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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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1 hour ago, Arnuphis said:

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.

While I understand that the BBC4 short movie Micro Men to a big extent is made up and only tangentially matches the real happenings, I seem to recall a scene - possibly genuine stock footage - of a warehouse to the brim full of Electrons, as a sign of failed demand but perhaps that happened past the Christmas season and a bit into 1985 (1986 ?) when the window for the Electron had closed?

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52 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.

 

The Atari Supercharger was awesome and seemed to do something my Model III never did, and that was multi loads.

I loved how you can reach a certain point in a game and then press play to advance to the next levels with your score and stats in place.

I can't recall any Model III games that did that.  You could save your place in an adventure game and that's about it.

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Keatah said:

 

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.

Very cool! I remember playing online adventure game modules hosted on Bulletin Board Systems. They were great fun even at 300 baud since they played in real time with the lackadaisical text scrolling a part of the experience, distinctive like a teletype.  

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12 minutes ago, carlsson said:

While I understand that the BBC4 short movie Micro Men to a big extent is made up and only tangentially matches the real happenings, I seem to recall a scene - possibly genuine stock footage - of a warehouse to the brim full of Electrons, as a sign of failed demand but perhaps that happened past the Christmas season and a bit into 1985 (1986 ?) when the window for the Electron had closed?

Seems like 85 is right from this article:

 

clip_84781748.thumb.jpg.bbbe969f2b58e9de6f979ae43d34e3e1.jpg

 

It mentions the large stocks of unsold Electron computers.

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Perhaps electronics manufacturing is like an unstoppable train, if Acorn had already made an order of X number of machines to be made, there was no emergency break to that order once Christmas 1984 neared and they figured the machines would not get there on time and by the time the machines were ready, the market would cool off quite a bit until next Christmas. Sure it was a break of times around then. Previously one kind of micro could withstand two Christmas seasons if it was recent enough first time around and cheap enough second time around, but it also costs money to keep warehouses full of computers for some 8-10 months, money that Acorn apparently didn't have on their own.

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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!

That was my first computer, not the first one I used. My father bought and sold used office equipment through the late 70s and continues to this day. He had warehouses that had pallets of computer parts on them.

 

I remember playing with IBM 5150s, Macintosh computers of various models, and many generic looking office computers that looked like they were purchased at radio shack. I never played with punch card systems, but I’ve messed with many computers of various kinds.

Ofcourse not for very long because I was very young and would usually get found out quickly by my fathers employees.

 

One of my saddest memories was in the late 90s and early 00s when my Dad had me clean out an old warehouse full of old computers and just throw them in dumpsters. I can’t tell you how many Ibm 5150s, Apple fat macs, old monitors, keyboards, floppy drives/media, and various peripherals I’ve thrown away. I’ve shown my Dad how much that stuff goes for now on eBay and it makes him upset. But nobody knew that vintage computing would ever become a hobby. They just collected dust for almost 10 years and we needed the space.

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2 hours ago, carlsson said:

Perhaps electronics manufacturing is like an unstoppable train, if Acorn had already made an order of X number of machines to be made, there was no emergency break to that order once Christmas 1984 neared and they figured the machines would not get there on time and by the time the machines were ready, the market would cool off quite a bit until next Christmas. Sure it was a break of times around then. Previously one kind of micro could withstand two Christmas seasons if it was recent enough first time around and cheap enough second time around, but it also costs money to keep warehouses full of computers for some 8-10 months, money that Acorn apparently didn't have on their own.

Having to cut the prices is the real issue here. You have money bleeding in warehouses and store shelves, and can't sell them at the expected profit for product that does move. The Electron probably wasn't even salvageable.

Edited by Leeroy ST

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On 9/5/2021 at 2:15 PM, Mr SQL said:

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

 

Are you perhaps thinking of Pyramid? That was released on cassette (and based very loosely on the original Colossal Cave).

 

Sands of Egypt was a disk-only graphic adventure game. I vividly remember the advertising in the (in-house) TRS-80 Microcomputer Newsletter for this game that made me want a disk drive. 

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6 hours ago, jhd said:

 

Are you perhaps thinking of Pyramid? That was released on cassette (and based very loosely on the original Colossal Cave).

 

Sands of Egypt was a disk-only graphic adventure game. I vividly remember the advertising in the (in-house) TRS-80 Microcomputer Newsletter for this game that made me want a disk drive. 

Very cool, yes it was definitely a 16K tape I remember and a pure text adventure.

 

I also remember playing Zork the underground empire from disk and enjoyed the graphical Mark Data adventures like Black Sanctum that fit all in memory and could be loaded from either tape or disk.

