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1.8 Inch Removable Hard Drives Coming 135

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-thats-what-I'm-talking-about dept.
bedessen writes "According to an article at PCWorld.com, a new type of removable storage known as iVDR will be demonstrated at January's Consumer Electronics Show. The iVDR standard (backed by a consortium consisting of a number of manufacturers) describes a lightweight, compact, removable hard disk drive compatible with a wide range of applications from AV to PC devices. The products on display will come in 2.5" and 1.8" form factors with parallel and serial ATA interfaces. Capacity will start at 80GB for around $170, but manufacturers hope to drop this to under $80 and well as double the capacity by next quarter." Here's hopin'
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1.8 Inch Removable Hard Drives Coming

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  • Desktop machines? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Malic (15038) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @10:56AM (#4976393)
    You could make a RAID of these things the size of a couple of decks of cards. And I imagine that they kick out less heat.

    Seems like a candidate for use in the next generation iMac...
    • I dunno, have you ever tried to overclock a deck or cards? Those babies can heat up pretty good.
      • have you ever tried to overclock a deck or cards? Those babies can heat up pretty good.

        Yes, this happened to me too when I tried it, but I solved the problem by making sure that the king of clubs was as far away as possible from the queen of hearts, and removing both the jokers.

        Oh, and I really hope you remembered to take the instruction cards out of the pack before you even started?!
    • You could make a RAID of these things the size of a couple of decks of cards. And I imagine that they kick out less heat.

      More appositely perhaps, you will probably be able to buy a RAID configuration for these drives at consumer prices rather than the ridiculous prices such configurations go for as 'commercial' configurations.

      The 1.8" drive would fit pretty well in a camcorder and be much easier to deal with than tapes.

    • Wow... you got me drooooolin. And you didn't even mention pr0n.

      Serioudly, imagine two 80gb drives in an iPod. RAID in an iPod. A portable, battery powered mini raid box! If the data was stored with Blowfish or some other encryption, it would be a data-backup dream, along with being the best MP3 player available IMHO.

  • Just imagine if HP makes a jacket that fits this into an Ipaq... ::wets pants in anticipation::
  • What's the form factor size of the HD in the iPod?

    If it's bigger than 1.8", then I'm glad iWaited.
    • Re:iPod? (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      If I'm not mistaken, it's the size of a standard PC Card. I think the iPod's current form factor cannot get any smaller because it has to be built to accommodate the physical size of the hard drive.

      IMHO, it would be dumb to redesign the iPod case, because the controls and display are perfectly positioned in the existing one. If they do anything, they should replace the drive with this smaller model, and change the battery design to use the saved space, so you can get more mileage out of a single charge.

      Personally, I'd rather see a new TiVo which could accommodate a stack of about 5-10 of these things (while I'm dreaming, let's stick in a RAID-5 option) but could still be shrunk down to the size of an analog cable box from the hulking beast it is now.

      ~Philly
      • Well, while we're discussing ways of improving the iPod, here's what I want to see - simple recording software and an input jack. So I can plug my turntables into the iPod wherever I am and record without a laptop, and preferably it won't sound like ass. Or connect a mic and record a meeting or whatever. Is the processor too slow to do that? I know there are other devices with this functionality.

        The other thing that would be great is if you could tell the iPod to delete a certain song on the fly; sometimes I listen to a song and wonder why the hell I ripped it to the iPod but the chances that I'll remember to delete it next time I connect the ipod to the computer are slim indeed.
    • Re:iPod? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Toraz Chryx (467835) <jamesboswell@btopenworld.com> on Sunday December 29, 2002 @12:04PM (#4976657) Homepage
  • by John Jorsett (171560) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @10:59AM (#4976403)
    The consortium plans to approach the movie industry soon and hopes to complete the standardization of its copy protection code by March, next year, Hioki said.

    In other words, "we're still working out how to cripple it in a Hollywood-approved way with DRM."

