Yet Another Diskette Capacity : 200mb

Rohit Khare (
Tue, 14 Oct 1997 15:18:51 -0700

Now *this* may be make the switch to ubiquitous support (though the
notebook form factor is crucial nowadays). 200 MB *and* compatibility with
'regular' 3.5"s is a good combination.

* Why did the 4MB (2.88) ED disk fail? NeXT invested whole hog, IBM
promised (and delivered, on high-end machines only). But apple never did
and compaq never did, so it died. Incrementalism seems to have failed for
an 'inevitable' invention then. I wish I had a staff of B-School students
to do these case studies for me :-)

* Does anyone remember the ultraminature Zenith laptop with the 2.5"
floppies? Now, there was a FLOPpy drive disaster. I heard they made great

* Kodak is losing to fuji (6 share points this year alone, down to 69%
photo film share in US, directly to fuji's gain) because they're not
exploiting (or perhaps don't have) core competency in thin film technology.
Fuji is opening huge new ultra-costeffective film plants in NC, and
extending their control to related tech like magnetic media. Kodak has
never appeared to understand related fields. Sure, they used to oem disks
and so on, but they obviously disdain low-margin mfg expertise as much as
3M, who spun out their tape/floppy business as Imation to get it off their

And when the US players tire, the japanese reap monopoly profits. On the
other hand, as a US shareholder, I can't really disagree. Where's the money
to be made when floppies at CompUsa are $10 for 50 with $10 rebates -- i.e.


Sony and Fuji offer to offer 200MB disk drive

By Ephraim Schwartz
InfoWorld Electric

Posted at 12:44 PM PT, Oct 14, 1997
Sony and Fuji Photo Film together will become the third major entrant in
the race to replace the tried-and-true floppy disk drive with a
higher-capacity alternative when they unveil a new product at Comdex next

Directly in competition with Iomega's Zip Drive and O.R. Technology's
LS-120 a:drive -- the former with 100MB capacity and the latter with 120MB
capacity -- the HiFD (High Capacity Floppy Disk) will have a dual-sided
formatted capacity of 200MB and will read and write to the older 1.44MB and
720KB capacity floppies. The LS-120 also reads and writes to both formats,
but Iomega's Zip format is proprietary and will not read standard floppy

According to Sony representatives, the drive will have a data transfer rate
of 3.6MBps. This compares to a standard floppy drive transfer rate of
.06MBps. The Zip drive has a data transfer rate of 1.4MBps and the a:drive
operates at .6MBps.

Using flying head technology, similar to the technology that enables a hard
drive to read data, the HiFD will have a rotational speed of 3600 rpm,
equivalent to some low-end hard drives still used in home computers. A
standard commercial hard drive today has a rotational speed of 5,400 rpm.

The drives will be officially unveiled at the fall Comdex show in Las Vegas
next month with units shipping in the second quarter of 1998. Among the
many details that Sony officials would not reveal were pricing and whether
the drive would be bootable as a floppy. However, a Sony representative did
comment on the drive's future capabilities.

"We understand how important it is for a floppy replacement to be a
bootable drive," said Dirk Peters, national marketing manager for Value
Added Products at Sony Electronics, CCPG division, in San Jose, Calif.

Peters would not say if the drive design was capable of fitting into a
notebook form factor.

Sony Corp., in San Jose, can be reached at Fuji Photo Film Co., in Tokyo, can be
reached at

Rohit Khare /// Graduate Student /// UC Irvine Computer Science /// Work: (714) 824-3100 /// Home: (714) 823-9705

[Urgent? (617) 960-5131 still works to page me]