This JUST IN, from CNET News....

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This JUST IN, from CNET News....
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Re: This JUST IN, from CNET News....

That oughta boost epay prices for II series and Disk II drives. I can't wait to sell my
System Master disks for $4,999.95!

The Disk II controller card is perhaps one of the most elegant and well thought out circuit
in all the Apple II line. It does so much with so little. And is super reliable.

Arguably it is the most efficient bit of logic in the entire "classic era" as we come to
recognize it.

Everyone should read the Jim Sather's treatise on "Understanding the Apple II". Only then
can you begin to appreciate the engineering prowess packed into the card.

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Re: This JUST IN, from CNET News....

One part of the Apple II Floppy disk story that is overlooked is the Contribution of Rod Holt as the designer of the Disk Analog board on the Drive mechanism. His design reduced the complexity of the board to about 1/3 the parts on the original Shugart board. This allowed Apple to purchase bare mechanisms from Shugart and made it possible to sell the drives at a reasonable cost. Perhaps more important is that Woz and Rod worked out a practical interface between the controller and the drive that made Woz's simple control board possible. If Woz had to interface to the original Shugart board his controller part count would have exploded. The Original Apple II disk drive was really the result of two exceptional engineers.

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Re: This JUST IN, from CNET News....

Yes it is often overlooked. I was going to revisit this topic and make mention; but you beat me to it.

I really have to hand it to both men (and Shugart). I still have my original Disk II drives from 1979. And initially they saw heavy use at the hands of myself and my pre-teen friends. BBS'ing and trading warez. All night copy sessions. And they are still working. Sure I've spit polished them and cleaned and adjusted them since.. But that's more PM than anything required to fix anything.

And talk about reliability, shit. These things are so simple there is hardly anything to fail. And disks I've written to in 1979 are still readable today. Both factory formatted and protected material as well as cartons and cartons of blanks.

Part of the reliability comes from the materials used in their construction. Basically there are few plastics for structural components. And the plastics used don't out-gas or create a localized atmospheric chemistry that reacts with other plastics. The plastics don't get greasy or soft or form any kind of grease and tacky films either.

Had these drives been manufactured under today's corporate philosophy, they'd have a much shorter life. These drives may not be considered eco-friendly by today's standards. But that's just an illusion. They ARE eco friendly in that they haven't had to be relegated to the scrap heap. Yep! I still do "productive" work with them from time to time.

I have complete confidence they'll continue operating for another 30-years, easy!

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