    • by weave (48069) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @11:21AM (#4976489) Journal
      Amen. You have to wonder why these storage manufacturers are so willing to risk product failure and a hit to their own profits, to save some imaginary profit hit to some other industry and companies. What's in it for them? (discounting the fact that some of them own entertainment companies of course...)
      • This would be tremendously useful if someone could figure out how to allow one to go to a store and have both movies and music copied onto the drive. Just think a store could have every copy of every movie and cd ever made and never worry about going out of stock. Someday when one can download at a speed of more than 1 Mega Byte per second than we could eliminate the store and just download our entertainment. At a cost of a dollar per giga byte than it would be cheap enough to store movies(about $4 per movie).
        • Well, for that purpose, being a "secured" disk is not much of a problem. But I see a far greater need (for me) for portable storage for cameras, movie cameras, off-site backups, etc... I sure don't want to shoot my own movies and only be allowed a one-generation copy, for example...
      • What's in it for them? With the storage business having such a low profit margin, it would seem that there's nothing in it for them. Until you realize that once a few companies start doing it, the rest don't want to be caught with their pants down if the *AA come around with their team of lawyers. They probably figure it's just cheaper and easier to do this now (possibly also in preparation for Palladium) than to get tangled up in a huge legal battle later on.
      • What's in it for them is avoiding goverment regulatory burdens such as have been threatened in the United States.

        While the profit hit may, in the end, truly turn out to be imaginary (I don't honestly believe that any side in this numbers game has the real answer right now) the political clout that the entertainment industry holds is very, very real.
      • funny thing is, i saw something in the news about how movie theatre sales are at a all time high since the 70s, losing money im sure..
    • Umm, been done - remember the almighty collective panty-twisting session we had a while back when we were all convinced that horrific wide-reaching DRM measures would shortly turn up on all new HDDs? The acronyms and initials don't immediately spring to mind (some number of Cs, might've been 3 or 5) but everyone remembers what I mean, right? This nice new format which has got us all going "oooh oooh! GIMME!" is, my best bet, where all that development work is gonna resurface...
      • bah, update to self...

        The tech was CPRM (content prevention for removable media), the Evil Entity was 4C, and El Reg's coverage summary is right here [theregister.co.uk].

        It's also pretty much the protection measures on SD flash cards (which, along with additional transfer speed, differentiate them from MMC cards), apparently.

  • by weave (48069) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @11:00AM (#4976407) Journal
    From the article:

    One more hurdle to clear for iVDR in the use of consumer electronics is that of a copyright protection format. The consortium plans to approach the movie industry soon and hopes to complete the standardization of its copy protection code by March, next year, Hioki said.
    • This format will also bite the dust, kinda like that stupid DataPlay disc format...which was at one point touted to be the format to replace all other removable formats.

      Yeah...right.
      • If they're really able to do ~80GB disks for ~$166, that's a much more attractive format for many things than Dataplay, assuming they don't go too far out of their way making it unusable via DRM. The 1.8" version sounds really good for a followup iPod, and if it's removable, it's easier to swap back and forth between your TiVo and your PC.
    • Which means that the road for buying/selling media over the Internet will from that point be open for everyone. This means e.g. that it becomes a real possibility for artists to sell their own music over the Internet for normal prices. This new sidedoor to the music-market will make prices drop and broaden the available spectrum. Just a possibility:)
      • Which means that the road for buying/selling media over the Internet will from that point be open for everyone. This means e.g. that it becomes a real possibility for artists to sell their own music over the Internet for normal prices.


        Uh... are you for real? They already can do that on the Internet using open and free standards. The restrictive-format/storage-device-du-jour can never make things more "open" than already-open formats like Ogg Vorbis, etc. It will actually prove to be another barrier to independent artists who can ill afford to use what will surely be expensive/highly-guarded technologies for DRM.

        Who benefits most from DRM? The small artists who have to pay licensing fees for their server, or the global distributor who can eat fixed costs a lot more easily? And if you say, well, the small artists can opt not to use the DRM, well, that's where we are now.

        And what happens when you try to move your licensed music off your old laptop to another computer, so you can wipe and sell your laptop, etc.?
    • My crystal ball says: early units will have intolerable firmware glitches, you'll be instructed to download a patch, and whammo! any files it thinks you might not be authorized to have become inaccessible...
  • by phr2 (545169) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @11:03AM (#4976422)
    They're called PCMCIA drives and the older ones needed a type III slot. Toshiba makes a 5 GB one that fits in a type II slot now, and they make 1.8" embedded drives up to 20 GB that could fit in a type III slot except that their whole production is going to devices like iPod's. I hope they'll do a PCMCIA version soon.

    This PCWorld thing is about a drive in some weird bigger enclosure which seems pointless. They should just make higher capacity PCMCIA drives.

