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Leeroy ST

Tape or Floppy? Which did you prefer overall?

Which did you find better?  

41 members have voted

  1. 1. Which did you find better?

    • Floppy
      35
    • Tape
      6


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50 minutes ago, Krebizfan said:

The TI-99/4A was selling in quantity, even before the final sales. The TI-99/4A required the large and expensive PEB for a floppy drive at first but few PEBs were made. Americans weren't put off by the cassette nature of the TI-99/4A. Timex had put together reasonable price points for the TS-1000 (at $100) and TS-2068 (at $200) based on the $500 TI-99 and $300 Vic-20. But when both of those heralded the way to a massive reduction in prices, it was hard to Timex to cut prices as much. The TS-1000 wound up at $10 and still only sold because Commodore offered a $100 rebate to those that gave Commodore their old computer when upgrading. People would have needed to have been paid to take the TS-2068 leading to a massive inventory. 

 

This didn't just happen in the US. The unhappy story of the Acorn Electron shows that buyers would rather spend a little more to get a much better computer. 

But even the corner cut cheaper computers from traditionally more costly brands sold more because the 2068 wasn't seen as capable.

 

So while the 2068 was technically better than the corner cutting cheap machines put out by established brands at a lower price, consumers assumed the benefits and compatibility would be similar to those companies more costly products and skipped the 2068.

 

Timex was stuck in the middle with a preception it couldn't shake. 

 

Then the good lower cost, but still more expensive than 2086, computers dropped in price, and it was over. Now the computers that were more capable were in the same price range.

 

ZX spectrum had the exact opposite mindshare issue in the UK. It was seen as a capable and well marketed affordable computer that was seen as a capable machine at entry level and good for personal, business, or educational use. It was considered a good price, with affordable Tape software and drives.

 

 

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I think the only cool moment I had with cassette was playing Ghostbusters on my C64 and enjoying the 'Invaderload' program. Otherwise I was out of the room making tea while stuff loaded.

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10 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

Tandy had the low end floppy cheaper computer market on lock. Unless you didn't mind weak monochrome pcs.

 

I'm not sure what you're saying, can you elaborate on those comments?

Are you saying Tandy's computers with floppy drives (such as the Model III and IV) were low end, cheap and weak? 

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4 minutes ago, Turbo-Torch said:

 

I'm not sure what you're saying, can you elaborate on those comments?

Are you saying Tandy's computers with floppy drives (such as the Model III and IV) were low end, cheap and weak? 

No, I'm saying that Tandy had cheap low end computers that primarily supported floppies. Of the major players they, for a time, had a big share in that part of the market, in the US of course.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Leeroy ST said:

No, I'm saying that Tandy had cheap low end computers that primarily supported floppies. Of the major players they, for a time, had a big share in that part of the market, in the US of course.

 

 

 

Going off topic here:

 

The III and IV started off at $1,000 with no drives, not exactly cheap for the early 80s.

Not low end at all.  The base system was the building block for serious business machines and promises were kept, no vaporware.  They were used in large corporations due to endless amounts of high end software such as word processors, spreadsheets, data bases, accounts payable and CAD programs (640X240 graphics look at my avatar).  They were also used in engineering, labs, hospitals, machine shops for lathes, schools, etc.

As far as disk drives go, mine supports up to FOUR:

SD or DD

SS or DS

40 track or 80 track

5¼, 8" and 3.5"

It can run a total of EIGHT drives when you include Hard Drives.  Mine is currently set up with two DSDD Tandons and six hard drives using FreHD.

19200 baud RS232

Hi Res graphics board with 32K of dedicated RAM

Parallel printer port

It also has an Orchestra 90 with 5 voice stereo music.

 

Outside of FreHD, everything is period correct.

Only comparable competition in the same price range at the time was Apple and they were also far from cheap.

The Model II was strictly business with a price tag to match, and oddities like the Superbrain had no real support network.   

 

The closest I've been to a ZX Spectrum were the Timex Sinclairs, which were sold at drug stores and grocery stores around here.  Slightly less useful than an Aquarius imo.

