View Full Version : 3 1/4" Floppy disks.

April 30th, 2017, 12:08 PM
I was looking for something else, and came across this Dysan Ad in the April 9, 1984 issue of Infoworld (see attach screen grab, not sure how to link directly to google books.) I don't remember seeing these back in the day. Does anyone have any drives/disks? Or know of any systems that used it?



April 30th, 2017, 12:17 PM
I don't remember seeing these back in the day.

I don't either. I remember the 3" disks that Amstrad and a few others used, but not 3 1/4".

April 30th, 2017, 12:27 PM
Good luck finding one. Surprisingly few Tabor drives have survived considering that about 50,000 made were made. 20 years ago, they were available cheap from a remainder house in New Jersey.

Old thread with information: http://www.vcfed.org/forum/archive/index.php/t-29621.html

Besides the Chameleon, prototypes enclosures were available for the Jupiter Ace and Coleco Adam plus Tabor's own mountings for IBM PC, PC Jr, and Apple II.

Edit: page 135 of https://archive.org/details/radio_electronics_1987-02 shows examples of the dual drive enclosures for the Tabor to give an idea of things to look out for. The PC Jr stack has to be out there somewhere.

April 30th, 2017, 12:28 PM
I remember seeing the ads, possibly in COMPUTE! or something that I had a subscription to, and that's it.

April 30th, 2017, 12:44 PM
Still have the drives and the disks. (no--you can't have them).

The battle of the shirt-pocket floppy was pretty pitched, back in the day. Sony/HP had their format, which was pretty radical, using a rigid jacket for the media--and spinning it at 600 RPM. I did some contract work for the Preis luggable (whatever happened to them) using the Sony OA-32 SS drives. I was impressed--they were significantly faster than the 5.25" floppies, due to the faster rotational speed.

Dysan had their own 3.25" floppies, which were more like traditional 5.25" ones and spun at 300 RPM. My take was that they were basically a nonstarter because they were significantly more fragile. If you wanted to carry one in your shirt pocket, you'd just about need to keep it in the box it was sold in. So it's a good thing that they didn't win the war.

The 600 RPM thing was dropped for the Sony drives when retrofitting became an issue. The original drives had a 26 pin interface and were half height, like a 5.25" HH drive.

Japanese PC98 drives were all high-density spinning at 360 RPM to make them perfectly compatible with 8" and 5.25" HD drives. Very smart of them--one format for all physical media.

I'd still like to get a Zenith Minisport 2" drive and media...

May 4th, 2017, 04:10 PM
I don't remember 3-1/4" floppies, but I remember the 3" ones only too well.

The computer lab in my school was equipped with Amstrads.
I guess they were cheaper than real PCs.

I remember thinking how primitive they were compared to my Atari ST - they had monochrome monitors and no GUI.

Those disks were horrible. I remember having to pay some outrageous price for a disk at the start of the year, and I didn't even get to keep it.

The worst part was that the disks were double sided, but you had to physically remove them from the drive and turn them over to use the other side!

Alan Sugar ruined my IT education :(