Floppy disk sizes ( was Re: Compaq Portable III fails POST? )
cisin at xenosoft.com
Wed Aug 30 12:15:37 CDT 2006
> > Does anybody know WHICH bar the bar napkin sized disk is based on?
> > I want a napkin from that bar!
> > From the wikipedia article:
> > "In 1976 two of Shugart Associates's employees, Jim Adkisson and Don
> > Massaro, were approached by An Wang of Wang Laboratories, who felt that
> > the 8-inch format was simply too large for the desktop word processing
> > machines he was developing at the time. After meeting in a bar in Boston,
> > Adkisson asked Wang what size he thought the disks should be, and Wang
> > pointed to a napkin and said "about that size". Adkisson took the napkin
> > back to California, found it to be 5.25 inches (13 cm) wide, and developed
> > a new drive of this size storing 98.5 kB later increased to 110 kB by
> > adding 5 tracks. This is believed to be the first standard computer
> > media that was not promulgated by IBM."
On Wed, 30 Aug 2006, Roy J. Tellason wrote:
> I don't believe this.
It's been repeated a lot over the years.
The people have been identified, but so far,
I haven't been able to find out which bar.
> The earliest, biggest 14" platters were a result of what would fit within the
> 17" of space in a standard rack cabinet. The 8" drive is (to me) that size
> because you can put two of them in that space side-by-side. The 5.25" size
> is because you can put _three_ of them in that space...
That is not incompatible with the bar napkin story.
The question becomes whether the MOTIVATION was to try to fit three in,
or whether that was just a serendipitous(sp?) consequence of having a
> And the story I've heard about the 3.5" size is that it fits in the pocket of
> a typical men's shirt. <shrug>
. . . and for a while, there was a substantial battle between 3", 3.25",
and 3.5" over which one would become the "shirt pocket" disk. Dysan bet
the company and lost in their 3.25".
George Morrow suggested that we just cut a deal with the clothing industry
to increase the size of shirt poskets to 5.25 or 8 inches.
Grumpy Ol' Fred cisin at xenosoft.com
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