THe price of wood

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wrote:

Back in 1999 someone wrote a question to a local newspaper inquiring why the upcoming click-over to 2000 was called Y2K when every computer literate 12 year old knew that a "K" was equal to 1028 and thus everyone was apparently celebrating 2048. You would not have believed the answer. (paraphrased; don't remember it exactly) "the 2048 is 'averaged' to 2000 so that Y2K makes sense."
Who'd have thought that the clueless pendulum would have swung so far so quickly and to include so many, beyond that which one would expect.
I wrote an erudite reply regarding scientific/mathematic suffixes and prefixes and their predating computers by some decades that was probably digested solely by the immediate members of my family who were fairly bulldozed into reading it.
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
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Brett A. Thomas wrote:

Yes, thank you. You're right. I'm right.
I seem to recall that the old MFM and RLL drives actually delivered the advertised capacity. Am I dreaming that? It was a long time ago. The largest one of those I ever laid hands on was 80 megabytes, and I think it would have actually been 80 megabytes if all the heads had been working. :)
Boy, they don't make'em like they used to. My first computer that was MY computer was put together out of complete junk parts like that. The 80 meg drive had bad bearings, and it screamed like a jet engine. One or two of the heads didn't work, and it had gazillions of bad sectors. It still worked, and I used it for awhile, until I saved up enough money to buy one of those new IDE deals. A 120 MB drive that I still have around here somewhere.
More recently, I had a 40 gig (Maxtor) drive that was about 11 months old. One morning, I came in to get on the computer, and the drive was clicking. Just like that. Poof. Gone. I'll bet that damn gimp 80 meg RLL drive would still work to the same limited extent that it was working twelve years ago. Ugh. Fourteen years ago.
Wow. I knew my wife back then too. She was right around the same time I was putting that POS together. Funny how 14 years ago seems an eternity in computer terms, but just getting started on a marriage. (Well, 11 years of marriage, and three years of incredible sex. Not necessarily in that order. :)
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You know Silvan, I was reading this thread and I saw the above comment, and I knew right away before I saw your name, it was you making it. Your thinking on this subject has preceded you. :)
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Upscale wrote:

On old computers or old women? :)
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One woman in particular. Can't say if she's old or not.
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Upscale wrote:

Depends on if I'm mad at her or not how old she is.
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NO, you are _not_ dreaming it. A ST-225, commonly referred to as a "20 mb drive", had a _formatted_ capacity in excess of 21 million bytes. "Usable" space, after a filesystem was laid down, was a fair bit lower.
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Robert Bonomi wrote:

That was an MFM drive. Believe it or not, Seagate still has a tech reference page up on it:
http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/specs/mfm/st225.html
Assuming they haven't retroactively changed their literature to correspond to their current (wrong) numbering scheme, here're their quoted numbers on it:
25.6 MB UNFORMATTED CAPACITY 21.4 MB FORMATTED CAPACITY (17 SECTORS)
But, let's remember, *terminology* has changed since then. Back then, "unformatted" meant "not-low-level-formatted." "Formatted" meant "low-level-formatted but without a filesystem on it." Nowadays, your IDE drive comes low-level formatted, so if you want an apples-to-apples comparison, you want to look at today's "new-in-box unformatted" hard drive capacity versus yesterday's "[low-level] formatted [without a filesystem]."
In that page, they state it had 41,820 sectors per drive. Assuming it followed the standard of 512 byter per sector, that'd be 21,411,840 bytes, or 20.42 (real) MB. So they're quoting "21.4 MB" as the capacity, but we can clearly see that's actually only 20.42 *real* MB.
So, sorry, guys, you're engaging in that classic pastime of remembering the past as better than it was. They started lying about hard drive sizes a *long* time ago, it was just harder to tell with the unformatted vs. formatted confusion. Also, when you put a filesystem on it, you inevitably lose some space. Since they were quoting 21.4MB but you were only getting 20.42 MB, but you didn't see that until FAT had eaten another chunk, so it wasn't real obvious that you were losing that much.
Anyway, maybe the reason it was "commonly referred to as a '20 mb drive'" is because it *was* a 20 MB drive. ;)
-BAT
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wrote:

We were dealing with variations in capacity data more than 20 years ago. They are largely the artifact of "generic" drives, drives that can be used with various systems, and thus potentially formatting in unpredictable ways. In the good old days of proprietary systems, you could buy drives that had accurate specifications.
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Your assumption *IS* in error. <grin>
The early datasheets -- like the paper one I have in my files -- listed numbers 'to the byte', not the 'approximations' cited below.

