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Middlesex man unearths £26,300-per-GB hard disk

£26,300. That was the equivalent cost per gigabyte of Mitch Hansen's Seagate ST-412 hard disk when it first whirred into life.

The year was 1983; Kajagoogoo and Culture Club were topping the charts - and the state of the art, as far as hard disk technology went, was a 5.25in hard drive the size of a small house brick, and boasting the not-so-whopping capacity of 10MB.

Mitch, of Ruislip, Middlesex, unearthed the 28-year-old drive in an ancient IBM computer that had been sitting in his loft after hard disk manufacturer Seagate ran an online competition to find the oldest working Seagate drive in the UK.

The 2.1kg ST-412 contains four platters spinning at 3,600rpm, and has eight read/write heads. Back in 1983, the 10Mb drive sold for £263 - resulting in the eye-watering cost per gigabyte.

According to Seagate, if those figures are adjusted for inflation, that £263 price tag would be equivalent to around £700 today - making the cost per GB roughly £70,000. Seagate's current state-of-the-art drive, the 3-terabyte Barracuda XT, offers a cost per gig of around six pence.

At a press event in London's Soho last night - fittingly, beneath a vast screen playing 1980s hit movie Back To The Future - Mitch received his prize for discovering the vintage drive: a 1.5TB Seagate GoFlex Ultra Portable drive with a capacity 150,000 times greater than that of the ST-412.