    • I had one of the Toshiba drives, back when they were 340 MB, but did not have enough slots for everything. It came down to a choice between the modem or the PCMCIA HDD. I would want one of the 80 GB drives mentioned in the story, especially if they were $80.00. Right now on this PC, I have two drives, one 2 GB, one 540 MB, and run RHL 6.1 on the small one, and RHL 7.1/Win98 on the big drive, which is primary master, with lilo. I use a boot disk to get into the RHL 6.1 drive. Point is, I, (and a lot of others) want and can use, a big drive. For budget-minded PC'ers like myself, it comes down to getting more RAM, or getting more HDD space. The Linux drives move from PC to PC more easily, IMHO than Win98 drives, unless the hardware is identical. I can move a Linux drive from master to slave by just editing /etc/fstab (use tomsrtbt), and I'm good to go! (This drive I'm on right now is an example). So, a removable drive seems attractive to me.
      • The 80GB drives mentioned are almost certainly 2.5" drives. In fact very little is said about 1.8" drives. The highest capacity 1.8" drives currently available are the 20GB Toshiba drives embedded in devices like the iPod. 80GB 2.5" drives are just beginning to appear now. 80GB drives in the 1.8" form factor are quite a ways off.
        • I agree - it does sound like the 80GB is for 2.5" formats, and that's the main thing that will actually be supported for a while, but it's still not bad.


          I'm currently using 3.5" drives, in removable drawers that make them take up 5.25" disk drive formats. It would be quite nice to be able to use the smaller slots, especially if they get the Serial-ATA worked out so the cabling's simpler, and having 80GB removables for a TiVo-like device would be convenient.

      • This comment is mainly aimed at rapidweather and his machines-with-wimpy-disks situation


        Many current Linux distributions aren't very competent about partitioning and installing on disks less than about 4-6GB - my lab has a bunch on antiques with 2GB and or 2BG + 540MB sets like yours, and it's really annoying - especially because RedHat 6.x was too insecure to run for very long on a DSL line exposed to the outside world. RH7.x was better, Mandrake 8.x also seems good enough (and does a much better partitioning job), and I'm going to try Knoppix if I can get a good CD-R burn (I've been having troubles with burners.) My home machine had a 6GB disk, dualbooted with 2GB for Linux and 4GB for Windows. In the last year, the price of disks has dropped radically - it's hard to buy a desktop drive smaller than 10GB, and 80BG drives on sale are ~$80, or ~$129 not on sale. You should just go out and buy a decent disk - if you're on a budget that may only be 30GB, but it's still a big win over 540MB or 2GB. Once you do, of course, you'll then have the entertainment of figuring out whether your BIOS can actually detect the drive, or whether your motherboard is made by somebody who's still in businss, and whether downloads are available, and whether you're going to risk trashing the thing if you screw up too badly (which means spending $99 at Fry's to replace the motherboard+CPU with a new ~1.3GHz one. :-) Needless to say, this was more trouble than the physical hardware upgrades, but I got lucky and didn't botch the BIOS upgrade.


        When I started my current round of machine upgrades, rule #1 was that all the disks go in removable-disk drawers. That does mean they take 5.25" slots instead of 3.5", and adds about $25/slot for the hardware (about $12 for spare drawers), but it's way more convenient. It turns out that my firmware doesn't do a good job of autodetecting changes in disk drives, so I end up having to kick the thing a couple of times at boot when I actually do switch drives, but it's still a big win. If I were doing this in my lab, as opposed to home, I'd standardize on using all the same size and same partitioning for removables.

        I first upgraded the machine by adding a 20GB drive (which it recognized fine without the BIOS upgrade), and then replacing the 6GB drive with a 120GB (5400 rpm was $129 on sale; this week they had 7200rpm with 8MB buffers for that price after rebate.) I don't really know what to do with that much space, so there are a couple of extra 10GB partitions for installing different Linux versions in once I get around to it.

  • are they delicate? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hfastedge (542013) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @11:04AM (#4976428) Homepage Journal
    just how delicate would these be....it still means nothing if I have to treat it like a baby. Id rather have tape disk still, which is probably way more shock resistant. True, this harddrive is selfcontained.

    Do i think the benefits of portability outweigh the fact that its still just a harddrive? No.

    Im all for solid state.
    • by cpthowdy (609034)
      From their site: Shockproof: More than 900G (when not running) Note that this is for the 2.5 inch model.
    • by tzanger (1575)

      just how delicate would these be....it still means nothing if I have to treat it like a baby. Id rather have tape disk still, which is probably way more shock resistant. True, this harddrive is selfcontained.