Were any of the Spectrum models ever used for anything outside of a home?  I'm assuming they eventually did better than 32 column and got floppy support?  Were there any hard drives for them back in the day?  How was the communication side of things, were they able to call into a BBS and download programs...or better yet, run a BBS?

 

What was the UK's powerful computer of the early 80s that could be used at home or easily upgraded to a monster capable of running a large business?

 

I'm now starting to be intrigued by the endless amount of vintage Soviet computers on eBay.  There should be at least a few cool systems that aren't knock offs.

 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Turbo-Torch said:

 

Going off topic here:

 

The III and IV started off at $1,000 with no drives, not exactly cheap for the early 80s.

Not low end at all.  The base system was the building block for serious business machines and promises were kept, no vaporware.  They were used in large corporations due to endless amounts of high end software such as word processors, spreadsheets, data bases, accounts payable and CAD programs (640X240 graphics look at my avatar).  They were also used in engineering, labs, hospitals, machine shops for lathes, schools, etc.

As far as disk drives go, mine supports up to FOUR:

SD or DD

SS or DS

40 track or 80 track

5¼, 8" and 3.5"

It can run a total of EIGHT drives when you include Hard Drives.  Mine is currently set up with two DSDD Tandons and six hard drives using FreHD.

19200 baud RS232

Hi Res graphics board with 32K of dedicated RAM

Parallel printer port

It also has an Orchestra 90 with 5 voice stereo music.

 

Outside of FreHD, everything is period correct.

Only comparable competition in the same price range at the time was Apple and they were also far from cheap.

The Model II was strictly business with a price tag to match, and oddities like the Superbrain had no real support network.   

 

The closest I've been to a ZX Spectrum were the Timex Sinclairs, which were sold at drug stores and grocery stores around here.  Slightly less useful than an Aquarius imo.

Were any of the Spectrum models ever used for anything outside of a home?  I'm assuming they eventually did better than 32 column and got floppy support?  Were there any hard drives for them back in the day?  How was the communication side of things, were they able to call into a BBS and download programs...or better yet, run a BBS?

 

What was the UK's powerful computer of the early 80s that could be used at home or easily upgraded to a monster capable of running a large business?

 

I'm now starting to be intrigued by the endless amount of vintage Soviet computers on eBay.  There should be at least a few cool systems that aren't knock offs.

 

 

 

 

I clearly wasn't talking about the III and IV but you for some reason double down on believing those are what I was speaking of, even though I've never mentioned them once.

 

You are also omitting priced drop versions of older computers from several manufacturers that were still being brought by the public. That is important to consider in the American market and why prevention is important.

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1 hour ago, Leeroy ST said:

I clearly wasn't talking about the III and IV but you for some reason double down on believing those are what I was speaking of, even though I've never mentioned them once.

 

Then what low end, weak, cheap monochrome Tandy computers were you talking about?

I even asked you to elaborate on what Tandy computers and you replied without mentioning any models.

I ruled out CoCo because they're not monochrome.  Model I was off the market by 1980 and was technically more expensive to upgrade to disk than a Model III.

 

And what's with the mild hostility over a discussion on vintage computers?  Are you upset over my comment on the Timex Sinclair?  Sorry, but it was absolutely useless in the American market.  They were sold in drugstores next to Norelco shavers.  

 

Quote

You are also omitting priced drop versions of older computers from several manufacturers that were still being brought by the public. That is important to consider in the American market and why prevention is important.

 

I wasn't discussing that, so I'm not sure how I omitted anything.  Do you mean something like Atari 8 bits?  Yeah, they are awesome computers.  I got into them in the early 90s (very late in the game) with my 130XE. All 3 of my 1050 drives still work great and I've never even had to align them.  I can't see any sane person preferring tape over any Atari floppy drive.  They weren't cheap during the heyday, but most found way to upgrade to one or two.  Same can be said for the C64 drives, although they were painfully slow.

And I don't understand your last sentence.  Prevention of what? :?

