Prices & Rants(was: Future Computing Trends. Still is, I gu

From: <(>
Date: Mon Feb 23 13:58:14 1998

> > drive, and it works now. The only FDD I've bought was a 3.5" TEAC
> > for $70 at the world's worst store- CompUSA. It actually has a metal
> > frame!
> You mean some drives have a plastic chassis these days? No wonder people
> experience data loss...
Getting there... Most floppy drives now use 1 rail with plastic
head assembly as a bearing surface, a hardened wire and a leafspring
to bear wire into spiral groove as a 2nd rail and positioning.
That's all dandy but the main problem no bearing sleeves.
Panasonic designed their drives that one of their rail is on line
radially with the spindle all on same line as heads in/out direction
without sleeve bearing. Very severe side wear occurs! This is not a
problem with sleeve bearings and a offset rail in good drives. I
have seen a Epson (one of the first to use plastic chassis and
troublesome rack and rail gear) fall apart by simple floppy
insertion, but the guts luckily landed on the rat's nest of cables
without shorting out anything else!

Jason D.

> Well, while it may not make much sense to repair a drive when you can
> easily buy a replacement (although I'm darn glad I've got some 8" drive
> repair manuals - you can't buy replacements for those), I _always_ check
> the alignment of every new drive I get. I've had some brand-new drives
> that are marginal (checked on a know-good alignment disk), and, quite
> simply, my data is worth the time taken to make sure that the disk can be
> read back - on that, or on any other drive.
Great idea but how I afford a alignment disk? Very rare use and
> > >What floppy drives would you recomend?
> > Punched card, IBM ,circa 1928.
> If we're allowing that sort of thing, I'll go for a Trend UDR500 (or
> HSR700) optical paper tape reader. Very reliable, and trivial to maintain.
Great, but what about "in fanasy mode" banning production of new
floppy drives 3.5" and insist on PD or MO, or CD-RW on a 3.5"
cartidges? Zip came very close in data sercurity even the drive blew

> Actually, the true-blue IBM keyboard I'm typing on at the moment is one
> of those plastic membrane ones. It's never given me any trouble, though...
> LK201's (DEC VT220 etc keyboards) are another story. I must have
> dismantled and rebuilt a few dozen of those - even to the extent of
> trimming back the moulded-over studs and dismantling the keys and the
> membrane 'sandwich'. What a pain!
That one! That is horrible keyboard, nearly impossible to repair!

> > crap too. Don't have to worry about focus, transformers, etc. But I'm
> > sure that they'll figure out something to screw up.
> No, there are obscure surface-mount drivers (or worse, direct-on-board
> chips, or even on the glass itself) to fail. And zebra strips to go
> intermittant on the smaller units. And backlights to fail in expensive
> ways...
> I'll stick to the CRT, thank you. I can understand those, I can see the
> components, and I can bodge a repair somehow...
> I once jokingly said that there are 2 types of mono monitor CRT - ones
> with a thick neck, B8H base and 6.3V heater and ones with a thin neck,
> B7G base and 12V heater. Having done a number of swaps in my life, I'm
> not sure it was so much of a joke...
> > >worse than the 17 year old Barco I happen to have...
> > Out of ten new Performas, about half have darker monitors. We don't
> > know why. It seems that the monitor is the second least reliable part
> Well, the user manual for my Barco explains how to set it up (it's a real
> user manual, with schematics and parts lists and waveforms...). The list
> of equipment needed, and the time taken to do it properly are both quite
> long. You can bet that a lot of no-name monitors have never seen a colour
> analyser or a geometry test slide.
Hear hear!! My friend have a RCA CTC130x I have not able to find
the "x" part to be certain so I could order or recover the
convergence assembly because this one has a preset split bead tied
shut by a nylon tie at time of manufacture! By the way I have the
picture of the tv in gif format if someone wants a viewing.

> That's one reason I stick to that old PC I mentioned in a previous
> message. I have schematics to _everything_ apart from the hard disk, and
> most of it is standard chips anyway. I have the source to the BIOS ROM
> (It's an IBM - the source is in the techref) and the source to the OS and
> untilities (it's Linux). So there's not a lot I can't hack or fix.
True, but I would do that if I had great teachers and great loads of
cheap docs then I would qualify as hacker like you do, but I lack
very specific tools like oscilloscope etc and my past histories
did'nt made everything else happen like this so I have to start
somewhere and start hacking away when I have resources once again.

> -tony

Jason D.
Pero, Jason D.
Received on Mon Feb 23 1998 - 13:58:14 GMT

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