 

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I started with tape.  And that experience varied.

 

Was slow on the Atari, but worked pretty well!  I used normal bias 15 to 30 minute tapes.  I also made a few custom ones that contained a single program on both sides.  Utility programs mostly.  Made them short so I could just load and go.

 

On the Apple it was faster, but a bit more fiddly.  But one could use any tape device.

 

My favorite was the Color Computer.  Fast, made effective use of filenames, robust.

 

Disks were amazing!  

 

The Apple was my favorite.  Fast, robust, and nice long filenames, good amount of storage.  Bzzzt, tuk, tuk, tuk... file types get in the way sometimes.  Can be odd to use from basic.

 

Atari was right up there.  I liked the sounds.  Fzzzt.. tadala, talada....   not quite as fast, good amount of storage, shorter file names.  Easy to use from Basic.  The SIO system is cool.

 

I only used disks on the Color Computer a few times.  Liked em, but it all seemed kind of clunky.  But really, that was just the simple plug in cart disk controller I used.  

 

On the PC, it was disk only, and then hard disks.  By this time, I found the 360K roomy, and after getting a 10Mb hard card for my XT class machine, I thought I had all I would need!  ( for about a month)

 

 

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I already forgot vinyl when it comes to computer programs. It only was a novelty format used by a handful of artists and like in this case, for cover discs. Even systems that could connect any external sound source, would have issues loading programs directly from an amplified turntable without taking the middle step over recording it to tape first, plus that only occasionally you would have your turntable or Hi-Fi setup next to your home computer.

 

The list of artists who actually released something on vinyl is rather well documented online, but even as a read-only media it never was useful beyond novelty.

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Wasn't there also some PC specific media format in the late 80's or early 90's?

 

It was sort of like CD or laserdisc (closer to CD in size) with the glossy back but it wasn't a CD. Can't recall the name.

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Quote

Wasn't there also some PC specific media format in the late 80's or early 90's?

 

It was sort of like CD or laserdisc (closer to CD in size) with the glossy back but it wasn't a CD. Can't recall the name

Zip Drive?  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zip_drive#100

 

Jaz Drive?   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaz_drive

 

Floptical?   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floptical

 

 

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17 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

Wasn't there also some PC specific media format in the late 80's or early 90's?

 

It was sort of like CD or laserdisc (closer to CD in size) with the glossy back but it wasn't a CD. Can't recall the name.

https://obsoletemedia.org/optical-disk-cartridge/ 5.25" optical sold by Plasmon and IBM Plasmon also offered a 12" version

 

https://obsoletemedia.org/lv-rom/ used by the BBC Micro only 

 

https://obsoletemedia.org/5-25-inch-magneto-optical-disc/ 

 

https://obsoletemedia.org/syquest-5-25-inch/  It's a metal hard disk platter in a shell 

 

Obsoletemedia has pictures of most of the mass produced storage options done after 1980. A number of other choices to look up are mentioned in the media wanted category. 

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7 hours ago, zzip said:

Well none of those are like CD, but I do remember Zip Drives having 5 seconds of fame locally. But then they suddenly died off and you couldn't find them anywhere. 

 

4 hours ago, Krebizfan said:

https://obsoletemedia.org/optical-disk-cartridge/ 5.25" optical sold by Plasmon and IBM Plasmon also offered a 12" version

 

https://obsoletemedia.org/lv-rom/ used by the BBC Micro only 

 

https://obsoletemedia.org/5-25-inch-magneto-optical-disc/ 

 

https://obsoletemedia.org/syquest-5-25-inch/  It's a metal hard disk platter in a shell 

 

Obsoletemedia has pictures of most of the mass produced storage options done after 1980. A number of other choices to look up are mentioned in the media wanted category. 

Syquest looks familiar though so I remember it being isolated and not in a casing.

 

 

 

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There were many one off disc formats over the years. Me and some folks had MovieCDs at one point, basically worse versions of Video CDs with less time. It was made to playback on Windows 3.1, a nightmare that anyone can confirm if they ever touched it. MovieCD was the one thing that worked on it.

 

Then Circuit city had that nickle and dime format where they sold rental players that played their proprietary discs. A friend of mine had brought one, iirc he needed to hook up to dial up and connect online for the player to even work. The discs were cheap but after 24 hours or so the disc was junk. It was a very silly but clever way to get more money out of those who rented movies.

 

I remember the best players being $500 before tax. But DVD players were much cheaper. I guess you really only ever would use Circuit City's system if you were someone who just wanted to trial watch movies, or maybe a reviewer/critic of some kind. Trading a higher player price for temporary cheaper optical discs 

 

But like the Sidekick/Danger Hip Top phones, once discontinued all parts of it became paper weights. At least I can still use HD DVD players to play HD DVD 

 

I remember that fornat backfiring on them later, may have been the first unhealable scar toward their bankruptcy.