 

 

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I can speak from personal experience that the Tandy was not cheap! Not in the UK at least. I remember looking at a Model III in a store and saw the price and it was way beyond anything I could afford at the time. It was a professional computer. Never understood why it got the 'Trash' monicker either. I presume it was due to flaws with the Model I but the Model III/IV boy that was a dream machine in the day. Just like the Sharp MZ-80. Rich people computers. When I saw listings for them in magazines I really wished I had one.

 

My Vic-20 C2n Was rock solid. Never failed to load. As was my TI-99/4a cassette recorder once I got one without dolby and a tone control (just volume) and used basic ferric tapes but there is no way I would have put up with them if floppy was an option.

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3 hours ago, Turbo-Torch said:

 

Then what low end, weak, cheap monochrome Tandy computers were you talking about?

 

 

Are you talking about this?

 

Quote

Tandy had the low end floppy cheaper computer market on lock. Unless you didn't mind weak monochrome pcs.

I never was talking about monochrome Tandy's, I said they had the cheaper computer market on lock "unless" you didn't mind monochrome PCs. Including clones. 

 

3 hours ago, Turbo-Torch said:

 Are you upset over my comment on the Timex Sinclair?  Sorry, but it was absolutely useless in the American market.  

I've been arguing about the 2068 being seen as useless and being poorly perceived in US compared to the ZX in UK this entire time, did you forget that?

 

3 hours ago, Turbo-Torch said:

I wasn't discussing that, so I'm not sure how I omitted anything.  

 

But I the person you were responding to was, so it was part of the conversation you just skipped it. But yes they were amazing computers the A400/800, and still worth every penny at that point imo.

 

A good low end bargain buy.

 

3 hours ago, Turbo-Torch said:

And I don't understand your last sentence.  Prevention of what? :?

 

I meant to say "perception" but for some reason my phone decided to replace it with prevention. Even now I had to go back and change it twice because my phone auto corrected.

Edited by Leeroy ST

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1 hour ago, Arnuphis said:

I can speak from personal experience that the Tandy was not cheap! Not in the UK 

We were talking US. 

 

1 hour ago, Arnuphis said:

My Vic-20 C2n Was rock solid. Never failed to load. As was my TI-99/4a cassette recorder once I got one without dolby and a tone control (just volume) and used basic ferric tapes but there is no way I would have put up with them if floppy was an option.

TI commonly has the best reputation for tape speed, reliability, and longevity.

 

Of course never used it myself, but they seem to be far and away the most praised of the Tape using computers/micros.

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1 hour ago, Leeroy ST said:

I never was talking about monochrome Tandy's, I said they had the cheaper computer market on lock "unless" you didn't mind monochrome PCs. Including clones. 

Ok, the context was weird, but you STILL haven't mentioned the Tandys you were talking about.

If you're talking about the CoCo (still don't really know?), RS had no lock on the market with the computers themselves...they were barely a blip on the radar screen compared to Atari 8 bits and Commodore.  Furthermore, it was $600 to add a disk drive to a computer that only cost $400.  Even by the mid 80s, drive 0 still cost more than the CoCo2.

I'm guessing it was cheaper at any given year to add a drive to an Atari or Commodore.

 

Not sure what other Tandy you may be talking about that locked in the low cost floppy market. Model 100 is about all that's left.

 

1 hour ago, Leeroy ST said:

I've been arguing about the 2068 being seen as useless and being poorly perceived in US compared to the ZX in UK this entire time, did you forget that?

I asked you legitimate questions about the Spectrum line and how it progressed, but you didn't answer any of them.

I just did some quick Googling on the 2068 and I have to ask why it would not have been considered unusable junk in the US, just weeks away from 1984?  A VIC20 was a better computer and the C64 (which decimated the 2068 1000X over) was already price cut to about the same as the 2068.  Floppy drives were still very expensive during that time, but at least they were available and we were buying computers with future expandability in mind.  And seriously...chiclet keyboards?

By 1986 the BBS scene exploded and trading warez at 300 baud was all the rage for Atari, Apple, Commodore and PC owners.  Were Spectrum BBSs a thing? 

