Questions tagged [storage]

For questions on information storage on retrocomputing platforms.

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3 answers
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How did reserve tracks work on early hard disks?

The Wikipedia article History of IBM magnetic disk drives describes the details of the IBM 2311 device, introduced in 1964, as The 2311 stores 7.25 megabytes on a single removable IBM 1316 disk pack. ...
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4 votes
1 answer
244 views

What information could be recovered from visualized magnetic information?

I was wondering how the data on a floppy disk physically looks like. With data stored on a magnetic disk obviously that isn't visible. The Wikipedia article on floppy disks however shows a beautiful ...
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17 votes
6 answers
2k views

How does a floppy drive identify the first and last sectors and tracks?

I've recently found a more modern application "Floppy Disk Master-7"(Picture 2) (FDM) that visualized the bad sectors, tracks and clusters(Picture 1) on a floppy disk in a similar (but ...
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2 votes
2 answers
247 views

How to determine the required RPM for a 3.5-inch floppy disk?

In addition to my other related question Is it possible to read floppy disks at non-standard rotation speeds (RPM)?. How to determine the required RPM for a 3.5-inch floppy disk as disks can ...
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1 vote
4 answers
438 views

Is it possible to read floppy disks at non-standard rotation speeds (RPM)?

According to this article 3.5-inch floppies rotate 300-600 times per minute (RPM). It is possible to overclock the RPM and will that result in higher transfer speeds? Or is it possible to read a disk ...
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9 votes
1 answer
223 views

What is the effect of direct exposure of the magnetic disk of a floppy to ultraviolet (UV) light?

I was thinking of the mold issue of floppies and UV light (UV-C) came to mind. As ultraviolet (UV) is a form of electromagnetic radiation and floppies use a magnetic disk for storage and I vaguely ...
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5 votes
3 answers
528 views

Definitive list of music bands/groups that included computer programs on their analogue audio music physical media releases (LPs, singles)

Is there a definitive list of music pop/rock bands/groups that included computer programs as part of their physical analogue audio music releases? (vinyl LPs, EPs, singles) etc? For this to be ...
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26 votes
3 answers
4k views

When did 5.25″ floppies exceed the capacity of 8″?

When 5.25″ floppies were introduced, in the mid-to-late seventies, they would have had less capacity than the older 8″ because, well, less area on which to store data. On the other hand, being cheaper ...
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8 votes
4 answers
1k views

Why Kansas City Standard (KCS/CUTS) differs from Bell 103/202/212 modem protocol?

While both were data transfer protocols serving streams at 300/1200 baud, why did they choose different frequencies, marks, modulation, and anything else? I understand that they serve different ...
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2 votes
4 answers
455 views

Cheapest way to store and load small dataset in the 80s?

An extra, costly floppy drive would overkill when transferring a page of letter, storing game level data, or distributing a piece of BASIC program, and non built-in ones have to be paid. A tape ...
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17 votes
3 answers
4k views

How can I store a machine language program to disk on a C64?

I know I can use LOAD "PROGRAM",8,1 to load a program in a certain spot in memory, using the first two bytes of the file on disk. Now let's say I have used the .MON command on the Final ...
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11 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the (standardized) weight of a 3.5 inch floppy disk?

What is the weight of a 3.5 inch floppy disk and was the weight ever standardized?
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7 votes
1 answer
688 views

Did the original Japanese Tamagotchi device really die *completely* (forever) if the digital pet died? [closed]

Ever since 1997, I've had this "factoid" in my head that the original release of Tamagotchi in Japan had no "reset" feature, and you could not remove the batteries to reset it ...
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2 votes
1 answer
220 views

What's with the TX-0 punchtape instructions?

The TX-0 has a class of instructions very similar to the PDP-style microprogrammed, operation instructions. Fill the opcode field with all ones, and then select which microoperations you want to ...
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12 votes
4 answers
1k views

Did the Commodore datasette interface provide greater reliability?

Cassette, being cheaper than a floppy disk drive, was a popular storage medium in the 8-bit era. Some computers such as the Sinclair Spectrum, just provided a port to plug in an existing cassette deck....
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3 votes
2 answers
841 views

Bakelite as data storage

Was bakelite used for computer data storage like it was used for grammophone records? My brother says he remembers this but I cannot find it on Google.
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25 votes
2 answers
12k views

What is the massive CD drive used in the movie "Licence to Kill"?

In the movie Licence to Kill, James Bond breaks into Felix Leiter's house and gets a CD out from behind a picture. He then sticks a CD in an absolutely massive CD drive. It was about three times the ...
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11 votes
8 answers
7k views

Why were optical drives not used as secondary storage instead of magnetic drives?

What prevented optical drives from being used as the dominant secondary storage like the magnetic disk drives, in PCs? Was it entirely technical limitation or other issues like late development and ...
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  • 129
-5 votes
1 answer
281 views

Why did Western Digital name their drives "Caviar"? [closed]

I'm asking in Retrocomputing because the Caviar line of HDDs was released in the most recent era of retrocomputing. Does anyone know why they named the line "Caviar"? Why do they associate Sturgeons ...
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  • 493
4 votes
1 answer
163 views

MASS MicroSystems MO/128 Magneto-Optic Drive mystery

I found this drive in one of Atari lots. Apart from few mentions in old articles I can't find any info whatsoever. Can you help please?
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6 votes
1 answer
636 views

Multiple mass storage controllers on Amiga 500 or 2000

I'm in the process of restocking a lost collection of retro machines, including a couple of A500s, a 500+ and 2 A2000s (rev 4.1 and 6) in various states of disrepair. For one of the 2000s I would ...
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8 votes
3 answers
2k views

what OS runs Zip drives? [duplicate]

I came across my old Zip drive and some Zip disks. I am curious what is on the disks, but my Windows system won't run them. Back in the day I thought that these would be the ultimate in archive ...
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2 votes
1 answer
113 views

Which tape drives were the last to offer backward compatibility with QIC-150 Tape Cartridges?

