Letters to the Power Plant #34 — Big Drives

After I left the power plant and went to work for Dell on August 20, 2001, I wrote letters back to my friends at the plant letting them know how things were going.  This is the thirty fourth letter I wrote.  Keep in mind that at the time when I originally penned this letter I didn’t intend on it being posted online (Boy.  Times have changed).

05/17/2002 – Big Drives


Do you remember the 20 MB hard drive I had on my first 8088 computer?  Then 200 MBs, Then 2 GBs (Gigabytes), Then 20 GB?  At home I have an 80 GB hard drive.  Well.  Anyway.  At Dell and Wal-Mart, and probably at OG&E, they are using drives that are Terabytes large.

Now.  To understand a Terabyte, it is 1000 Gigabytes.  A Megabyte is one million.  A Gigabyte is one Billion.  A Terabyte is one Trillion!!!  —  We have terabyte drives that store our databases.  We are moving over to a new database that will have a Petabyte (PB) of memory.

You can see where this is going.  1000 Terabytes!!!!  To put this into perspective.  That is 1,000,000 Gigabytes!!!!  No let’s go one step further, That is 1,000,000,000 (1 billion) Megabytes.  No, let’s call it what it is:  one Quadrillion bytes.  Or 1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes of information!!!!!!

Now I will say what I heard my dad say the first time he brought home a box of 10 low density 5 1/4 inch floppy disks, before there were hard drives.  “There are 360 thousand bytes (360 KB) on this disk!  Do you know how long it will take me to fill up just one of these?  I can put a whole book on just one of these disks, and I have 10 disks in this box!!!!  I will never use these up!!!”

Certainly, we will never use up a Pedabyte of space…….certainly not…….

I started writing this to just Charles Foster, but then I thought the rest of you might be interested in this exercise in Mathematics.

Note to Reader:  To learn more about Charles Foster, read this post:  Personal Power Plant Hero — Charles Foster

Your pal at Dell,



Kevin J. Breazile

Customer Experience / Warranty Cost

Dell Computer Corporation

(512) 728-1527

3 responses

  1. I’ve been following this blog for years and have thoroughly enjoyed it! All your friends are the same golden hearted characters I grew up with in the powerplant! Different names and faces but same colorful personalities, and the same kind of guys who would do anything for anybody at any time. I retired right before Christmas after 33 years (I walked out of the plant for the last time at 0306 hrs. early on the morning of December 22nd 2016) I retired my first work day after turning 55 which a union guy can do if he’s got 85 credits (I had 88). I retired as a lead plant operator (Formerly known as shift working foreman) of the night 1 crew. I started when I was 21, it’s been a great gig for sure! I get the old fashioned pension which takes care of me for the rest of my life and takes care of the wife too after I’ve passed on to the wild blue yonder. Thanks for the memories Kevin! You’ve got my email, feel free to write! Maybe I could send some powerplant pics!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great Monty! If I had stayed around at the plant I would have been able to retire with full benefits when I was 52. They had an 80 point plan. Thank you for your many years of shift work spent ensuring that everyone had a reliable source of electricity!


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