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"removable disc/cartridge" SCSI drives that can act as a fixed disk drive

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    #31
    I have a few 1.3GB MO drives and a couple 2.6GB ones (ALL SCSI) but never bothered with the 4.xGB ones because they were junk and media is hard to find.
    CDR and eventually DVDR killed removable drives just because anybody you wanted to send data to had an optical drive that could read it.
    A Parallel port Sparq drive must have been slow. I liked Iomega Jazz drives since they were SCSI.
    Collecting removable drives is fun.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

    Comment


      #32
      Originally posted by Unknown_K View Post
      I have a few 1.3GB MO drives and a couple 2.6GB ones (ALL SCSI) but never bothered with the 4.xGB ones because they were junk and media is hard to find.
      CDR and eventually DVDR killed removable drives just because anybody you wanted to send data to had an optical drive that could read it.
      A Parallel port Sparq drive must have been slow. I liked Iomega Jazz drives since they were SCSI.
      Collecting removable drives is fun.
      The 4.6gb one we have is actually a 2.3gb per side drive and you have to flip the cartridge over. Were these compatible with your 2.6gb drives?

      Comment


        #33
        IIRC, the small differences in capacity like 2.3 GB versus 2.6 GB were the result of different sector sizes. 2.3 GB used 512 bytes per sector while 2.6 GB used 1024 bytes per sector. Plus there were any number of proprietary capacities.

        Some drives supported multiple sector sizes. Most drives had the ability to read/write half capacity discs and read only for quarter capacity; some stretched read only support all the way back to 640MB. The proprietary capacities were generally only supported by the drive that made it and the replacement for it at the next higher capacity. Rather obviated the longevity of WORM discs if it becomes impossible to find a drive that reads those discs.

        Parallel port drives were slow; filling a 1 GB Sparq disk took basically the lunch hour. On the other hand, the parallel port drive was a lot easier to attach to a new system.

        Comment


          #34
          Originally posted by krebizfan View Post
          IIRC, the small differences in capacity like 2.3 GB versus 2.6 GB were the result of different sector sizes. 2.3 GB used 512 bytes per sector while 2.6 GB used 1024 bytes per sector. Plus there were any number of proprietary capacities.

          Some drives supported multiple sector sizes. Most drives had the ability to read/write half capacity discs and read only for quarter capacity; some stretched read only support all the way back to 640MB. The proprietary capacities were generally only supported by the drive that made it and the replacement for it at the next higher capacity. Rather obviated the longevity of WORM discs if it becomes impossible to find a drive that reads those discs.

          Parallel port drives were slow; filling a 1 GB Sparq disk took basically the lunch hour. On the other hand, the parallel port drive was a lot easier to attach to a new system.
          Ah yes, the sector sizing. I believe our drive was using 2048 sectors, so it might be one of those formats that was one step away from the WORM drives.

          And I think you bring up a good point on why removable storage (and even tapes drives for that matter) never made it as a long term archive medium--the inability to play back the media. Just think of the record on the Voyager spacecraft--in another 40 years or so, even the civilization that created it won't be able to listen to it. Audio and video cassettes have almost already gone this route. I think the CD format might have even started to fade into history if they weren't the best way to physically distribute music.

          Depending on what type of parallel port it was, you could get higher data rates--nothing near internal drives, but faster. We actually still have a xircom external ethernet adapter that could transfer at maximum parallel port rates, and that was never full ethernet speeds. (Very convenient though.)

          Comment


            #35
            Originally posted by Samir View Post
            Ah yes, the sector sizing. I believe our drive was using 2048 sectors, so it might be one of those formats that was one step away from the WORM drives.
            I know my Pinnacle Micro Sierra 1.3GB is 1024 bytes/sector but it will also work with the 512 bytes/sector media that DOS wants.