I currently have some QIC-150 tape cartridges. These are the Imation DC6250 250 MB tapes. I understand that this came out in the late 1990's. I'd like to read these using a tape drive but want to find ...
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15 votes
3 answers
1k views

Using a modern PC or other digital audio recording device as a cassette recorder replacement

I'm having a hell of a time getting this to work. I've got a Casio fx-720p + FA-3 cassette interface, a TRS-80 PC-3 with its cassette interface and printer dock, and a Tandy 102 with a cassette cable. ...
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  • 1,397
4 votes
2 answers
226 views

Archiving data on a nonmagnetic storage [closed]

I know that we have LTO tapes, which have really good longevity and are reliable. But they're still magnetic so they're not protected against big magnetic wave (e.g. from sun). There is an option to ...
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  • 43
16 votes
6 answers
1k views

Was photographic film ever used for digital data storage?

I was thinking about how Williams Tubes worked and how one could hypothetically "snapshot" (quite literally!) the state of a computer's memory by simply taking a photograph of the phosphor end of a ...
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  • 493
10 votes
6 answers
9k views

Cannot boot from a Compact Flash card

I am trying to fix up an old work computer I have from the early to mid 90's. Everything works fine, but the hard drive makes a horrible clicking noise when it loads anything, so I decided to ...
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  • 201
22 votes
2 answers
4k views

What happened to bubble memory - is it still being sold?

At one time bubble memory was advertised as being able to store huge amounts of data in the size of a sugar cube. I don't remember what the memory density was compared to today's SD cards. What ...
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  • 1,329
2 votes
4 answers
1k views

Can a HiFi speaker erase a floppy disk?

I played 20 minutes of music with a floppy disk directly in front of the speaker's subwoofer. No damaged sectors at all. Can a speaker actually erase a floppy disk? How close does it need to be?
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32 votes
12 answers
12k views

Dealing with oversized files decades ago? Data transfer in the age of floppy disks

I can imagine the following situation 20 to 40 years ago inside a working office between two colleagues: "Can I have a copy?" "Sure, wait a moment....done! [eject] I'll pass that floppy disk onto ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
1k views

How long can a HD floppy disk hold 2.88MB before erasing itself?

From Wikipedia - Floppy_disk: to format or write to this high-coercivity media, the high-density drive switched its heads into a mode using a stronger magnetic field. When these stronger fields ...
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6 votes
1 answer
1k views

DD vs HD vs ED floppy disks: lifespan/writecycle difference? Other differences?

DD, HD and ED floppy disks have individual materials to match their densities. But is density their only difference? Are there any differences regarding: Maximum allowable rotation speed? Rewrite ...
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5 votes
2 answers
345 views

Do DD floppy disks need regular full reformats?

http://retrocomputing.stackexchange.com/a/5449?noredirect=1 Floppy Disks have tracks that can be destroyed by a magnet, which would cause it to need full reformats, as stated in the answer link above....
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7 votes
2 answers
352 views

What was the block spacing in early hard disks?

Early floppy disks had significant spacing between blocks, e.g. a PC 5.25" disk had a theoretical capacity of about 500K but was formatted as 360K, nine blocks per track, with a substantial fraction ...
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8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Which MS-/PC-DOS version was the first to allow multiple partitions to be used?

For IBM PC-DOS/Microsoft MS-DOS, which version was the first version to actually allow using more than one partition for data storage? How about using multiple primary partitions vs one primary plus ...
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  • 5,026
17 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the difference between DriveSpace and DoubleSpace?

DriveSpace is the successor to DoubleSpace. Both are DOS systems that mount a Compressed Volume File as a drive, allowing ordinary programs to interface with a compressed drive without an intermediate ...
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10 votes
1 answer
842 views

What is the history of data compression tools on personal computers?

On UNIX, the progression of the most widespread data compression programs was as follows: (AFAIR: Pre System V) compact (suffix .C), dynamic Huffman coding (AFAIR: introduced in System V) pack (...
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14 votes
1 answer
436 views

How does ProDOS allow for multiple volumes to exist on a single device?

On the back of this question, it got me thinking that it has always been that ProDOS would only support a ",D1" and ",D2" on a slot, i.e. slot 6 would have two addressible drives. With my 20MB Sider ...
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14 votes
5 answers
2k views

Magnetic tapes as a random access medium?

A two-part question: How widespread in legacy systems was the practice of using magnetic tapes as a genuinely random access medium at the OS level by pre-formatting them in a way before the first use,...
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8 votes
2 answers
103 views

Is there any persistent storage in a NEC MobilePro PocketPC?

I have recently acquired a NEC MobilePro 790 PocketPc from 2001. The specifications says that the device has 48MB memory, including 32MB of RAM and 16MB of flash storage. It also has a ROM that ...
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31 votes
2 answers
37k views

GameBoy Color games do not save any more

I have a Nintendo GameBoy Color with some games that support saving your game status and also have a real-time clock, like Pokémon Red and Pokémon Silver. But recently the game does not save any more,...
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