8 inch floppies

Nigel Johnson nw.johnson at ieee.org
Sat Oct 26 16:52:03 CDT 2019

In all my years of electronics troubleshooting, I have never spent hours 
under a microscope :-)  OK, it was easier using the RTL of the Univac 
418, but even today the parts are big enough to see!

On 26/10/2019 17:42, Fred Cisin via cctalk wrote:
>>> Hidden behind a NYTimes paywall, . . .
>>> news yesterday that the 8 inch drive nuclear weapions system has now 
>>> been updated.
> On Sat, 26 Oct 2019, John Foust via cctalk wrote:
>> And what media or method did they upgrade to?  Top secret?
>> Here's a different version of the story:
>> <https://www.c4isrnet.com/air/2019/10/17/the-us-nuclear-forces-dr-strangelove-era-messaging-system-finally-got-rid-of-its-floppy-disks/>https://www.c4isrnet.com/air/2019/10/17/the-us-nuclear-forces-dr-strangelove-era-messaging-system-finally-got-rid-of-its-floppy-disks/ 
> Thanks for the URL
> Amusing that requiring repair technicians having ability to "solder 
> metal" was one of the major problems.
> The USUAL progression from 8" floppies was to 35 track (later 40 
> track) single sided (later double) FM single density (later MFM) 48tpi 
> (later 96tpi) 5.25".
> But, an easier conversion would be straight to "1.2M", which would 
> need few hardware changes other than a custom cable.
> (In fact, the first Mitsubishi 1.2M drive that I got had a 50 pin 
> connector; later 4854s had a 34 pin connector)
> But, why not cards or paper tape?
> Or, if they want to expand speed and capacity, ST506, or even ST412.
> They could go to thumb drives, such as Stuxnet
> Or, was the main goal to give it a publicly accessible IP address?
> ("War Games" is playing on MPLEX right now)
> Besides convenient recreational Facebook access for staff technicians, 
> why is web browsing implemented on MRI control computers or on WOPR?
> BTW, the superceded drives and media will remain "classified" until 
> they crumble, and our surplus channels will not get a sudden major 
> influx of available media.


Nigel Johnson

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