Computer Relics - Sinclair

This is a discussion on Computer Relics - Sinclair ; British retailers are not restocking on floppy disks - proving that Sinclair was correct in not embracing this technology. http://www.inthenews.co.uk/infocus/features/in-focus/a-floppy-end-$1047047.htm My string-floppy microdrives are going well and it is still possible to buy second-hand ones on the Internet and occasionally ...

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Thread: Computer Relics

  1. Computer Relics

    British retailers are not restocking on floppy disks - proving that
    Sinclair was correct in not embracing this technology.

    http://www.inthenews.co.uk/infocus/features/in-focus/a-floppy-end-$1047047.htm

    My string-floppy microdrives are going well and it is still possible
    to buy second-hand ones on the Internet and occasionally a new one in
    its bubblepack.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...&q=microdrives

    Each cartridge will format to 85-91 Kb.

    A 3.5 floppy held 17 times that amount of data whereas my 4GB
    pendrive shown in the video holds
    50,000 times as much data as the Sinclair cartridges surrounding it.
    Sir Clive always predicted that solid state storage would win the day.

    --
    G.


  2. Re: Computer Relics

    Geoff Wearmouth did eloquently scribble:
    > British retailers are not restocking on floppy disks - proving that
    > Sinclair was correct in not embracing this technology.


    > http://www.inthenews.co.uk/infocus/features/in-focus/a-floppy-end-$1047047.htm


    > My string-floppy microdrives are going well and it is still possible
    > to buy second-hand ones on the Internet and occasionally a new one in
    > its bubblepack.


    > http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...&q=microdrives


    > Each cartridge will format to 85-91 Kb.


    > A 3.5 floppy held 17 times that amount of data whereas my 4GB
    > pendrive shown in the video holds
    > 50,000 times as much data as the Sinclair cartridges surrounding it.
    > Sir Clive always predicted that solid state storage would win the day.


    Whatever happened to amartic(sp?) and his waver scale integration anyway?
    One time, that was the next big thing [tm]. His next multimillionaire dealy.
    Then, suddenly, sodall.
    --
    __________________________________________________ ____________________________
    | spike1@freenet.co.uk | |
    |Andrew Halliwell BSc(hons)| "The day Microsoft makes something that doesn't |
    | in | suck is probably the day they start making |
    | Computer science | vacuum cleaners" - Ernst Jan Plugge |
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  3. Re: Computer Relics

    On Feb 1, 8:46 am, spi...@freenet.co.uk wrote:

    > Whatever happened to amartic(sp?) and his wafer scale integration anyway?
    > One time, that was the next big thing [tm]. His next multimillionaire dealy.
    > Then, suddenly, sodall.


    There is a nice piece on Wikipedia about this technology and Anamartic
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wafer-scale_integration
    The crash in RAM prices did for the system.

    My guess is that improved miniaturization, production environments and
    techniques led to less-faulty, larger-capacity chips so that the need
    to map them was removed. I no longer take things to bits to see what
    is inside.

    --
    G.




  4. Re: Computer Relics


    Ex-Sinclair Research techie, Rupert Goodwins touches on the demise of
    the floppy disk in his ZDNet column today

    http://opinion.zdnet.co.uk/comment/0...9285731,00.htm

    and there is a little bit more info about the Amstrad takeover and
    those other relics the 3-inch disks.

    --
    G.


  5. Re: Computer Relics

    Geoff Wearmouth wrote:
    > Ex-Sinclair Research techie, Rupert Goodwins touches on the demise of
    > the floppy disk in his ZDNet column today



    Thanks for that, a very interesting read.

    Yay, does that mean with the end of floppies that this will mark the end
    of spam about viagra???

    Adios,
    Matt
    www.wearemeg.co.uk

  6. Re: Computer Relics

    On 31 Jan 2007 19:25:15 -0800 da kidz on comp.sys.sinclair were rappin'
    to MC Geoff Wearmouth:

    > British retailers are not restocking on floppy disks - proving that
    > Sinclair was correct in not embracing this technology.


    Ahead of their time as usual - it only took 20 years for the rest of
    the world to catch up!

    Chris


    --
    +-------------------------------------------+
    | Unsatisfactory Software - "because it is" |
    | http://www.unsatisfactorysoftware.co.uk |
    | Your Sinclair: A Celebration |
    +- http://www.yoursinclair.co.uk -----------+

    DISCLAIMER: I may be making all this stuff up again.

  7. Re: Computer Relics

    Matthew Pimm wrote:

    > Thanks for that, a very interesting read.


