MS-DOS FAT file system ripped off? (from WHOM?)

From: Eric Smith <>
Date: Wed Jan 13 00:55:59 1999

Fred Cisin wrote:
> When going to the directory on a system without a track 0 stop or track
> 0 switch, it DOES substantially reduce the average access.
> But, if there IS a track 0 stop, or track 0 switch, then it is normally
> possible to get to track 0 at full maximum velocity, rather than stepping
> one track at a time, pausing (and maybe reading) before taking the next step.
> That usually makes even the maximum seek to track 0 take even less than
> half the time that track by track stepping would.

Sam Ismail wrote:
> I don't know if this makes complete sense on the Apple disk drives. When
> you wanted to step, say, 5 tracks over, you massaged the stepper motor the
> requisite number of times to get it to where you assumed it would be 5
> tracks over. Then the DOS went about its business reading for the sector
> it was looking for. If it didn't find it then it assumed a problem and
> recalibrated (to track 0), then stepped back the requisite number of times
> to get to the track you originally were headed for. This scheme resulted
> in 99.99999% success in jumping from track to track. And the CATALOG
> track was 17 (on a 34 track formatted disk).

Also, Apple didn't use the fixed step rates that were standard in the
industry. They accelerated and decelerated the carriage in order to
get faster seeks.

However, when they wanted to recalibrate the drive, instead of doing a
normal seek to track 0, they did an outward seek of 48 tracks. Since it
was only a 35 track drive, the positioner would hit the end stop and make
an annoying loud grinding noise.

So even though the Disk ][ had a track 0 stop, the use of track 17 for the
catalog was quite appropriate. The average time to seek to track 17 was
noticably lower than the average time to seek to track 0 (or the recalibrate

Received on Wed Jan 13 1999 - 00:55:59 GMT

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