And if I needed to turn in a report at school, did I have any options for a real printer?  The laughable thermal printer would have got me an F and detention.

 

 

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I would have to say both. Each had its own time to shine.

 

In the late 1970's the only affordable option for most hobbyists was the cassette. The cassette was a lifesaver in that we didn't have to re-type everything in at every power cycle.

 

Like most I began with cassette for the Apple II and TRS-80 Pocket Computer. It worked. I was happy. Even built up a small library of stuff. But once programs started exceeding 16K or 32K in size, floppy was almost a necessity. And anything to do with BBS'ing and WaReZ unquestionable required floppy.

 

I eventually got a Disk II for the Apple II+ and was totally impressed at how well it integrated into the system. I had previously learned Applesoft BASIC inside and out. And getting the drive was like an extension. New commands were available. Very BASIC-like. LOAD x, SAVE x, BLOAD x, BSAVE x, INIT, CATALOG, and others. Equally usable inside BASIC and in immediate-mode.

 

The DOS manual was understandable by a kid and technical hobbyists alike. I still credit it as my favorite bit of documentation to come from Apple.

 

TRIVIA: I remember the day I went to DataDomain to buy a cable, a simple twin 3.5mm phono-plug cable, grey in color. Still have it today. A 10 dollar wire let me use the family tape recorder to save and retrieve programs for a state-of-the-art microcomputer! Image that!

 

MORE TRIVIA: A year after getting my first drive I'd go on to get a 2nd DISK II, and was impressed all over again. It was here that the value of having separate program disks and data disks became apparent. Main BBS program and logs on one disk. Ware of the day on the other. Not to mention more automated copying. No more swapping disks for each file. And fast 28 second copies from disk to disk became real.

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7 minutes ago, Turbo-Torch said:

I asked you legitimate questions about the Spectrum line and how it progressed, but you didn't answer any of them.

I just did some quick Googling on the 2068 and I have to ask why it would not have been considered unusable junk in the US, just weeks away from 1984?

 

What?  

 

Go back and look at my posts to krebizfan, he was the one who thought the 2068 was a ZX spectrum equal in the US.

 

I said it wasn't because of how it was marketed, competition from both price ends around it, and a bad perception that stayed after poor first impression.

 

8 minutes ago, Turbo-Torch said:

Ok, the context was weird, 

No, I said they were kings of low market unless you wanted PC monochrome because some of those were cheaper. There's nothing weird about it.

 

9 minutes ago, Turbo-Torch said:

Ok, the context was weird, but you STILL haven't mentioned the Tandys you were talking about.

If you're talking about the CoCo (still don't really know?), RS had no lock on the market with the computers themselves...they were barely a blip on the radar screen compared to Atari 8 bits and Commodore.  

?????

 

Tandy was big in the US, barely a blip?

 

What year are you talking about?

 

1982? They were number 2:

Daily Item June 21, 1982

clip_84723941.thumb.jpg.72d02cfac1fe309a52bb3c3030ee3655.jpg

 

1981? They were the market leaders along with Apple:

Oct 27, 1981 des moines tribute

clip_84724167.thumb.jpg.62baea850fe7a6014c5c6ada48f3514d.jpg

 

 

As for disc drives depends on who makes them. You could get a Tandon drive for under $300 for example in 82.

 

Then in 83 price wars cut prices everywhere.

 

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4 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

?????

 

Tandy was big in the US, barely a blip?

 

What year are you talking about?

 

Did you miss where I said the CoCo?  The COLOR COMPUTER userbase was nothing compared to Atari and Commodore.  Go to the Tandy section of vcfed and tell me how many topics you find on them.  I attend the Tandy Assembly convention every year and the Model II series has a bigger presence.

The fact that you think the CoCo had some influence or "lock" on the market when it comes to disk systems within the US shows how little you know of the subject.  Go to eBay and search for CoCo disk drives.  7 appear with 5 being from the same seller.  Now search for Atari, Apple or Commodore disk drives.  It's also very rare to find a CoCo system being sold with disk drives as most people didn't upgrade them from cassette due to the high cost and lack of disk software.