            Just think of the record on the Voyager spacecraft--in another 40 years or so, even the civilization that created it won't be able to listen to it. Audio and video cassettes have almost already gone this route.
            The interesting thing about records/LP/etc is that it really doesn't take much to play them back. Just look at the acoustic era with the RCA Victrola and Edison Amberola machines. Wax and plastic cylinders and shellac disks played back with little more than a needle of various types vibrating a diaphragm and amplified by a large horn. Nothing electrical and the most complex part of the machine was the spring wound motor. I'd think it'd be fairly easy to any advanced civilization to figure out how to read them.
            Collection online nonstop since May 1997: http://www.cchaven.com

            Comment


              #36
              Originally posted by Samir View Post
              And I think you bring up a good point on why removable storage (and even tapes drives for that matter) never made it as a long term archive medium--the inability to play back the media.
              Oh, I don't know about that. 1/2" magnetic tape on open reels has proved to be a very durable medium. Lately, I've been working with tapes that are more than 50 years old quite successfully.

              Got anything else that's more than 50 years old for data storage? Paper, maybe?

              Do you really expect data stashed in the cloud to be around in 50 years? I have trouble finding stuff on the net written 5 years ago.

              For example
              Last edited by Chuck(G); December 22, 2017, 12:18 PM.
              Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

              Comment


                #37
                Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
                ..... I have trouble finding stuff on the net written 5 years ago....
                I didn't quite get it.....what about the lunar orbiter?


                ziloo

                Comment


                  #38
                  Look at the date on that tape. Know any other data storage medium that lasts 50 years and isn't paper?

                  Samir claims that "tape never made it as a long term archive medium".

                  That tape was already 10 years old when Voyager 1 was launched--and it's quite readable today.
                  Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

                  Comment


                    #39
                    Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
                    Look at the date on that tape. Know any other medium that lasts 50 years and isn't paper?

                    Samir claims that "tape never made it as a long term archive medium".
                    Clay. Stone. Sumerian missives can still be located and translated which is a longevity not even paper can match.

                    Some of the modern storage methods should last for centuries barring fire or explosion. But a tricky format that only works on a single model of drive is a bad idea for storage. I know companies that preferred the manufacturer suggested special format and now have no easy way to read the data back. Getting 10% more data on disc or tape is not worth the aggravation of vendor lock-in.

                    Comment


                      #40
                      Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
                      ....That tape was already 10 years old when Voyager 1 was launched...
                      You just cross correlated the lunar orbiter tape with the voyager's launch date...!!!???
                      I don't think there would ever be a storage medium to compete with yours Chuck!


                      ziloo

                      Comment


                        #41
                        Originally posted by krebizfan View Post
                        Clay. Stone. Sumerian missives can still be located and translated which is a longevity not even paper can match.
                        I was going to add "stone" to the list, but thought better of it.

                        The problem there is extremely low information density. The other problem is that we can get the gist of ancient missives, but rarely understand the subtleties of them. After all, we don't think with the ancient brains or live in their culture.

                        But consider the announcement of Mitsui/MAM-A CD-R media, projecting a 300 year retention. Does anyone really believe that a CD-R will endure for 300 years today?
                        Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

                        Comment


                          #42
                          And scientific consensus blinds us constantly, in this case assuming that ancient minds were primitive.
                          Be polite and I may let you live.

                          https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...5NBVfKX5471R9U

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                            #43
                            Originally posted by cchaven View Post
                            I know my Pinnacle Micro Sierra 1.3GB is 1024 bytes/sector but it will also work with the 512 bytes/sector media that DOS wants.



                            The interesting thing about records/LP/etc is that it really doesn't take much to play them back. Just look at the acoustic era with the RCA Victrola and Edison Amberola machines. Wax and plastic cylinders and shellac disks played back with little more than a needle of various types vibrating a diaphragm and amplified by a large horn. Nothing electrical and the most complex part of the machine was the spring wound motor. I'd think it'd be fairly easy to any advanced civilization to figure out how to read them.
                            The more I read, the more I seem to recall about our old drive. I believe it was compatible with 512, 1024, and 2048 sectored media, although read-only for either the 1024 or both 1024 and 512.

                            True, but my point is not that it is impossible to read the data back, but that because the formats of removable media change, the ability to quickly read them back can vary greatly.

                            Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
                            Oh, I don't know about that. 1/2" magnetic tape on open reels has proved to be a very durable medium. Lately, I've been working with tapes that are more than 50 years old quite successfully.

                            Got anything else that's more than 50 years old for data storage? Paper, maybe?

