70 votes

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

Forty years ago, a 7MB file would be unheard of, at least in contexts where floppies would be the only available means of transferring it. (Tapes were commonly used for large transfers on minis and ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
49 votes
Accepted

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

For the simple reason that until relatively recently, it was very difficult to make a rewritable optical medium, but it was easy to make a rewritable magnetic medium. Magnetic tape as a recording ...
Chromatix's user avatar
  • 16.8k
43 votes
Accepted

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

I have looked all around online, but I cannot find on how to do this. Well, you won't, as the C64's BASIC2 does not provide such function or a monitor. The old PETs had TIM in ROM, while BASIC 3.5 ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k
41 votes
Accepted

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

As far as I remember, this wasn't a CD, but (supposed to be) a Laserdisc, and he was using a Philips player (the movie contained several Philips machines). Laserdiscs were available in different sizes ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k
40 votes
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What is the (standardized) weight of a 3.5 inch floppy disk?

The short answer / TLDR: One 3.5-inch floppy disk weighs between 15 - 25 grams. The average (mean) weight of one 3.5-inch floppy disk is 18 grams, the median is 17 gram. Of that weight 75% is ...
Bob Ortiz's user avatar
  • 1,672
39 votes
Accepted

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

In practice, 5.25" drives equalled or exceeded the capacity of 8" drives when 5.25" floppy drives started using HD media. The Evolution of 5.25" Drive Systems There are only two ...
cjs's user avatar
  • 26.1k
37 votes
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GameBoy Color games do not save any more

Gameboy games use a CR2025 battery which over the years eventually dies stopping games from saving and causing previously saved games to disappear. Note however while the game is powered you can still ...
Loktar's user avatar
  • 486
31 votes

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

40 years ago - 1978 - there was no home/hobbyist/small office computing to speak of. Maybe a few hundred people altogether. So you must be talking about commercial/industrial computing. For large ...
davidbak's user avatar
  • 6,269
30 votes

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

As well as splitting across multiple floppy disks, there were several cabled communication options available ranging from your basic serial cables and sending data over via X/Y/ZMODEM or Kermit, but ...
Will Hartung's user avatar
  • 12.3k
30 votes
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Digitally stored data world total history?

A TiB is not a lot. I would think that amount was already hit with punch cards way before the first digital computers were used. Wikipedia notes: "By 1937... IBM had 32 presses at work in ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k
27 votes

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

Write speed and endurance. Optical drive technology has been much slower to write to than magnetic Hard Disk Drives (HDDs). The erasable optical technologies that made it to mass market were much ...
TonyM's user avatar
  • 3,754
27 votes

Did something like floppy disk jukeboxes for home computers exist in the 70s or 80s? Would that have been a feasible concept?

There was a product, called I think "Juke Box 5" designed for the Macintosh, which had a hopper on the top that could hold a IIRC about 20 floppies, and was designed to be placed in front of ...
supercat's user avatar
  • 36.3k
24 votes
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How does a floppy drive identify the first and last sectors and tracks?

The track identification part is quite simple. Floppy formats are standardized so that there are specifications what is the distance between tracks (e.g. 96 tracks per inch) and what is the position ...
Justme's user avatar
  • 32.1k
22 votes
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Was photographic film ever used for digital data storage?

Yes, the IBM 1360 used it. The wikipedia page suggests that it could store 0.5 terabits (64 GiB) of information. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_1360 Fascinating design.
PeterI's user avatar
  • 5,307
22 votes

When did wear leveling in flash storage come up?

It's a long-standing and well understood design principle. The very first EEPROM I designed into a system in about 1989 had wear levelling implemented in the software. It was a simple conclusion that ...
TonyM's user avatar
  • 3,754
21 votes
Accepted

Did something like floppy disk jukeboxes for home computers exist in the 70s or 80s? Would that have been a feasible concept?

Many home computers in the 1970s and 1980s had two floppy disk drives Home computers had any number of drives from zero to 6 or 8, all depending on budget. Even rather restricted systems like a C64 ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k
19 votes

Was photographic film ever used for digital data storage?

It IS used in at least two places even today: QR codes. There is the possibility of the print media carrying it having been prepared involving photographic methods. Digital sound in movie theaters, ...
rackandboneman's user avatar
19 votes

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

They are different because they are meant for different use cases so they both work well for what they are meant for. One is suitable for real time data transmission between two distant equipment over ...
Justme's user avatar
  • 32.1k
18 votes

Did the Commodore datasette interface provide greater reliability?

The Datassette has a digital interface, and since it is not meant to process audio signals at all, it allows directly writing sharp digital magnetic transitions to the tape, using a single monophonic ...
Justme's user avatar
  • 32.1k
18 votes
Accepted

Zip drive eject "tool"

The problem is almost certainly the quality of the dollar store paperclip. If you buy a box of paperclips from a stationary store, you are more likely to get paperclips made from thicker and stronger ...
Wayne Conrad's user avatar
  • 2,706
17 votes

GameBoy Color games do not save any more

Gameboy games use CR2025 battery, which will die and take all the data with it: It's lost for good. Saved games back in those days were preserved through the use of a battery right in the game pack,...
Anthony Pham's user avatar
  • 2,474
17 votes

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

That is a Philips VP415 LV-ROM player.
Justme's user avatar
  • 32.1k
17 votes
Accepted

Why didn't the CD come with a caddy by default?

When the CD first released back in the early 80's (or is it late 70's?) First shown 1981 in Berlin, introduced worldwide 1982. why did Sony and Philips even allow the disk itself to be "naked&...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k
17 votes

Digitally stored data world total history?

While there is an answer already, I'll put things into a historical perspective with a few data points. The first time humanity had ~1 TB of stored data was most likely around 250-200 BCE. The Library ...
Therac's user avatar
  • 753
16 votes

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

Your timescales are out. Floppies might have just existed 40 years ago, but your average office worker never saw one. More to the point, office workers didn't pass machine-readable data around the ...
Michael Kay's user avatar
16 votes

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

Do have a 7 MiB file, you would need a HD at least that size. In reality even a manyfold thereof, as usually one won't have a HD with just one file. Now, in the real early times, lets say 70s, home ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k
16 votes

When did wear leveling in flash storage come up?

It was certainly a known practice in 1993 when I designed a filesystem for EdenOs that had an optional wear-levelling layer for flash-based storage (battery-backed RAM on PCMCIA was the favourite ...
Frog's user avatar
  • 1,385
14 votes

Zip drive eject "tool"

A very thin Allen key. I've got a .05" one in my toolkit which was originally there for aligning Shugart floppy discs and by now is used almost entirely for misbehaving DVD drives etc. I'd ...
Mark Morgan Lloyd's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Magnetic tapes as a random access medium?

DECtape was used that way; it was wide (0.750 inch?) magnetic tape, on very small reels, so it didn't take forever to find a sector. PDP-8 and PDP-11 systems from Digital Equipment were the likely ...
Whit3rd's user avatar
  • 2,170
13 votes

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

I don't remember what the memory density was compared to today's SD cards. No, today's flash offers a way (several magnitudes) denser storage, but it is also way less reliable. What happened to ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k

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