Blast From the Past: the $3398 10MB Hard Disk

July 30, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under Geekery, Storage

With 1 terabyte hard disks costing less than $100, it’s pretty amazing how far we’ve come.

Consider this: back in the early 80s, according to a random commenter on Reddit, this totally awesome 10MB hard drive from XCOMP went for a shade under $3400. Check out the ad below and be awed!


The details? The 4MB version was priced at $2898, and the ad copy made sure to highlight the benefits of this hard disk line compared to… 5 1/4″ and 8″ floppies. And as this was before everyone started using DOS, compatibility with the CP/M OS was advertised as a plus. Witty marketese follows.

XCOMP introduces a complete micro-size disk subsystem with more…
- more storage
- more speed
- more value
- more support

8100 users… The XCOMP subsystem is now available with 10 megabytes of storage, 4 megabytes also available at $ 2898. Compare the price and features of any other 51/4-inch - or even 8-inch system, and you´ll agree that XCOMP value is unbeatable.

Floppy disk and and larger, more expensive hard disks are no match for this powerful little system. More data is available on every seek: 64k on 10MB and 32K on 5MB. Faster seek time too - an average of 70MS, it provides solid performance anywhere with only 20 watts of power. Data is protected in the sealed enclosure, and the landing zone for heads provides another margin of safety. The optional power board plugs directly into the S100 bus and provides power for the drive.

The XCOMP controller is the key to this system´s high efficiency operation. Speed-up features include interleave without table lookup, block-deblock with controller buffer, and read lookahead. OEMs wolrd-wide have already proven the outstanding performance of the XCOMP controller.

Included with the system is software for testing, formatting, I?O drivers for CP/M, plus an automatic CP/M driver attach program. Support software and drivers for MP/M and Oasis are also available. The sophisticated formatting program assigns alternate sectors for any weak sectors detected during formatting, assuring the lowest possible error rate - at least ten times better than floppies.

The system has a full one-year warranty on parts and workmanship.

- General Purpose controllers (8 bit interface), with easy interface to microprocessor-based systems.
- GP controller adapter that plugs directly into most Z80 computers.
- ST/R GP controller for the 5MB and 10MB drive above, with ST506 type interface
- SG/R GP controller for SA1000 interface
- SM/R GP controller for storage module drives
- ST/S SG/S and SM/S, same as above, for the S100 bus.

Quantity discounts available. Distributor, dealer and OEM inquiries invited


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