    And as Rupert Goodwins explains in his blog he helped get a new IT
    program launched on Radio 4.
    It is called Click On and you can listen to it for a week here

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/cgi-bin/educati...radio4/clickon

    Rupert pops up several times during the program.


  8. Re: Computer Relics


    "Geoff Wearmouth" wrote in message
    news:1170300315.109262.33450@k78g2000cwa.googlegro ups.com...
    > British retailers are not restocking on floppy disks - proving that
    > Sinclair was correct in not embracing this technology.
    >
    > http://www.inthenews.co.uk/infocus/features/in-focus/a-floppy-end-$1047047.htm
    >
    > My string-floppy microdrives are going well and it is still possible
    > to buy second-hand ones on the Internet and occasionally a new one in
    > its bubblepack.
    >
    > http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...&q=microdrives
    >
    > Each cartridge will format to 85-91 Kb.
    >
    > A 3.5 floppy held 17 times that amount of data whereas my 4GB
    > pendrive shown in the video holds
    > 50,000 times as much data as the Sinclair cartridges surrounding it.
    > Sir Clive always predicted that solid state storage would win the day.
    >
    > --
    > G.
    >


    1.44Mb ? what happed to the 800K or so versions that my synth takes ?




  9. Re: Computer Relics

    Geoff Wearmouth wrote:

    > British retailers are not restocking on floppy disks - proving that
    > Sinclair was correct in not embracing this technology.
    >
    > http://www.inthenews.co.uk/infocus/features/in-focus/a-floppy-end-$1047047.htm
    >
    > My string-floppy microdrives are going well and it is still possible
    > to buy second-hand ones on the Internet and occasionally a new one in
    > its bubblepack.
    >
    > http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...&q=microdrives
    >
    > Each cartridge will format to 85-91 Kb.
    >
    > A 3.5 floppy held 17 times that amount of data whereas my 4GB
    > pendrive shown in the video holds
    > 50,000 times as much data as the Sinclair cartridges surrounding it.
    > Sir Clive always predicted that solid state storage would win the day.


    Hmmm...my floppies hold around 38 times that of a cartridge (tho' under DOS
    it would have only been around 34 times).


  10. Re: Computer Relics

    On 2007-02-02, sQuick wrote:

    > 1.44Mb ? what happed to the 800K or so versions that my synth takes ?


    Double-density ones? I know our secretary at work was always able to
    find them even just a year ago, she used to order them every time
    instead of the 1.44 meg ones despite us explaining the difference
    frequently..

    --
    Blast off and strike the evil Bydo empire!

  11. Re: Computer Relics

    On 31 Jan 2007, Geoff Wearmouth wrote:

    > British retailers are not restocking on floppy disks - proving that
    > Sinclair was correct in not embracing this technology.
    >
    > http://www.inthenews.co.uk/infocus/features/in-focus/a-floppy-end-$1047047.htm


    I'm surprised nobody has asked yet - what is a "Spectrum ZX" and a "BBC
    Electron"? I have never heard of either of these computers.

    Far be it from me to suggest that they actually mean two different
    computers, and the journalist doesn't know what they're talking about.



  12. Re: Computer Relics

    On Fri, 2 Feb 2007, Ian Rawlings wrote:

    > On 2007-02-02, sQuick wrote:
    >
    >> 1.44Mb ? what happed to the 800K or so versions that my synth takes ?

    >
    > Double-density ones? I know our secretary at work was always able to
    > find them even just a year ago, she used to order them every time
    > instead of the 1.44 meg ones despite us explaining the difference
    > frequently..


    Surely the high street is nearly irrelevant when it comes to obsoletion of
    computer equipment? eBuyer still sell floppies, as I'm sure all the other
    main websites do.

    --
    Nick Humphries, nick@egyptus.co.uk http://www.egyptus.co.uk/
    Your Sinclair Rock'n'Roll Years http://www.ysrnry.co.uk/
    YSRnRY documentary (1987 OUT NOW!) http://www.ysrnry.co.uk/tvprog/
    The Tipshop http://www.the-tipshop.co.uk/
    ZX Video and WWW Alerts http://www.the-tipshop.co.uk/cgi-bin/rsscheck.pl

  13. Re: Computer Relics


    By coincidence I followed up the A-bike sponsored link to the right of
    my browser and see that it now comes with a free pump. There is also a
    Radio 4 article by Adam Hart-Davis who is a little overweight for the
    thing and an interview with Sir Clive.

    http://www.a-bike.co.uk/store/movies/Radio4_Abike.mp3



  14. Re: Computer Relics

    On Feb 2, 5:43 am, Robert Newson
    wrote:

    > Hmmm...my floppies hold around 38 times that of a cartridge (tho' under DOS
    > it would have only been around 34 times).