Yes, Tandy dominated the market for years and it was the I, III, IV, II and 100 that accounted for most of it.  They probably sold tens of thousands to schools alone.  I've owned my Model III going on 40 years and I lived the era within the US. 

Atari and especially Commodore influenced the disk drive market in this country. Even the Apple Disk II was cheaper than a CoCo drive 0!  And I already did the math in post 25 on the $1100 it would have cost to upgrade my Model III.

 

 

4 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

No, I said they were kings of low market unless you wanted PC monochrome because some of those were cheaper. There's nothing weird about it.

 

No, actually you said:

Quote

Tandy had the low end floppy cheaper computer market on lock. Unless you didn't mind weak monochrome pcs.

The first sentence is flat out weird and doesn't really make grammatical sense.  The only way to take it is that you're talking about low priced floppy systems, of which I already debunked.  "Unless you didn't mind weak monochrome pcs." could easily be taken as "those low priced disk computers are good as long as you don't want power and color."

 

Cheap PC monochrome?  As is what?  IBM and clones which were never cheaper than a CoCo, III or IV?

 

 

5 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

Go back and look at my posts to krebizfan, he was the one who thought the 2068 was a ZX spectrum equal in the US.

 

No, he actually described it quite well:

Quote

If you insist on the Spectrum, Timex's counterpart was the TS-2068 which added a sound chip and a cartridge port while retaining the low price. Not a success in the US. 

 

6 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

As for disc drives depends on who makes them. You could get a Tandon drive for under $300 for example in 82

Lol  Yeah, now tell me what good that drive will do without a disk controller, power supply, case, cables and OS.

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7 hours ago, Turbo-Torch said:

The fact that you think the CoCo had some influence or "lock" on the market when it comes to disk systems within the US shows how little you know of the subject.  

Except I never said this. This is the 3rd time you put words in my mouth I never said because you keep making reactionary assumptions.

 

7 hours ago, Turbo-Torch said:

No, he actually described it quite well:

 

No he didn't, you again didn't follow the conversation and just took a line out of a random post.

 

I argued there was no equal to the ZZXspectrum in the US compared to the UK in marketing, distribution, and perception. He responded with the 2068 which had the opposite of all three. Which is why it wasn't a success.

 

Remember you thought I was arguing it was a success because you didn't follow the conversation you jumped in, saying I was "upset". When I was arguing against that the whole time:

 

21 hours ago, Turbo-Torch said:

And what's with the mild hostility over a discussion on vintage computers?  Are you upset over my comment on the Timex Sinclair?  Sorry, but it was absolutely useless in the American market.  

If you followed the conversation you wouldn't have made this post, and add putting words in my mouth I never said, you're really floundering here.

 

7 hours ago, Turbo-Torch said:

Lol Yeah, now tell me what good that drive will do without a disk controller, power supply, case, cables and OS.

Considering you likely didn't know about those cheaper priced drives, this is an interesting assumption.

 

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1 hour ago, Leeroy ST said:

Except I never said this. This is the 3rd time you put words in my mouth I never said because you keep making reactionary assumptions.

 

You said it wasn't the III/IV.  Now you're claiming it wasn't the CoCo and I'm putting words in your mouth?  So what the fuck Tandy system are you talking about?

What's your next claim? You were talking about the floppy disks themselves?

 

At this point I'm assuming you're high on the Spectrum...and I'm not talking about the computer.

 

 

1 hour ago, Leeroy ST said:

Remember you thought I was arguing it was a success because you didn't follow the conversation you jumped in, saying I was "upset". When I was arguing against that the whole time:

 

No, because most of your posts are vague, all over the place and make little sense.

 

1 hour ago, Leeroy ST said:

Considering you likely didn't know about those cheaper priced drives, this is an interesting assumption.

 

WTF does that even mean?  The only way you were getting a $300 Tandon in '82 was as a bare drive.  That's why I mentioned adding a drive controller, case, power supply, cables and OS.  Did you just not read that?  Does your brain not register that?