      Actually the smaller the head assemblies get, the more rugged they tend to get, since they weigh so little that a sudden drop or shock a) can't bend the tiny arm and b) can't give the head sufficient momentum to carry it far enough to touch the surface. The arms and heads are made from the same materials as normal size drives, and the adhesives are just as strong.

      That being said, the drive manufacturers know this and constantly bring the heads closer and closer to the surface. Combined with platter and head technology increases, this gives you more bits per inch at the cost of making it easier to damage.... It's all a big trade-off, but in the end the drive is more rugged, at least in the "heads touch platters" damage department.

      • Actually the IBM Microdrives are quite sensitive to environmental factors such as excessive vibration and shock. If you drop a Microdrive from waist high onto a hard floor, it'll probably be toast. That's why so many of he professional photographers who've adopted digicams shun Microdrives for flash based memory storage.
    • From the website of the consortium:

      Shockproof: More than 900G (when not running)

      which probably means you could put such a thing in a tennisbal and have Sampras hit an ace with it...

  • I see a cluster of these things used like the old wirey plug & program interfaces of the Univac days.

    You have a super dense rack of Transmeta Astros arranged in a Beowulf cluster with iVDR ports on the front of each blade. You make a calculation run with programming & data stored on the iVDR devices. When your done, remove them & plug in a new program. If you have these stacked on a nearby table, you could take sneakernet to amazing new bandwidth heights.

    Happy New Years, Y'all!
  • ...Let me guess, they are focusing on what they do with it in the promo?
  • IBM? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Karamchand (607798) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @11:10AM (#4976447)
    Though I know that IBM has sold its consumer hard drive assets to Hitachi I still have to wonder why IBM is not a member of this consortium, since IBM has a very active and large research department.
    Wester Digital is also "missing"...

    Anyone who knows more?
  • If this is going to be going into both computers and video equipment, I have a feeling there's going to be some powerful DRM voodoo brought into play.

    Which means a lot of the potential flexibility could be lost. I'd love a hot-swappable 80 gig backup device for my file server at home, and this sounds cheap enough to be it, but I wonder what kind of wonky file system bullshit will have to be followed.

    --saint
  • Recommendation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Daengbo (523424) <daengbo AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday December 29, 2002 @11:17AM (#4976473) Homepage Journal
    Sounds like a great partner to these [e-insite.net].
    Comments?
  • by medscaper (238068) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @11:30AM (#4976527) Homepage
    From the Article : The 1.8-inch iVDR will be slightly thinner than a 2.5-inch iVDR disk, which measures 5.2 inches wide by 3 inches deep by a half inch high.

    So who measured this thing? Hilary Rosen?

    "Yes, well we saw that it had the capacity to appear to be a 2.5 inch disk if used at full capacity and fitted to your pc with a Sawzall and a ballpeen hammer."

    • Erm... (Score:2, Informative)

      by kaphka (50736)
      A 2.5 inch hard disk has a 2.5 inch diameter platter. The entire assembly is generally slightly larger than 2.5 inches; in fact, being three dimensional objects, many hard disks have width, depth, and mass as well.

      Of course, even if that weren't common knowledge, the parent post still wouldn't be funny.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Why is it that hard drives & floppy drives have the male connectors (which often get bent) and cables have the female connectors?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It is because female insulation Displacement Connectors (for cables) & male header combo are cheaper.
      Try pricing out the reverse.
    • Simple.

      Normal .1 inch header pins are large and would be prone to shorting out. Since you have 2 (IDE) or 7 (UW SCSI) connectors on a cable, if you only have one drive they could come in contact with the case.

      Now this reversed on SE/LVD SCSI drives, for some reason. I just wrap some Scotch 33 around the extra connectors just for protection. It's a small hassel for the extra preformance of SCSI.
  • by leandrod (17766) <l&dutras,org> on Sunday December 29, 2002 @11:37AM (#4976546) Homepage Journal
    An obsolete connector and other yet vapourware...

    Why ignore the relevant, modern, already available standard, Firewire AKA IEEE-1394?
    • mainboards are shipping with Serial ATA controllers onboard (Asus A7N8X-Deluxe amongst others.)
      • >
        mainboards are shipping with Serial ATA controllers onboard

        OK, so they use something that is used on some new systems instead of supporting many already existing ones across several different architectures.

        Instead they support the incredibly bad parallel port, which is almost IBM PC-compatible exclusive.

