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#41 MrDaaark   Members   -  Reputation: 3555

Posted 15 January 2011 - 02:46 AM

I think there were both 1GB and 2GB Jaz drives, but I don't think they were tape. Tape drives were something else, I don't know how much the held, but that's what my Dad use to use in the early 90's to backup our computer. I do remember hearing something about super floppy disks, but I don't think that went anywhere.

Everyone and their mother had their own new floppy replacement. You'd watch a show on tv during prime time and see ads for 3 competing technologies.

My first PC at home was in 1994. I missed out on the tape loading days. But I remember a friend had gotten a commodore 64, and his games took ages to load. We'd sit there, and sit there, and sit there, then go outside and find something to do. He could have fun with is commodore. I just went and put my cartridge in and hit start.







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#42 Ravuya   Moderators   -  Reputation: 131

Posted 15 January 2011 - 03:02 AM




I'm 25 but after seeing that I feel as though I'm half way to old age... Slightly depressed now...

I'm 23 and I feel similarly. Of course if I never messed up my registry so it no longer recognized thumb drives I never would have known the A/B other than an educated guess on what other types of drives have existed in computers.


Also I don't know about your guys but I didn't hear about a zip drive until like the beginning of university when I got a job and found a zip drive reader in the back of a utility closet. "What is this piece of archaic technology?" My boss: "You see this was a form of data storage like the floppy disk. The university never really supported them. It could store a few 100 MB..." Apparently they never caught on in my high school since I never saw them.

In the late 90s there was a bunch of competing, higher storage, floppy disk format replacements and none of them ever caught on. I remember one was called the Jaz drive.

I still have an old zip disk drive somewhere in one of the boxes of forgotten technology I share with my paw. Probably sitting next to Merlin.

/nostalgic for my wasted youth

I thought the Jazz drives were 2 GB tape drives or something like that and the regular zip disks were 100 MB or so? I do remember there being an LS-120 drive that could take regular floppies or special floppies that could store 120 MB.

Man, I'm so glad we are beyond those days. I remember trying to store bitmaps and wave files on disks. You'd be hard pressed to fit anything at all on them.



I think there were both 1GB and 2GB Jaz drives, but I don't think they were tape. Tape drives were something else, I don't know how much the held, but that's what my Dad use to use in the early 90's to backup our computer. I do remember hearing something about super floppy disks, but I don't think that went anywhere.

Both Zip and Jaz drives came from Iomega, and the eventual "click of death" syndrome of Zip drives (destroying your drive and usually the disk held in it at the same time) along with the falling prices of both CD burners and CD-R/RW media pretty much shovelled that one into the hole. The thing that made Zip take off was actually its cheap media, at around $20 for 100MB..

Iomega did have a tape drive system though. It was called "Ditto," and I think the biggest problem with it was availability of media outside of resellers in large cities.

There were a ton of "bigger than floppy" disks, even back in the late 80s/early 90s - Bernoulli drives (also Iomega!), the NeXT "2.44MB" floppy and MO disks, the aforementioned LS120 drive, SyQuest's multiple failed solutions, and a few others. Every computer magazine had pages upon pages of ads for these things because the sales margins were ridiculous - both on the original drives and the $20 - $500/disk media pricing.

I'm pretty sure (but can't confirm right now) that Sony's Minidisc format was even used for computer storage for a very short period of time instead of just music storage like it ended up being in North America before the iPod killed it.

#43 DrunkMonkey25   Members   -  Reputation: 108

Posted 17 January 2011 - 09:45 PM

Posted Image



LOL! :lol:

#44 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 30481

Posted 19 January 2011 - 12:44 AM


I hated that noise especially early mornings when I didn't want to wake my parents up since they would force me to turn the PC off and go to bed again.:-D

Reminds me of the 56k modem. Whoever thought that not putting a volume control on those things was a good idea should die. I ended up ripping the speaker off. Still worked.


How fortunate that it still worked.

There is a volume control on them. You just needed to send the command to the modem. IIRC the AT command was: "ATLx". L being "volume level" and x was a number from 0 to 3.

Check out my book, Game Development with Unity, aimed at beginners who want to build fun games fast.

Also check out my personal website at bryanwagstaff.com, where I write about assorted stuff.


#45 monkeyman   Members   -  Reputation: 253

Posted 20 January 2011 - 09:14 PM

Wait! That doesn't make me OLD, disk drives are NEW technology!!!

It's a big step up from the standard method of storing code on cassette tape, and I hear that some computers even have a dedicated "hard disk drive" to load the OS so you don't have to keep swapping out disks..

