[vcf-midatlantic] Bernoulli Drives needed in working condition

Dave McGuire mcguire at neurotica.com
Tue May 18 15:26:29 UTC 2021

On 5/18/21 11:16 AM, Ethan O'Toole wrote:
>>  Those are the earlier ones, 8" disks 10MB and 20MB.  Looking at that
>> board on eBay the memories are starting to come back. ;)  There are a
>> few different interfaces; the one you referenced above is the better
>> one, with some buffering.  Any of them should work I think.  I remember
>> that I used several different models on the 8" drives over the years.
> Ah I never saw the 8" ones, jsut the ones that were probably like 5.25"
> or so.

  "More of the same", except the cartridges were rectangular.  They came
in 10MB and 20MB varieties.  They worked great, and were surprisingly

>>  Incidentally, I currently use a pair of 44MB SCSI Bernoulli drives on
>> my personal PDP-11/34 (here at home, not at LSSM) interfaced via a
>> Unibus SCSI host adapter.  I run RT-11, RSTS/E, and RSX-11M that way.
>> Works a treat, and it's very handy for healing the soul when something
>> stresses me out.
> Awesome! The 44Mb (and maybe 88Mb?) ones I dealt with were as a young
> lad working at a government contractor on a Navy base. The command there
> used them for the secure messaging computers. They would toss the
> classified ones in the safe and have me fix the unclass one, write down
> what I did then do the same on the classified ones.

  Neat!  At work we had a few 20MB 8" drives, and a rather vast number
(hundreds) of 44MB 5.25" drives, all over the place.  The FSO had
shelves in the vault that held nothing but 5.25" Bernoulli
disks...thousands of them.

> When I was young DOS kid I always thought the removable cart "hard
> drives" seemed better than a normal hard drive because ou could expand
> it. Didn't know about access times. Later had a zip drive, they were cool.

  Very cool.

> I still have a few Zip drives and a Jaz drive somewhere, freebs picked
> up along the way years later.

  Great stuff, those Zip drives.  The Jaz drives are garbage.  I never
had any, but all of my friends did, and they all hated them.

> I did have a SCSI 100Mb zip in a music sampler box that click of deathed
> on me when I needed it the most.

  I must be the only heavy use of Zip disks that never had that happen.
 With over a dozen drives at one point, and hundreds of disks.  On Macs,
PeeCees, PDP-11s...I've had a few disks that never worked (formatting
errors) but, by and large, if they worked, they worked forever.  And the
only time I ever lost a drive is when it got rained on.

> Young and dumber (maybe) I had sampled a few clips from the movie
> "Contact" of the little girl saying like "CQ CQ this is blablabal" and
> what not. On the EMU sampler you didn't need midi device to drive it,
> there was 10 number buttons on the front you could assign it to. So I
> assigned these girl-on-the-ham-radio samples to the buttons, threw it in
> the car with something programmed to xmit on the hamfest repeater freq
> and an inverter... with the idea I would toy with the hamfest hams and
> give them some excitement. Arrive to the Virginia Beach hamfest and sure
> enough the zip drive click of deaths on me. It was never ment to be.

  Probably because it knew you were trying to mess with people. ;)


Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
New Kensington, PA

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