data. The Model 350 spun at 1200 rpm, had a data transfer rate of 8,800 characters per second and an access time of approximately one second.
The World’s First Selectron Tube: （旭電管）
Wiki: “The Selectron was an early form of digital computer memory developed by Jan A. Rajchman”
The Selectron tube had a capacity of 256 to 4096 bits (32 to 512 bytes). The 4096-bit Selectron was 10 inches long and 3 inches wide. Originally developed in 1946, the memory storage device proved expensive and suffered from production problems, so it never became a success.
The World’s First Punch Cards: （打孔卡）
Early computers often used punch cards for input both of programs and data. Punch cards were in common use until the mid-1970s. It should be noted that the use of punch cards predates computers. They were used as early as 1725 in the textile industry (for controlling mechanized textile looms).
The World’s First Punch Tape: （打孔胶帶）
Same as with punch cards, punched tape was originally pioneered by the textile industry for use with mechanized looms. For computers, punch tape could be used for data input but also as a medium to output data. Each row on the tape represented one character.
The World’s First Magnetic Drum Memory: （磁鼓存儲器）
Invented all the way back in 1932 (in Austria), it was widely used in the 1950s and 60s as the main working memory of computers. In the mid-1950s, magnetic drum memory had a capacity of around 10 KB.
The World’s First LaserDisc: （雷射唱片或影碟片）
We mention it here mainly because it was the precursor to the CD-ROM and other optical storage solutions. It was mainly used for movies. The first commercially available laserdisc system was available on the market late in 1978 (then called Laser Videodisc and the more funkily branded DiscoVision) and were 11.81 inches (30 cm) in diameter. The discs could have up to 60 minutes of audio/video on each side. The first laserdiscs had entirely analog content. The basic technology behind laserdiscs was invented all the way back in 1958.
The World’s First Floppy Disks: （軟盤／磁碟）
The diskette, or floppy disk (named so because they were flexible), was invented by IBM and in common use from the mid-1970s to the late 1990s. The first floppy disks were 8 inches, and later in came 5.25 and 3.5-inch formats. The first floppy disk, introduced in 1971, had a capacity of 79.7 kB, and was read-only. A read-write version came a year later.
The World’s First Magnetic Tape: （磁帶）
Magnetic tape was first used for data storage in 1951. The tape device was called UNISERVO and was the main I/O device on the UNIVAC I computer. The effective transfer rate for the UNISERVO was about 7,200 characters per second. The tapes were metal and 1200 feet long (365 meters) and therefore very heavy.