personal computers; floppy disks: technological boon, but so delicate - clear mylar tape
DIMENTJULY 1982 this is a digital version of an article from The Times Print Archive, before its online publication began in 1996.
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In the film graduate, Dustin Hoffman was told that the secret to future success lies in the word "plastic.
We all laughed.
However, plastic is the future because there is no computer without plastic.
Plastic that is so important to computers is not high
Impact material for manufacturing instrument housing, but double polyesterknit suits.
Mylar is the key to a microcomputer.
There would be no external archive storage without it. A. S.
This gives your PC the flexibility to do what you want, such as storing data or word processing. Originally, E. A. S.
It comes in the form of a huge magnetic tape wound around the wheat, and these rotating gadgets make the computer in a sci-fi movie look real.
When the crisis occurred, a scientist turned on the computer and the scroll began to spin back and forth, with rows of colored lights flashing diligently on the control board.
The computer is looking for the right data, which will take forever, at least in computer time.
One piece of relevant information may be at the beginning of the tape, the other at the end, and the other at the beginning.
Unlike a Symphony recording, computer data is usually not recorded continuously.
You don't always start with the opening of the victory, linear into the wonderful ending.
In fact, the first PCs used cassette tapes as electronic devices. A. S. 's;
However, the low cost of the method does not make up for its slowness and other limitations.
Early ads in memory games, search-and-
For the computer industry, the look-up feature of disk records becomes obvious.
If you only want to listen to the third recording, you pick up the sound arm and place the stylus in the right groove.
You can do the second clip just as easily.
To take advantage of this jump, the computer industry is starting to turn to disk storagearound ability.
The magnetic memory disk with a diameter of 3 to 4 feet was initially measured, but rapid development resulted in
Smaller disk, at the same time, the function is constantly
Increase storage capacity.
Today's small disk system mainly uses 5 1/4-inch or 8-
The price of the inch floppy disk and blank is between $5 and $10.
The reason this pie is called "fl" is because it is made of a thin enough Mela to bend or flop.
Pies small enough to be stuffed into protective envelopes should be stored vertically like books.
In fact, they are the Library of your computer, although the floppy disk collection needs to be more careful than the books.
The pie is thin and delicate due to the trade-offs of engineering economics.
When one floppy disk is taken out of the disk drive and the other is inserted, the alignment of the new disk is inevitably several inches apart.
By building a head to accurately read or write data in the microscopic part of the disk, it will be very expensive to handle these situations.
Therefore, the head of the entire disk segment is overwritten at one time.
Because the entire head must penetrate the disk about 30-
To ensure close contact on the width of the head, the disk must be soft.
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The first thing you should pay attention to is that unlike the envelope of the phonograph record, the internal dust cover of the floppy disk is always left on it.
By touching the disk itself, you can kiss the data stored on the disk.
There is a hole in the storage envelope, the spindle grabs the floppy disk, one like 45-r. p. m. singles.
It also has an oval access hole where the read/write head of the disk drive actually contacts the disk through this hole.
Keep your fingers away from these two holes, otherwise there may be skin oil on the disk.
Although the envelope can protect the disk from the damage of the finger, it cannot protect the disk from the damage of the ballpoint pen.
One of the features that make Mylar so valuable in electronics is its dimensional stability;
That is to say, it does not stretch.
But it does have dents, and the ballpoint pen creates surface irregularities, which in turn damages the function of the reading head.
When writing on a disk envelope, use felt-tip pen.
The advertising ballpoint pen groove is not the only way to distort the disk record table.
One night a friend of mine left some pies on his car dashboard.
The next day, the sun was shining and the disk was heated until it looked like a watch designed by Salvador Dali.
Fortunately, they are backup disks.
The disk should not be stored in places where the temperature may exceed 110 degrees F as it is next to the heating pipe.
The read/write head does not float up and down the twisted disk like the phonograph tone arm.
Some people claim they are lucky in restoring the heat.
Damage the disk by storing it in the refrigerator for a few days.
Now, is this remedy part of the inevitable myth that is evolving with the development of new technologies, and one thing to be very careful about is condensation, which destroys the disk.
In any case, fragile disks should not be exposed to freezing temperatures.
Other environmental factors that may seriously affect the floppy disk are cigarette smoke, ash and dust.
Even in case of dust, the floppies are properly stored upright, there is a magnetic property that needs to be considered.
For example, get handy typing tables with magnets to fix documents.
Put a floppy disk next to one of them and you will have messy data.
After all, the disk stores the information in an electro-magnetic encoding.
The magnet will readjust its impulse. not you.
The last warning in this list of potential issues involves traveling with your computer.
Don't make your disk X-from the airport-
Ray Machine: The inspector is unable to read the data, but the computer is also unable to read the data.
Don't be intimidated by these "things you shouldn't do.
They are just guidelines to develop the right computer habits from the start and avoid problems in the future.
The care of the disk is not much different from the other precautions that you may take for granted, because you always do that, like not letting your car drive when there is insufficient oil, don't leave the swimming pool full of water in winter.
A version of this article was printed on page C00004 of the National edition on July 13, 1982, with the title: personal computer;
Floppy disk: the technical benefits are so subtle.