Give me one example of a computer in 1982 that had a $300 disk drive system available for it (actually LESS than $300 as you put it).  Model III, CoCo, Atari, Apple, Commodore, anything...your choice!  I want an actual answer, not some babbling sperg reply.  Hint, the 1541 which was the start of affordable drives (not Tandy) was $400 in 1982.  

 

 

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41 minutes ago, Turbo-Torch said:

 

You said it wasn't the III/IV.  Now you're claiming it wasn't the CoCo and I'm putting words in your mouth?  

You attacked me on saying CoCo when I never mentioned the computer so yes you put words in my mouth. That's not the first time either.

 

41 minutes ago, Turbo-Torch said:

At this point I'm assuming you're high on the Spectrum...and I'm not talking about the computer.

I see you're starting to fall apart here with this poorly veiled insult.

 

Usually the desperate one trying to cope with their problem lashes like this. I'm sure we can get you the help you need.

 

Especially the part about imagining statements that were never made, that's a pretty big issue. 

 

Quote

Hint, the 1541 which was the start of affordable drives (not Tandy) was $400 in 1982

Does that include the other stuff you assumed the Tandon didn't have? In either case you contradicted yourself on your $600 claim.

 

41 minutes ago, Turbo-Torch said:

No because most of your posts are vague, all over the place and make little sense.

 

No because you jumped into a conversation without looking, with someone who was clearly thinking that the 2068 was comparable to the ZX in the US. There's no confusion you just won't admit you screwed up.

 

Then in your imagination, decided I was the one who brought up the 2068 and was "upset" as you say. Maybe try paying better attention next time. 

 

41 minutes ago, Turbo-Torch said:

WTF does that even mean?  The only way you were getting a $300 Tandon in '82 was as a bare drive.  That's why I mentioned adding a drive controller, case, power supply, cables and OS.  Did you just not read that?  Does your brain not register that?

 

No, it's your brain that isn't working properly and can't help but make pointless assumptions. 

 

Have you ever considered sales? Perhaps the holidays? Where I got my drive for under $300 in 1982.

 

Of course you didn't.

 

But you're too hung up on not being able to find a decent price for a "complete" drive so decided no one else could. There's a word for that type of mind set.....

 

You know what else happened since ~Aug 1982 onward, maybe earlier? Price wars:

 

clip_84760341.thumb.jpg.47473c3c5601e85e3159cfda5ad2ceef.jpg

 

But I guess we'll just ignore the months of that going into the next year. Impossible to get good prices on computers and accessories in the war right? Wait...

 

Edited by Leeroy ST
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On 9/3/2021 at 3:23 PM, Krebizfan said:

 The unhappy story of the Acorn Electron shows that buyers would rather spend a little more to get a much better computer. 

Missed this, but didn't the Electron initially do pretty well? Demand higher than supply?

 

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A lot of enlightening tape vs. floppy conversation in the past couple of pages.

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43 minutes ago, Leeroy ST said:

Missed this, but didn't the Electron initially do pretty well? Demand higher than supply?

 

Due to production delays the Electron missed the vital Christmas shopping window and was unable to get enough units in the stores to satisfy demand. It never recovered as the bottom then fell out of the market shortly after. And I am talking about the UK.

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It would have been interesting if Nintendo would have continued the floppy drive on the NES instead of cartridges. I think it would have been nice to have a good collection of floppy’s instead of carts.

I never had cassettes on computers growing up. My first home computer was a packard bell with a 60hz pentium with compact disc and 3.5” floppy.

Now that I’m getting older I’m more interested in owning an older tape deck computer like the coleco Adam just to have the experience.

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Both were great.

 

I started with a 4K TRS-80 and a tape drive and found it to be a very reliable storage medium. Got a PET with a built in tape drive next which worked great for loading pet Space Invaders and the Scott Adams Adventure games.

 

Later upgrade of the TRS-80 with 16K and Radio Shack Sands of Egypt and Raaka-Tu 16K adventures on Tape were also inspiring.

 

Disks enabled sprawling modular programs that swapped in and out of memory from the disk, which could be helpful or annoying when it created excessive delays for each module.

