The origin of the phrases ATA and IDE [WAS:RE: formatting MFM drives on a IBM PC]

Paul Berger phb.hfx at
Thu Oct 5 15:57:40 CDT 2017

On 2017-10-05 8:22 AM, allison via cctalk wrote:
> On 10/5/17 5:53 AM, Christian Corti via cctalk wrote:
>> On Wed, 4 Oct 2017, Guy Sotomayor Jr wrote:
>>> Also, the early desktop PS/2 (model 50 and such) had the controller 
>>> integrated on the drive and those were Maxtor as I recall.  The PS/2 
>>> shipped in 1987 and we had the drives in labs at least 12-18 months 
>>> prior (memory is dim on this right now).
>> No. The IBM 8550 has the controller on a special card and the drive 
>> had a PCB edge that inserted into the PCB connector on the side of 
>> the controller. The 8550-021 used a 20MB IBM WD-325N disk drive (P/N 
>> 90X6806). The controller is a ST-506 type MFM controller (with DMA, 
>> so it rocks with a sustained data rate of above 500kB/s!). My father 
>> upgraded the system with a standard Rhodime 50MB MFM drive. There was 
>> a purely passive adapter that split the card edge connector into the 
>> normal 20+34 pin connectors plus power. I still have that system and 
>> drive :-)
>> Christian
> I have the 10MB hardcard, WD I think.  Its a 10mb 8bit IDE interface 
> on the ISA-8 full length card.
> The card has EPROM and bus level interface only (buffers) and I think 
> 512k of ram (have to check).
> I got it second hand after an upgrade in '94ish but then most users 
> were happy to have 10 or
> 20mb of disk.
> Funny the market knew of the 386 in the fall of '85 but it would be 
> three years before I'd see
> one in the field.  Disks and CPUs lagged the introductions by years 
> due to cost.
> Allison
there was a company called "Plus" that made a product called hardcard   
that had the controller and drive electronics on the same ISA card and a 
disk enclosure on the back of the card.  I took a dead one apart and 
they have one of the weirdest actuator assemblies I have ever seen.  
There where 8 bit and 16 bit versions of the cards.


More information about the cctech mailing list