Media and mass storage

This category is here to show interesting data storage media and devices used to read/write them. It covers both mainframe punched cards and tapes as well as magnetic data streamers and magnetooptical/optical media.
Storing large amounts of data was always a problem. Early mainframe computers had only punched tape/cards permanent memory. To read computation results you had to take the tape and feed it to teletype manually (for example early BESM machines required it). Later units had magnetic tapes allowing to store more data. These computers were built into complex database systems. Punched cards or tapes were used to load programs and data to magnetic tapes.
Later, hard drives became installed in upgraded mainframes. For example in Odra 1305 it was possible to install up to 4 MFM drives (usually IZOT 8MB or Seagate 21MB) per CPU, each one divided to 8MB partitions, each partition addressed as a virtual magnetic tape recorder. Sometimes one tape was usually ELIB (?testy?), a service tape, the other one was programming language or database system. These machines were used in Poland to 2008, as Odra computers serviced properly were very reliable.
As PC compatibles became more and more popular, it was needed to store more and more data for backups or archival purposes. Many companies developed special tape recorders for PC. They used linear or helical system and were capable to store from 20MB to few terabytes (now). Because tape writing is critical about interface speed (you can't easily move the tape back because transmission stopped) these streamers were equipped with fast SCSI bus.
In late 80s or early 1990s, another PC devices came to market: portable data storage. In this page you'll see one of the first "thumb drives" available commercially called PHd (Pocket Harddisk).

And some other interesting pictures (low quality scans!):

 - Hitachi SSD from late-80s.
 - PCMCIA Flash 20MB card
 - CD-ROM (1993)
 - CD-ROM and sound card set (1993)
 - CD-ROM set (1993)
 - First PC with CD-ROM available in Poland (1993, Adax)
 - PhotoCD player (1994)
 - Canon WORM optical card (2MB, 1989)
 - Megadrive - disk with replaceable platter set (1989)
 - Datasaab hard disk station
 - Disk set from mainframe
 - Disk drive from mainframe
 - Different disk drive from mainframe
 - A full-sized disk from mainframe
 - Ferrite memory
 - Magnetic drum memory (IMM Poland)
 - Different mainframe media

You can find many answers in my FAQ about mass storage It covers streamer tapes, CDs, some magntic and magnetooptical discs.

Click a unit to get information, photos and tips...

Name Type Computer
PT-3 tape Media ??
Paper punched tape Media Probably Mera x00
Punched cards Media ??
Tape perforator Device ??


PC Streamers and tapes:
Name Type Computer
QIC Tape and streamer Streamer and tape PC/SCSI
HP Colorado Trakker 250 (Small QIC) Streamer and tape PC/parallel port?
DDS tape and streamer Streamer and tape PC/SCSI
DLT tape and streamer Streamer and tape PC/SCSI
IOMega Ditto 3200 Streamer PC
TEAC MT-2ST/45S Streamer PC/proprietary interface
Exabyte EXB-8500 Streamer PC/SCSI
Shinwa SDX-80 Streamer PC/SCSI
Imation K Cartridge Tape PC
LTO Ultrium 3 streamer and tape Streamer and tape PC/SCSI


PC/microcomputer mass storage (disks, card readers):
Name Type Computer
1GB JAZ disk Magnetic disk PC
5.25", 3.5" magnetooptic disk and drives MO disk PC
ZIP drive /disks Magnetic drive PC/IDE/Parallel
SyQuest 40 and 80MB disc cartridges Magnetic disk PC?
IOMega Bernoulli Box 10MB Magnetic disk drive PC and other
ActionTec CameraPro Connect Card reader PC/Parallel
8" Floppy disks Floppy disk ???
5.25" Floppy disks and drives Floppy disk PC and many others
3.5" Floppy disks and drives Floppy disk PC and many others
3" Floppy disks Floppy disk Amstrad CPC, TImex FDD and more.
DVD-RAM disc Optical disc Usually PC
HP CD Writer Plus 7200e (and all EPAT stuff) Disc recorder PC
Recordable Minidisc (for audio) MO disk PC and other


PC portable storage:
Name Type Computer
KT Technology PocketHardDisk Porteble HDD PC/Parallel


Name Type Computer
Wire matrix programmer Electronic ??
LN-9 Memory tube Electronic Random Access ??