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January 22, 2022


My favorite has been use of a hammer. Nice way to relieve frustrations. However, then you run the risk of sharp plastic pieces flying all over the place.

Bogie--Your point is well taken. A hammer for the 4th disk, it is. That's one good use for a shop towel, placing one over the object being hit. A gunny sack works, too.

Wow, I still have some Zip discs. Must see if I have a drive somewhere . In the attic maybe?

Stu--I can send you one ; )

Stu--Seriously, if you want this drive, you are welcome to it. Otherwise, it gets e-cycled. (Or...if any other relative/friend/blog friend/passer-by wants it, you would be welcome to take it off of my hands. I hate to see things go to waste.) As far as I can tell, there is no COVID-caused disruption of shipping via USPS to Germany.

What Interfaces does your drive have? USB? Parallel port?
Let me look in my attic first, don't throw it away before the weekend, I may take you up on your offer.

It uses a 25-pin parallel port connector. Please see further addition to posting. Belay that. I'm adding a posting for further photos of what is available.

Thanks for your offer, CC, but I've destroyed my 3 ZIP discs,
see my latest posting , also for a photo of a 10 MB disc from the late 1960s :-)

You are welcome, as would be any other "takers".

That is a rather large disk that you show, Stu. Is that really a disk or is it tape?

With what computer were you working when you ran up against such disks? The largest I ever worked with were 8" diameter disks. Before that, it was all tape. In fact, in my last big computer-dependent project at Cessna in the early 1990s, the main-frame was using tape. I used the disaster pack to enable running my model. I think I've told you about that case in which I had to store the results of running the first part of the program and start the second part of the program using the results as input. The computer department didn't have enough capability to make the run as a whole nor enough regular storage to accommodate my program (NASTRAN 64? Super-Element model of a Cessna II series airplane). It was fortunate that we had no intervening disaster requiring use of their disaster pack. Talk about being up a creek.

Cessna has made a lot of money off of that project, by saving a lot of testing. We certified a post-manufacturing major modification to the airframe using modeling for all conditions, except cyclic pressurization, for stress substantiation. I digress. 🤷‍♀️

BTW: It turned out that, to me, the simplest way of destroying the disks was the third method in the posting - popping up two corners & grabbing the medium with the needle-nosed pliers.

Yes, I think that's a platter from an IBM 350 RAMAC disc stack.
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_disk_drive#/media/File:IBM_350_RAMAC.jpg
IBM invented the disc drive in 1952/3 afaik.
The removable Winchester disk pack was invented much later, about 1972, I believe.
In the 1960s we used Univac 1108s and HUGE drums as tall as a man for a fault tolerant database at London Heathrow Cargo tracking. I was with CSC at the time.

As a student I used the ATLAS at London University, at the time the largest in the world as I remember. Virtual memory which paged from TAPE (1 inch wide with addressable blocks). Don't get me reminescing ;-)

I haven't seen "CSC" for a while. Interesting about IBM's having invented disc drives before I was introduced to computers in 1959. When I was a student, there were no computers or even terminals to computers on campus. They broke ground for a building to house a computer at about the time HH was graduated and we left that school (January 1959). I think I was in graduate school (1971 or 1972) when we students had access to computational terminals to a mainframe at Wichita State U. By 1974, when I went back to work at Boeing, I had hands-on access to a hybrid digital/analog computer and IBM card access to the mainframe digital computer and flatbed plotters. You were much more into computers, while I was basically a user who did programming only as a part of my job as a dynamicist.

Yes, Stu, let that reminiscing provide us more reading - at your blog. 🤓

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