 

Zork required a disk drive to handle the expansive underground empire, but I believe there was a stripped down version that ran off of cassette for the C64.

 

The ADAM commented on earlier was an interesting system hybrid because the high speed tape drive had an ISAM mechanism like the stringy floppy drive device enabling an indexed file system on tape.

 

The SuperCharger for the Atari 2600 functioned similarly and could place an indexed file system directory on cassette tape, here's an example of a demo for Silly Venture 2020+1 to run an Operating System from an ordinary cassette deck using a 1 minute looping answering machine Tape.

 

Interestingly for this thread theme, the demo actually got stuck in an endless loop "loading from tape" at the Silly Venture party due to compatibility issues with the revision of the multicarts firmware emulating the analog ISAM Tape drive from a concatenated binary ISAM file. 

 

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10 minutes ago, adamchevy said:

I never had cassettes on computers growing up. My first home computer was a packard bell with a 60hz pentium with compact disc and 3.5” floppy.

I never had punchcards on computers growing up. My first home computer an Apple II with a 1MHz processor with cassette. Woot!

 

10 minutes ago, adamchevy said:

Now that I’m getting older I’m more interested in owning an older tape deck computer like the coleco Adam just to have the experience.

Now that I’m getting older I’m more interested in owning an older punchcard computer like some obscure IBM machine just to have the experience. Woot!

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28 minutes ago, adamchevy said:

Now that I’m getting older I’m more interested in owning an older tape deck computer like the coleco Adam just to have the experience.

Just as sure as I am that, starting with a cassette drive, I am not missing anything by coming in after punched cards, I can say you are not missing anything by coming in after tapes :D

 

13 minutes ago, Keatah said:

Now that I’m getting older I’m more interested in owning an older punchcard computer like some obscure IBM machine just to have the experience. Woot!

You are a ducking mad man.

  

20 minutes ago, Mr SQL said:

The SuperCharger for the Atari 2600 functioned similarly and could place an indexed file system directory on cassette tape, here's an example of a demo for Silly Venture 2020+1 to run an Operating System from an ordinary cassette deck using a 1 minute looping answering machine Tape.

Even more insanity!

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30 minutes ago, Mr SQL said:

I started with a 4K TRS-80 and a tape drive and found it to be a very reliable storage medium. Got a PET with a built in tape drive next which worked great for loading pet Space Invaders and the Scott Adams Adventure games.

Yes. I had few if any reliability issues with tapes. The most annoying aspect of the medium was setting the volume right. Especially as a kid. And I never thought to make a mark on the dial either. Secondary to that was fast-forwarding to the right index numbers on that 3-digit "tape counter".

 

Quote

Disks enabled sprawling modular programs that swapped in and out of memory from the disk, which could be helpful or annoying when it created excessive delays for each module.

IIRC IBM invented this "page swapping" technique sometime in either the late 1950's or early 1960's. A brilliant use for those 2-meter diameter magnetic discs that weighed hundreds of pounds and could double-up as a telescope mirror! Today it's an annoyance with the vast memory systems now available. With 64GB PCs being average or even low-end.

 

But, back in the day this modularity and "page swapping" concept was a boon to us AE sysops when 1200 baud got underway in 1982-1983.

 

Began my AE line sometime 1979-1980. Right when 300 baud was heady stuff. Right when disk drives were still a luxury. Then moved into a 1200 baud modem. And had a BBS set up to where users would post messages, play in the doors, check the time, watch the spinning cursor, try to crash the system, and more! So, when they were done with the BBS portion, the AppleCat would maintain the carrier while the system loaded AE for file transfers. Best of both worlds. BBS was pushed out of memory, AE was loaded. And the user could trade files.

 

By 1985-1986 1200 baud was dying and 2400-9600 was all the rage. System capabilities increased. Main RAM was now big enough to hold both the BBS and file XFER software.

 

Note: For those not in the know, an AE line was a simple terminal program with file transfer capabilities. It had the ability to auto-answer and make available the contents of a disk drive to whomever called. A way of trading software without having to meet in person.

Edited by Keatah
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