    • Firewire is good for external drives, whereas SATA is excellent inside the case.

      More importantly, SATA does not need new drivers, Firewire does. As far as I know, you cannot use Firewire hard drives or practically any other devices in Linux.

      • How exactly is SATA better than IEEE 1394 (firewire) for internal uses? Do you like being limited to the number of ports the motherboard manufacturer thought was necessary? 1394 allows you to chain devices, akin to scsi - much more convenient.

        SATA requires a special power connector too, likely on the motherboard itself. 1394 gives you power too, in one little connector.

        Linux certainly does support 1394. When our tape library failed at work, we replaced it with a bunch of firewire disks. Not only do they offer more storage at a lower cost, but they are all simultaneously online and are hell of a lot faster than tape. See linux1394.org [linux1394.org]

        Do you really want to perpetuate the cruft that is ATA? You don't need drivers for SATA because it inherits many of PATA's limitations. Personally, i like hotswap (important for software raid) and i like isochonous transfer (good for cd burners as well as video streams). 1394 requires new drivers because it offers more. Linux has no problem reading 1394 drives. Windows has no problem reading 1394 drives. MacOS has no problem reading 1394 drives. How difficult would it have been to boot off of 1394? The only real obstacle is that anachonism - the PC BIOS. Replace with linuxBIOS and you'd be golden.

        If Apple and Co had not decided to tax firewire, we would have had this years ago. Back in the days of the FX chipset, intel promised to include 1394 in it's motherboard chipsets, right next to USB. But no. They didn't want to be beholden to a third party, so they went off and invented the abomination that is USB2.

      • >
        Firewire is good for external drives, whereas SATA is excellent inside the case.

        Why Firewire cannot work inside the case? To me this seems yet another instance of inferior technology taking the spotlight from superior ones.

        Too bad SCSI and Firewire are suffering from the herd instinct of the industry... give me them anytime over ATA. I would gladly pay the price for the quality.

        >
        SATA does not need new drivers, Firewire does. As far as I know, you cannot use Firewire hard drives or practically any other devices in Linux.

        Why not? There are drivers. Are them too bad?

      • As far as I know, you cannot use Firewire hard drives or practically any other devices in Linux.

        Hmm...I'd swear I had SuSE running off a FireWire hard drive before. I needed a boot floppy since FireWire drives aren't bootable (no firmware on the controller to enable booting), but once the kernel was loaded from the floppy, everything else ran off of the hard drive.

    • So far EVERYONE has ignored IEEE1394. This is sad because it can work as either a synchronous or asynchronous bus, and encompasses the general SCSI feature set... But I still have yet to see a native 1394 device, they're all IDE crap with a converter tacked on.

      I eagerly await 800Mbps and 1.6Gbps firewire (both are supposed to come in 2003.) I doubt we will ever see (but I hope to be wrong on this one) the 3.2Gbps fiberoptic+copper-for-power 1394 specification, but I don't think that's even been formalized yet...

      Do the math now, firewire is 50MBps (400Mbps) and will soon be 100MBps (800Mbps) and eventually 200MBps (1.6Gbps), all over copper. At that point there will really be no reason to use SCSI any more, SCSI with its atrociously expensive cabling and terminators... Gotta hate that aspect. I guess Serial ATA is supposed to do tagged queueing, and maybe ATA133?

      Anyway it's time for some PC BIOS to have firewire boot support, people should put 1394 on all motherboards like USB is supported now. It's becoming a more and more common thing now that DV camcorders are down below $500.

      • One of the big misconceptions about Firewire is that you can actually USE anything near 400Mbps. The overhead of the protocol (especially SBP which most drives use to emulate SCSI) is atrocious. My company has a controller/device connected using 200 Mbps firewire and we never get more than 70% of that rate in actual transfer. Typically it is lower than that. Firewire's problem compared to SATA is that it is a general purpose connection that supports many different devices, protocols and such. Of course that is also its strength.

        My point is, Firewire is nice but will probably always be more $$$ than any current or future version of ATA at comparable performance.

        • One of the big misconceptions about SCSI is that you can actually use anything near 160 MB/sec. Between SCSI overhead (there certainly is some) and the fact that there is no hard drive available capable of handling speeds like that, even with multiple devices you will likely never saturate the fastest SCSI buses.