                            Do you really expect data stashed in the cloud to be around in 50 years? I have trouble finding stuff on the net written 5 years ago.

                            For example
                            I think the problem with cloud data is that it is being deleted. And this is a greater problem than actual data loss as the information could have existed from a technological standpoint. I agree that I can't find things online from 10 years ago, and this seems to be a growing problem as the history of mankind turns to digital and online media as a repository. Imagine if mankind only remembers the last 20 years or only what it wants to remember?
                            Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
                            Look at the date on that tape. Know any other data storage medium that lasts 50 years and isn't paper?

                            Samir claims that "tape never made it as a long term archive medium".

                            That tape was already 10 years old when Voyager 1 was launched--and it's quite readable today.
                            I didn't claim that tape never made it as a long term archive medium in the past, just that it isn't as viable today and hence why retrieval of data on tapes does require specialized equipment (that was once probably pretty standard).

                            Really amazing to see an old reel of computer tape--especially with 'Memorex' on it. Memorex CDRs have a 1:10 failure rate in our application, lol.
                            Originally posted by krebizfan View Post
                            Clay. Stone. Sumerian missives can still be located and translated which is a longevity not even paper can match.

                            Some of the modern storage methods should last for centuries barring fire or explosion. But a tricky format that only works on a single model of drive is a bad idea for storage. I know companies that preferred the manufacturer suggested special format and now have no easy way to read the data back. Getting 10% more data on disc or tape is not worth the aggravation of vendor lock-in.
                            And this was kinda more my point in that while the media is obviously lasting, the lack of drives effectively makes the media (and the overall format) less valuable.
                            Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
                            I was going to add "stone" to the list, but thought better of it.

                            The problem there is extremely low information density. The other problem is that we can get the gist of ancient missives, but rarely understand the subtleties of them. After all, we don't think with the ancient brains or live in their culture.

                            But consider the announcement of Mitsui/MAM-A CD-R media, projecting a 300 year retention. Does anyone really believe that a CD-R will endure for 300 years today?
                            That's an interesting question. I have several Mitsui media that are now over 10 years old and read back as well as the day they were written. I also have some of the original Sony and other branded CDR media (that cost $11-12/ea at the time), and wonder if they will read back (haven't tried yet). I think the media will definitely survive as long as the tape that Chuck(G) shared, and probably a bit longer. The question is if a drive that works will be around to read the media.

                            Comment


                              #44
                              Originally posted by Samir View Post
                              Really amazing to see an old reel of computer tape--especially with 'Memorex' on it. Memorex CDRs have a 1:10 failure rate in our application, lol.
                              And this was kinda more my point in that while the media is obviously lasting, the lack of drives effectively makes the media (and the overall format) less valuable.
                              That's an interesting question.
                              If the information is valuable and it survives, someone will find a way to read it.

                              Memorex underwent a drastic change after the Burroughs/Unisys/Tandy musical chairs episode. 1980s 1/2" Memorex tape (e.g. MRX IV) was cheap and terrible. It's known for "sticky shed" issues and can be a real pain in the *ss. Earlier Memorex tapes are fine, as the ghost of Ella Fitzgerald would probably testify.

                              I have several Mitsui media that are now over 10 years old and read back as well as the day they were written. I also have some of the original Sony and other branded CDR media (that cost $11-12/ea at the time), and wonder if they will read back (haven't tried yet). I think the media will definitely survive as long as the tape that Chuck(G) shared, and probably a bit longer. The question is if a drive that works will be around to read the media.
                              I've got older Mitsui "gold" media that's probably closer to 20 years old. Since I almost never go back to check my old CD-Rs, I don't know if they've survived. I do remember that it was expensive. Again, if the medium has valuable information and has survived intact, it can be read if there's a will to do so, even if one has to build a drive from scratch.
                              Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

                              Comment


                                #45
                                My old CDRs seem to be fine when I bother to check them. I also burned a couple individually wrapped in a CD jewel case 4x CDR purchased back in the day when I was in the lab and needed to burn something and was too lazy to hit my room for a spool, they worked fine.
                                What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
                                Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
                                Boxed apps and games for the above systems
                                Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

                                Comment

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