Ah, The Future!
"Like all good things, it starts with a monkey.."

#46 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 20 January 2011 - 09:57 PM

Wait! That doesn't make me OLD, disk drives are NEW technology!!!

It's a big step up from the standard method of storing code on cassette tape, and I hear that some computers even have a dedicated "hard disk drive" to load the OS so you don't have to keep swapping out disks..

Ah, The Future!


a lot of people still store data on cassettes. They actually make a lot of sense for backing up and archiving data. 1.5TB of uncompressed data the physical size of a small novel for $80 ain't bad. When you consider how big that would be in blu-rays it would be like 30-60 blu-ray disks, which would cost more and take up more space even before you factored in any sort of cases to hold the blu-rays.

Shows you how far we've come when magnetic tape is still better than optical media ;)




#47 Gamer Gamester   Members   -  Reputation: 136

Posted 20 January 2011 - 10:50 PM

The Commodore 64 is my favorite life experience.

#48 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2201

Posted 20 January 2011 - 11:14 PM


Wait! That doesn't make me OLD, disk drives are NEW technology!!!

It's a big step up from the standard method of storing code on cassette tape, and I hear that some computers even have a dedicated "hard disk drive" to load the OS so you don't have to keep swapping out disks..

Ah, The Future!


a lot of people still store data on cassettes. They actually make a lot of sense for backing up and archiving data. 1.5TB of uncompressed data the physical size of a small novel for $80 ain't bad. When you consider how big that would be in blu-rays it would be like 30-60 blu-ray disks, which would cost more and take up more space even before you factored in any sort of cases to hold the blu-rays.

Shows you how far we've come when magnetic tape is still better than optical media ;)




Tape is slower, can be bulkier, and not to mention with a Blu-Ray Burner, I have a few TB of data stored before you even finish buying a modern Tape Drive.

That said, I am considering investing in a tape drive in a few more years for bulk backups if I end up going the route of starting my own business. They just seem like a good idea to go along side redundant disk drives, and off site data storage.
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#49 kal_jez   Members   -  Reputation: 271

Posted 21 January 2011 - 05:43 AM

I've kept a couple of the old 8" Floppy Disks for a keepsake.

#50 Antheus   Members   -  Reputation: 2405

Posted 21 January 2011 - 07:16 AM

a lot of people still store data on cassettes.


They do? I thought hard disks are used these days. Just slap a few RAID SAN devices and be done with it, access over network using your protocol of choice.

Shows you how far we've come when magnetic tape is still better than optical media

There is nothing inherently better about optics.


There is a volume control on them. You just needed to send the command to the modem. IIRC the AT command was: "ATLx". L being "volume level" and x was a number from 0 to 3.

Except that on some modems these had the following effect:
0) Off - no clue if modem is dialing or busy
1) Rock concert
2) Controlled demolition
3) Airport called to keep it down

#51 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 21 January 2011 - 10:27 AM

Tape is slower, can be bulkier, and not to mention with a Blu-Ray Burner, I have a few TB of data stored before you even finish buying a modern Tape Drive.

That said, I am considering investing in a tape drive in a few more years for bulk backups if I end up going the route of starting my own business. They just seem like a good idea to go along side redundant disk drives, and off site data storage.

If you're going to include the time to buy a tape drive you should include the time to buy a blu-ray burner :-p

But yes it's a good amount slower because it has to be read in order unless you have some sort of ridiculous random access tape drive, which would be mechanically awesome.
edit: I guess if you were going to do that you could just get a blu-ray disk with billions of reading lasers.

They do? I thought hard disks are used these days. Just slap a few RAID SAN devices and be done with it, access over network using your protocol of choice.

They're used for archiving old data. Data that doesn't need to be accessed more than maybe once a year/once every 5 years. Why would you want to buy a networked device and pay for it's upkeep when it will only be used once before it is outdated?

There is nothing inherently better about optics.

There are a lot of things inherently better about optical media, but I was just kidding anyway.

#52 mikeman   Members   -  Reputation: 2419

Posted 21 January 2011 - 10:40 AM

Wow, I'm old?

You damn kids get off my lawn!

#53 Rixter   Members   -  Reputation: 785

Posted 21 January 2011 - 01:48 PM


They do? I thought hard disks are used these days. Just slap a few RAID SAN devices and be done with it, access over network using your protocol of choice.