    I used rough maths on a ZX Spectrum

    10 PRINT (1.44 * 2 ^ 20) / (85 * 2 ^ 10)

    which gave 17.34

    In fact MB for floppies are smaller than MB for memory so

    10 PRINT 1440 / 85

    gives a more accurate answer 16.9

    Or do we really have a division error? :-)


  15. Re: Computer Relics

    "sQuick" wrote:
    > 1.44Mb ? what happed to the 800K or so versions that my synth takes ?


    An 800K disk is just a DD/720K/blue/single-hole disk formatted to
    5 sectors of 1024 bytes on each track. Similarly, a 1600K disk is
    a HD/1.44M/black/two-hole disk formatted to 10 sectors of 1024
    bytes on each track.

    It's only Microsoft that insisted on sticking rigidly to 512-byte
    sectors.

    --
    JGH - mdfs.net


  16. Re: Computer Relics

    On 2 Feb, 10:45, "Geoff Wearmouth" wrote:
    > 10 PRINT (1.44 * 2 ^ 20) / (85 * 2 ^ 10)
    > which gave 17.34
    > In fact MB for floppies are smaller than MB for memory so
    > 10 PRINT 1440 / 85
    > gives a more accurate answer 16.9
    > Or do we really have a division error? :-)


    A 1.44M disk has never held 1.44M of data or even 1.44M of sector
    contents.

    It is 2*80*18*512 which is 1474560 bytes. Depending on your arithmetic
    that's either 1.47M (using 1000*1000) or 1.40625M (using 1024*1024).
    The only way you get '1.44' is with 1.44*1000*1024.

    They should have called them Fourteen-Fourties, not One-Point-
    Four-Fours. RISC OS 'F' format is called 1600K, not 1.6M as
    Acorn could count, whereas Microsoft can't.

    --
    JGH


  17. Re: Computer Relics

    On 2 Feb 2007 jgh@arcade.demon.co.uk wrote:

    > An 800K disk is just a DD/720K/blue/single-hole disk formatted to
    > 5 sectors of 1024 bytes on each track. Similarly, a 1600K disk is


    Not on a PC. The PC's 720k format was 9 sectors, 80 tracks.

    --
    Please remove all-your-clothes before replying.


  18. Re: Computer Relics

    On 2007-02-02, Tim Fardell wrote:

    > Not on a PC. The PC's 720k format was 9 sectors, 80 tracks.


    A floppy disc is a floppy disc, which was his point. PCs used 720K
    format with rigid sectors, Acorn Archimedes as 800K IIRC with rigid
    sectors, and macintoshes used variable sized sectors by speeding the
    disc rotational speed up and down as the head got closer to the
    outside of the disc or the inside of the disc.

    --
    Blast off and strike the evil Bydo empire!

  19. Re: Computer Relics

    On Fri, 2 Feb 2007 12:36:27 +0000 da kidz on comp.sys.sinclair were rappin'
    to MC Ian Rawlings:

    > On 2007-02-02, Tim Fardell wrote:
    >
    > > Not on a PC. The PC's 720k format was 9 sectors, 80 tracks.

    >
    > A floppy disc is a floppy disc, which was his point. PCs used 720K
    > format with rigid sectors, Acorn Archimedes as 800K IIRC with rigid
    > sectors, and macintoshes used variable sized sectors by speeding the
    > disc rotational speed up and down as the head got closer to the
    > outside of the disc or the inside of the disc.


    And the Amiga managed 880K without any nasty hardware tricks.

    Chris


    --
    +-------------------------------------------+
    | Unsatisfactory Software - "because it is" |
    | http://www.unsatisfactorysoftware.co.uk |
    | Your Sinclair: A Celebration |
    +- http://www.yoursinclair.co.uk -----------+

    DISCLAIMER: I may be making all this stuff up again.

  20. Re: Computer Relics

    Geoff Wearmouth wrote:

    > On Feb 2, 5:43 am, Robert Newson
    > wrote:
    >
    >>Hmmm...my floppies hold around 38 times that of a cartridge (tho' under DOS
    >>it would have only been around 34 times).

    >
    > I used rough maths on a ZX Spectrum
    >
    > 10 PRINT (1.44 * 2 ^ 20) / (85 * 2 ^ 10)
    >
    > which gave 17.34
    >
    > In fact MB for floppies are smaller than MB for memory so
    >
    > 10 PRINT 1440 / 85
    >
    > gives a more accurate answer 16.9
    >
    > Or do we really have a division error? :-)


    No, I just use EDs which [theoritically] give 2.88M on DOS [never seen a
    drive for them, but that's what the disk box claims], 3.2M on QL drives ^_^


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