Yup. your assumptions, and numeric derivations are accurate. That is precisely why it *was* known as, and *sold* as, a "20 mb drive".

Bullsh*t. there were *MANY* 'readily available' utilities -- including the formatter that was BUILT-IN in the HD BIOS chip -- that reported the 'raw' formatted capacity in actual bytes. And short-hand forms using 1024*1024 multiples.1G

No shit, Sherlock. It _was_ the standard 'way back then' to describe disk- drive capacity in units of 1024*1024 bytes.
Then the marketing guys got into the act, and perceived an advantage to rating disks in 'millions of bytes', when the competition was sizing in '1024*1024' bytes. With disks in the 10e8, and above, capacity range, the 'paper difference' was enough to be a 'marketable difference'.
It did make apples-to-apples comparasions *difficult*. What was worse, the same manufacturer would use different measurement styles on different lines of drives.
This was particularly comical, when it was the _same_ HDA assembly, just with a different controller card on the drive.
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Until you slapped that puppy on an RLL controller and made it a 30 MB drive (give or take a few kB).
Of course, if you were a gambling person, you'd then doublespace the drive for 60 MB (or so) per ST-225.
Like it so nice? Do it twice!
And ... if you were REALLY LUCKY (as I was ), you replaced the pair of ST-225s on said RLL controller with doublespace installed (120 MB) JUST before it died. Died is defined as you just ran the last QIC tape and when you rebooted ... nothing happened. Load the new drive with DOS and the tape utilities, restore, and away we go ... back in business.
Woodworking is mild in comparision.
Regards,
Rick

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"Rick" wrote in message

Damn, how soon we forget. Your use of the word "Doublespace" suddenly brought back a flood of memories of words/terms like "Stacker". "DriveSpace", and "CVF" that I guess had slipped into my subconscious. Who was it sued MSFT for stealing (what else is new) their compression algorithm, Stac Electronics, or something like that? IIRC, that was a BIG deal when DOS 6.0 came out.
Time really flies ...
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Swingman wrote:

I remember I had an acquaintance back then who excitedly told me, one day, "I'm beta testing for Stacker!" I said, "Yeah, you do that. Good luck with that..."
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My standard comment in such situations has been, for rather a long time now, "Yeah, 'cuz what could _possibly_ go wrong?".
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It was Stac.
todd
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Rick wrote:

32 MB IIRC.
I saw one of those things the other day. What do you bet half the people, maybe even 75% or even 90% of the people who have home computers today have no clue what a "full sized card" is?
I ran into that with someone in some context or other. I don't remember the surrounding details, but his definition of a "full sized card" was one where the PCB came all the way to the end of the edge connector.
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On Wed, 08 Dec 2004 17:09:44 -0500, Silvan

it's been a while since I've had a card that came to the "front" of the case and had to be supported there. last one was a sound card, IIRC...
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Snip ......

There ... I'll irritate the other 50% this time. Probably shouldn't get started on the walk down "memory" lane (pun intended). I remember when ALL cards were full-length. I read a piece about a computer museum on aliceandbill.com and blathered on about all the ones they missed ... I don't need to do that again this week.
Perhaps when this embedded controller programming job finishes up, I'll make some sawdust. After I clear the electronics crap out of the shop!
Regards,
Rick
BTW, bought a USB "thumb drive" yesterday ... 128 MB ... 'bout as big as the old drive _connector_ ... capacity is greater than what my first FOUR computers combined had ... for $16.00.
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Larry Jaques wrote:

To clarify, let me present jo4hn's terminology for counting bytes: one byte, two bytes, many zigabytes. J4's lemma to a well known axiom: No matter how big a resource you give them, software mavens will not only fill it up but will exceed it.
And finally the definition of a computer: an incredibly fast idiot with a zillion toes to count on.
As the man said, hope this helps.
    mahalo,     jo4hn
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wrote:

oh, but then we have to get into actual vs. formatted size... maybe they should sell hard drives in "nominal" sizes?
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