 

 

Edited by Leeroy ST

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7 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

There were many one off disc formats over the years. Me and some folks had MovieCDs at one point, basically worse versions of Video CDs with less time. It was made to playback on Windows 3.1, a nightmare that anyone can confirm if they ever touched it. MovieCD was the one thing that worked on it.

 

Then Circuit city had that nickle and dime format where they sold rental players that played their proprietary discs. A friend of mine had brought one, iirc he needed to hook up to dial up and connect online for the player to even work. The discs were cheap but after 24 hours or so the disc was junk. It was a very silly but clever way to get more money out of those who rented movies.

 

I remember the best players being $500 before tax. But DVD players were much cheaper. I guess you really only ever would use Circuit City's system if you were someone who just wanted to trial watch movies, or maybe a reviewer/critic of some kind. Trading a higher player price for temporary cheaper optical discs 

 

But like the Sidekick/Danger Hip Top phones, once discontinued all parts of it became paper weights. At least I can still use HD DVD players to play HD DVD 

 

I remember that fornat backfiring on them later, may have been the first unhealable scar toward their bankruptcy.

 

 

 

I had Mortal Kombat on MovieCD, and I thought it was awesome (at the time).  I think I still have the disc.

 

Circuit City's format was DIVX (not to be confused with the DivX compression).   It was dumb.  They were still DVD players, so you could still use it for that.  You could 'rent' their disc, or you could unlock it permanently, but it still needed the phone connection.  Why not just buy the disc, that's why it was so stupid.

 

 

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Before I got a DVD burner, I dabbled with encoding movie CDs.  I actually got pretty good at doing the MPEG-2 encode process to crush things without ruining video (too much).

 

I remember seeing actual VCDs of things like RoboCop in movie rental places.

 

 

As for the "Diskette vs Cassette" question-- I always dealt with diskettes as a kid.  I wondered about cassettes, and was always told "No, that is garbage tier stuff." by everyone older than myself, and was always curious about the experience-- but for me, it was always diskettes.

Edited by wierd_w

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14 hours ago, MrDave said:

Floppy, carts, then tapes.. i got my first disk drive for my coco ..very late in the game..

You prefer floppies over carts? Why is that?

 

8 hours ago, thanatos said:

 

I had Mortal Kombat on MovieCD, and I thought it was awesome (at the time).  I think I still have the disc.

 

Circuit City's format was DIVX (not to be confused with the DivX compression).   It was dumb.  They were still DVD players, so you could still use it for that.  You could 'rent' their disc, or you could unlock it permanently, but it still needed the phone connection.  Why not just buy the disc, that's why it was so stupid.

 

 

Yeah my friend told me you could make Circuit City discs "gold" or something for unlimited play... Temporarily since even those were paper weights after discontinuation since you still had to have check ins on their server to play.

 

You were basically paying a premium on not so special dvd players to rent discs that are worthless after 24 hours, unless you pay more than buying the actual DVD of the movie itself, for a format that would stop working at discontinuation. It seemed like an obvious scam but my friend jumped right in.

 

But this is also the same guy who spent money on a Sega CD with no Gen/MD thinking it was a different system, so a fool and his money are soon bankrupt, lol.

 

 

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Generally I'd expect any floppy disk to have a capacity of 5-10 X a cartridge. Not to mention price difference and that cartridges almost always were read only anyway so an uneven comparison.

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1 hour ago, carlsson said:

Generally I'd expect any floppy disk to have a capacity of 5-10 X a cartridge. Not to mention price difference and that cartridges almost always were read only anyway so an uneven comparison.

 

The serial port floppy drives didn't have much more capacity than the battery backed RAM cartridges. The Tandy PDD (Brother FB-100) stored 100K. The Mitsumi Quick Disk, the most successful spiral floppy, stored 64K per side. The 1984 NEC 8201 and the 1989 Atari Portfolio both support 128K RAM cartridges. The NEC cartridge cost $400; the Atari cartridge $199. The PDD started off at about $300 with the Quick Disk tending to be in the $100 to $150 range depending on what system it was attached to. Disks were where the savings mounted up. The PDD used the common 3.5" DD disks which were less than a dollar a disk. The Quick Disk should have been cheaper still but the only prices when new I can find are for the Nintendo version at $10 per disk. 

 

The serial port floppy undercut the external floppy controller cartridge plus external drive and cabling through much of the 80s. 

 

 

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