The RAMAC team had to come up with a range of entirely new technologies to meet the design goals of the project.
Disks for magnetic storage
Prior to RAMAC, the leading random access storage technology was drum-based. The RAMAC team found that disks offered a range of advantages—provided they could overcome a number of technical difficulties.
Read/write head and access arms
The read/write heads were on two arms that moved vertically among the disks and radially along each disk to provide random access to any location on any disk.
Painting the media
Engineers tried many techniques before they found that pouring the magnetic paint on the spinning disk produced the desired result.
Direct, random access to data
The RAMAC had an alphanumeric keyboard that allowed an operator to request a specific piece of data anywhere on the storage disks.