          Until 3.2Gbps 1394 comes out it cannot likely replace SCSI entirely, but for the home user a PC with four 1394 buses and a couple USB 2.0 would likely have all the I/O capability they will ever need, no matter how wired their house gets. Most faster hard drives only push about 20 MB/sec peak sustained read... some of the 15k SCSI drives will obviously do more than that. Even if you say 40, the 3.2Gbps firewire should be more than fast enough, especially since 1394 is a lot easier (and cheaper) to implement than SCSI. You can afford to have more buses.

          Serial ATA might be closer to 1394 in terms of implementations, though. IDE was always supposed to be cheap and this solves the connector and cable problem. However, if you're already doing 1394, why even bother with SATA? Add more 1394 interfaces and provide them internally.

          Optimally I'd like to see a motherboard without any slots beyond two AGP 8x slots, and with a number of 1394 buses and USB 2.0 buses, perhaps 4 of each? And of course some DIMM slots, and onboard ethernet and sound, and maybe some cheap video, but that's optional. There should be an internal asynchronous 1394 bus for storage devices, and then a handful of external for everything else. I think that a PC like this fulfills the needs of the home user much more closely than the current PCI-expanded PCs of today; USB peripherals are inexpensive (for modems and such) and additional storage can come from firewire-connected systems; You can always add SCSI or IDE peripherals this way.

          Meanwhile, of course, all of the 1394 buses are connected to the system via a PCI bus, 64 bit if necessary, which should be a lot cheaper to implement if you're not actually putting any connectors on it. The CPU in this dream machine is sledgehammer, as it is a nice big 64 bit CPU which will run all my legacy 32 bit code just perfectly.

          A system like this would seem to be ideal for most business use as well. The only down side I can see there is that you're more likely to have external peripherals which your company's IT policy may require you to secure (lock) to the workstation (desk).

    • Firewire wasn't designed with the DRM hacks in mind, so a firewire drive would not be crippled enough to make it useless for your needs, so you can't spend your own hard earned money on that.
  • by spinozaq (409589) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @11:38AM (#4976555)
    I see that Sony is absent from the list of members. One wonders whether they will ever use an industry standard storage in any of their products *cough* Compact Flash *cough*. It's almost ironic though, because they make massivly overpriced digital camaras that take standard computer media, floppies and CD-Rs. I'll like to beat a few sony execs will some memory sticks.
  • by handy_vandal (606174) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @12:11PM (#4976686) Homepage Journal
    Moving parts: barbaric.

    What I really want is a RAM drive the size of a Monolith.
  • Man... thet's a lotta pr0n!
  • imagine if you could have one without all the DRM crap, with a firewire interface, in a nice case, with an LCD, then you could make a really neat portable MP3 player.

    Oh wait, Apple already did this YEARS AGO! Why the hell is slashdot calling this news?
  • Floppy Replacement? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LinuxInDallas (73952) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @01:18PM (#4977057)
    You know, every now and then I look down at my floppy drive and start to wonder if there will ever be another standard like it for removable storage. Does anyone know if the PC industry is working on that?

    What prompted me to say that is here is another great little storage device that looks like it could be made to be portable and fairly rugged. Is technology changing too fast for the industry to want to standardize on a real floppy replacement?

    For some reason I am not all that interested in carrying around a CD-R with me. They are nice, but 3.5" floppies seem more rugged and definitely smaller. Oh well.
    • They make Mini-CD-R/CD-RWs that are smaller than a floppy, and hold ~185MB, as for the ruggedness thing, I'm sure you could get a case or something for one who's overall size would be comparable to a floppy. With most people's computers having CD Roms, and CD RW drives, this is a very viable option, Depending on your intended use.
      • Yeah, Mini CD's are cool and all... I was using them for a while. My main gripe with the CD-RW disks, is that they don't last terribly long. A Couple Dozen writes and Poof. Just a little more relaible than a floppy disk. My other big problem with them is scratching. It seems like everytime i handle the danm thing it gets scratched. In and out of the case or CDROM.

        But yes, the size rocks. It actually fits in my pockets. At least they are cheap enough to be disposable like the old floppy disks.

