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Drives (as in Drive C has crashed, please buy a new computer

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bobofel
47458.  Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:31 pm Reply with quote

This has probably already been mentioned, but are there many misconceptions about hard drives/ floppy disks etc?

Alan Davies could beleive that the original floppy disks were the size they are today, or summant along those lines.

If Hard Drives are just disks in cases how do they store so much info on them?

 
Pyreo
47473.  Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:38 pm Reply with quote

bobofel wrote:
Alan Davies could beleive that the original floppy disks were the size they are today, or summant along those lines.

Or possibly that they really are floppy?

 
bobofel
47474.  Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:50 pm Reply with quote

We know floppy disks as the little plastic squares that computers always used to use but inside them (I know, I've smashed my fair share) is a circular disk. The metal circle that you see in the middle is part of the disk, which is in fact very floppy, more so than paper it seems.

Quote:
Basically, a floppy disk drive reads and writes data to a small, circular piece of metal-coated plastic similar to audio cassette tape.


Source:www.howstuffworks.com

 
Quaintly Ignorant
47481.  Tue Jan 24, 2006 2:14 pm Reply with quote

The 3.5" diskette that we have today (just barely still alive) replaced the 5.25" floppy diskette which was indeed much more floppy. This in turn replaced audio cassette tapes which were used to store information and I believe they replaced punch-cards which were basically pieces of floppy cardboard with holes punched in them to mark out the binary code of programs, a long and laborious task.

Hard drives are rather interesting but excessively complex to explain or understand when in fact it is enough to know that they work.

 
Pyreo
47547.  Tue Jan 24, 2006 6:45 pm Reply with quote

I have some sort of faint idea in my head about a question about why floppy disk drives are 'floppy' or how they 'flopped' in the market or something along those lines.

 
Caradoc
47554.  Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:13 pm Reply with quote

The first mini-computer I used had a 12 inch floppy drive, I've also seen 8 inch floppy disks.

I failed to learn to programme in either pascal or fortran using punch cards.

If you dismantle a hard drive you will find a disk of rigid material with magnetic media coating it, crack open a floppy & the coated disk is wobbly.

 
Gray
47557.  Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:17 pm Reply with quote

I made a computer out of mechanical relays once. It had pretty terrible graphics (16 pixels, or 'light bulbs' as I called them), but it really sounded like it was working hard.

You 'programmed' it with a soldering iron. And occasionally a small hammer.

 
samivel
47568.  Wed Jan 25, 2006 1:47 am Reply with quote

It sounds like my computer ;)

 
dr.bob
47600.  Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:14 am Reply with quote

Dismantling a hard drive is the best thing you can do to one that's ceased to function. That way you can still put it to use by making a mobile or some other decorative item out of the shiny disks inside.

As has already been mentioned, "floppy" drives were originally very floppy. No mystery there. It's a shame that 3.5" "floppies" came encased in a stiff plastic casing thereby causing confusion among computer neophytes.

 
bobofel
47607.  Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:46 am Reply with quote

How exactly does a hard drive work, or would the text needed crash the QI server.

Quote:
I made a computer out of mechanical relays once. It had pretty terrible graphics (16 pixels, or 'light bulbs' as I called them), but it really sounded like it was working hard.


How big was this computer?

 
gerontius grumpus
47613.  Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:02 am Reply with quote

Gray wrote:
I made a computer out of mechanical relays once. It had pretty terrible graphics (16 pixels, or 'light bulbs' as I called them), but it really sounded like it was working hard.

You 'programmed' it with a soldering iron. And occasionally a small hammer.


It must have looked like the computers in 60s TV programmes like The man From Uncle.

 
bobofel
47618.  Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:48 am Reply with quote

A very large metal box covered in lights and switches?

FYI you can now buy supercomputers for a fair few grand. They are the size of fridges and are pretty damned good, although I doubt they would be so good with windows.

 
gerontius grumpus
47622.  Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:58 am Reply with quote

Yes buit are they covered in banks of flashing lights?

 
bobofel
47624.  Wed Jan 25, 2006 10:06 am Reply with quote

hopefully, or I'm sending it back.

You can't have a supercomputer without flashing lights, van de graff generators or Jacob's ladders, although they do apsolutely nothing at all to help work out the speed of light to the nearest picometre per second

 
Tas
47629.  Wed Jan 25, 2006 10:27 am Reply with quote

It would also need a faceless staff of technicians in overalls. Gantries are optional.

:-)

Tas

 

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