Weird PC Storage Formats
For every effective computer data storage format, there are few castaways that are best forgotten. Here are few weird storage formats to have made it in the world of computers.
2” Inch Floppy Disk
Originally developed for the still-video cameras, the Fuji LT-1 2-inch floppy format was used in computers in 1989 Zenith Minisport laptop. Each disk held 720 kilobytes and could be easily swallowed by an animal.
Hitachi Micro Hamster
Launched in 2003, this tiny disk had enormous storage facility and good performance. Plus it was cheaper as it costed lesser than the flash media. Soon the flash media caught up and the hard disks lost their attraction.
3” Compact Floppy
A conglomerate of makers led by Matsushita introduced this 3 inch wide Compact Floppy format in 1983 to match with Sony’s 3.5 inch floppy system. The Compact Floppy, which had a storage size of 140KB per side, was used most in British Amstrad computers; however, it lost its presence in the market.
Apple Twiggy Diskette
In 1983 the first Apple Lisa was launched with two incorporated 5.25 inch disk drives. The drives used a branded format called “Fileware,” although many referred to the disks by “Twiggy.” Twiggy disks stored 871KB of data and looked like unusual style of the standard 5.25 inch floppies most of us are familiar with.
Apple found the new drives to be undependable to use, so it scrapped them in favour of the regular 400KB Sony 3.5 inch drive when it launched a revised Lisa unit in 1984.
Magneto-optical drives read information using special media with a laser, much like a CD-ROM drive. The first popular magneto-optical drive was launched with the NeXT Computer in 1988. Numerous MO drives and discs are available today, but they form a niche market compared to other optical media like DVD-R.
IBM PCjr ROM Cartridge
Usually ROM cartridges are thought of as out-dated form of video game media, but early home computers had them as well. In 984 Astonishingly, Lotus made a cartridge-based version of its famous Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet program for the IBM PCjr. While faster and user friendly, ROM cartridges quickly lost popularity in the PC world due to low storage capacity and the high cost of manufacturing costs.
Sinclair ZX Microdrive
In 1983, Sinclair Research introduced the ZX Microdrive system for its popular ZX Spectrum home computer. The ZX Microdrive had 85KB of capacity on tiny, 1.3 inch wide tape cartridges; each cartridge had a complete 200 inch loop of magnetic tape, comparable to an 8-track cassette. The Microdrive read and wrote data super-fast compared to cassette tape drives of the period, but the tapes had a tendency to wear out quickly. Eventually, more dependable storage formats took over.
Picture courtesy- arstechnica.com, gamefaqs.com, brouhaha.com, fileformat.info, segiempat.com and wikimedia.org
by techtalks @TechTalks October 27, 2015 5:49 AM UTC