        Also a word for the wise. Don't use them with Slot Load CD-ROMS. A guy here at work tried that once to my amazement. (Hint: they don't come back out without alot of work)

    • by GlassUser (190787)
      It's called flash memory, usb, and mass storage class drivers. I have pretty much all my users now trained to use one of those usb keychain deals or SD/CF to USB interface. For longer term or larger storage, there's always CD. Some of them prefer to use those little 3" CDRWs like floppies.
  • by Brett Glass (98525) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @01:33PM (#4977138) Homepage
    Why is this consortium coming out with a "new" storage standard when so many good ones already exist? The answer can be found at http://www.ivdr.org/consortium/consortium_e.html [ivdr.org], which the three working groups developing the standard. One is doing the hardware, and another is developing a spec for the file system -- neither of which is rocket science. But the third is focused on "security" -- in other words, DRM. This is the main purpose of the entire effort: To get the industry to standardize on a medium that's copy-protected from the get-go.
  • by paiute (550198) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @01:44PM (#4977190)
    Old school disaster: data lost due to power surge, cracker attack, backup tape erasure, or three-alarm fire

    New school disaster: data lost when tech sneezes, blowing rice-grain size multiterrabyte storage device into cracks between floor tiles
  • In 1992-1996 companies were developing 1.8" technology.

    Places like MiniStor, Maxtor and Aerial (SP?). Although since density was a lot less then they were only turning things out in densities of about ~130MB at the end of it.

    Some of these were available with a ATA interface, some with a PCMCIA Type III, (11mm high), some were a Type IV (13+mm high). a Type III device will take the space of 2 pcmcia slots. Most standard pcmcia stuff is type II. (5mm)

    HP actually had a 1.3" hard-drive out at that time, in 20MB and 40MB configurations. This was called (nicknamed?) the kitty-hawk.

    All the products eventually vanished off of the market. MiniStor went bankrupt in 1995, Aerial (SP?) i think folded a bit after it, and maxtor I think just gave up on it.

    From a shock perspective, things like compactflash offer a better shock resistance, but less capacity.

    Oh, and the difference between 5.25 and 3.5 and 2.5 and 1.8 and 1.3 is that each disk is half the surface area of the other. So assuming the same number of platters and same density, each size drive would have half the capacity.

    -- C
    • You make it sound like they all disappeared...

      Toshiba makes 1.8" hard drives, and they are used in Apple's iPods. Sizes from 5-20gb currently (no higher yet, I don't think.
    • All the products eventually vanished off of the market. MiniStor went bankrupt in 1995, Aerial (SP?) i think folded a bit after it, and maxtor I think just gave up on it.

      It's worth noting that these efforts haven't vanished completely. Today, you can get PCMCIA 1.8" drives [laptopharddrive.com] in 2g and larger capacities from Toshiba, and IBM has an even smaller drive, the MicroDrive [ibm.com] available at approximately one inch for one gigabyte.

      My question is how reliable these drives will be when they jump in capacity so drastically.

  • These things had better be more reliable than those horrible, horrible Castlewood [slashdot.org] ORB [slashdot.org] Drives [slashdot.org] That were 'all the rage' a few years ago. The disks and/or drives were immensly unreliable. Strangely more so under Linux. The company has already gone out of business (www.castlewood.com doesn't even resolve anymore).
  • but manufacturers hope to drop this to under $80 and well as double the capacity by next quarter."

    Will the under-$80 price be before or after the mail-in rebate?
  • File System Specification - File system for iVDR.

    The only reason for this is to make the disc braindead, to let Hollywood, the Music industry and Microsoft decide what you can and can't store on your own hard drive. And if you think you'll use it with a nice open source OS like Linux, think again.

  • Could this finaly mean the end of floppies? please please. i hope every new prebuilt computer comes with one of these.
  • I can make any hard drive 1.8 inches, its called a hacksaw. :)
  • I work with the drive manufactures in the Serial ATA and Serial Attached SCSI specification working groups and the drive connector (it's almost identical for both protocols) had to fit on a 2.5" disk. All drives are going to be 2.5", even in the enterprise. Many newer drive models have 2.5" platters inside already. The transition to 2.5" enclosures will be mostly cosmetic.

    With that in mind, working on a new, smaller form-factor just makes sense.
  • I just recently bought a Toshiba Libretto L5 [dynamism.com]

    and to my suprise, when i opened it, it contained a 1.8" hdd.
    Before i bought it i had plans on upgrading the hdd, as i thought it used a standard 2.5" hdd but alas it did not!

    this information warms my heart, as i now know i will be able to upgrade later when the bigger drive will be released.


    /Tournesol a happy Libretto owner.
  • Yet creeds mean very little, Coth answered the dark god, still speaking
    almost gently. The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all
    possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.
    -- James Cabell, "The Silver Stallion"

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