Hard Drive

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When KGB was formed, every student had an AFS quota of a million bytes. This sounds like a stunning amount of space, but in truth it was a bit cramped, even for 1988. (The Web had not yet been invented, but a prehistoric form of Internet humor had evolved -- something to do with Usenet, or maybe FTP -- so it was already possible to collect text files of dumb jokes until your quota filled up. I liked the one about Zorn's Lemon.)

Academic Computing's policy was to give you more space if you asked for it. This policy was hastily modified after somebody asked for an absurd amount (ten megabytes, I think). The new policy involved asking for more and giving a good reason. There's a lesson there.

Anyway, someone at KGB came up with the idea of spending our then-bulging treasury on a hard drive. This would provide the organization with forty megabytes, which was more space than we could possibly imagine.

Details of how this piece of machinery was to be attached to AFS, and how it was to be managed, were never really decided. Eventually KGB decided to spend the money on Booth instead. Final consensus was that the Hard Drive had been a "neat idea".

(Which dates this story as 1989, I guess. Unless it was the 1990 Booth.)