They're used for archiving old data. Data that doesn't need to be accessed more than maybe once a year/once every 5 years. Why would you want to buy a networked device and pay for it's upkeep when it will only be used once before it is outdated?


Yeah, while I don't know of any individuals who still do this, I think it might still be popular with big companies. I know at my work everything eventually gets backed up to tape for long term storage.

#54 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 30481

Posted 21 January 2011 - 02:58 PM



They do? I thought hard disks are used these days. Just slap a few RAID SAN devices and be done with it, access over network using your protocol of choice.


They're used for archiving old data. Data that doesn't need to be accessed more than maybe once a year/once every 5 years. Why would you want to buy a networked device and pay for it's upkeep when it will only be used once before it is outdated?


Yeah, while I don't know of any individuals who still do this, I think it might still be popular with big companies. I know at my work everything eventually gets backed up to tape for long term storage.

For corporate backup systems D2D2T is very common. (D2D2T = Disk to Disk to Tape)

In bulk, tape is incredibly cheap. Tapes are very durable. They have long lifespans. An IT department knows that properly maintained, the tapes have consistent quality. They have a known number of overwrites and a known number of reads before the tape should be replaced, and properly archived tapes can be read decades later.

Sure you can buy bluray media and HDDs for cheap. In bulk, cheap drives are still not as cheap as bulk tape. But how durable are they? What is their useful lifespan? When stuck on a shelf, how long before they become unusable? How many times can they be reused? Since IT departments cannot answer these questions about the media with reliable answers, they don't trust the results.

Check out my book, Game Development with Unity, aimed at beginners who want to build fun games fast.

Also check out my personal website at bryanwagstaff.com, where I write about assorted stuff.


#55 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2201

Posted 21 January 2011 - 05:54 PM


Tape is slower, can be bulkier, and not to mention with a Blu-Ray Burner, I have a few TB of data stored before you even finish buying a modern Tape Drive.

That said, I am considering investing in a tape drive in a few more years for bulk backups if I end up going the route of starting my own business. They just seem like a good idea to go along side redundant disk drives, and off site data storage.

If you're going to include the time to buy a tape drive you should include the time to buy a blu-ray burner :-p

But yes it's a good amount slower because it has to be read in order unless you have some sort of ridiculous random access tape drive, which would be mechanically awesome.
edit: I guess if you were going to do that you could just get a blu-ray disk with billions of reading lasers.


Actually I was talking about just the cost of the tape hardware. Blu-Ray burners seem to be a few hundred dollars, where as the higher capacity tape drives seem to be a few thousand. Blu Ray seems to win on Drive + medium, unless you're backing up huge data sets.

Also, in the backup world, I don't think the 'slowness' of linear read/write of tape really matters, are you're usually going to do a 'linear' read or write of huge bulk data. I was talking about the absolute transfer rates actually seem very low.
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#56 Antheus   Members   -  Reputation: 2405

Posted 21 January 2011 - 06:37 PM

Actually I was talking about just the cost of the tape hardware. Blu-Ray burners seem to be a few hundred dollars

A while back I wanted to search for some old stuff. Not a single CD 9 years or older was readable anymore. And they were all brand name CDs, not the bargain bin spindle kind. Some of the DVD backups I have are also unreadable in most drives after 5-7 years. All the 2x or 4x kind, conservatively written.

I don't believe that blu-ray will fare better. And considering the lack of adoption, it's a poor bet for long-term archival. Think Beta vs. VHS.

Tapes suffer from similar problem - they are not widely adopted. If running an enterprise with long-term support contract, then perhaps. But very few places actually plan for 10+ year archival unless required by law. 2+ years is a luxury most of the time.

Since then I've migrated everything to disks, keeping in mind that as they will fail the data will be need to be periodically copied to new ones. Still, with network, it's considerably more convenient than swapping disks. Eventually I'll probably migrate to the cloud, Amazon is likely to be around for a while and prices are quite affordable, especially for the important data that actually has value.

A 1TB external drive is ~$100. Buying one of these every 6 months, migrating data between them is quite secure. Keeping them connected also detects any failure soon, so as long as there are several copies, it's really not that big a deal.

Considering real life span of data and its usefulness, disks make for a very optimal choice.

Another factor - interface. Tape drives often require proprietary drivers. Oh the jots of trying to get the Win 98 drivers working with NT for a vendor that was bought out and discontinued that particular model. With USB or even IDE you're pretty much set for quite a while still. Plenty of people are using 7+ year old computers for work, so both of these should be easily available in 10 year time. Even if not, old discarded hardware using any generic linux distro will be able to read them.




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