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Bob's Weird Stuff
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Bob's Art 1st grade 1963
House
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Bob's Art 1st grade 1963
Kitten
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Bob's first science project 4th grade 1966
6 volt battery, wire, iron core (nail), switch
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Burroughs Type 1105 Dual (2 bit) Flip Flop
circa 1957
7 vacuum tubes, 19 inch rack mount
4 neon indicator lights Q, Q(not) for each Flip Flop
BNC inputs Set, Reset for each Flip Flop
BNC outputs Q, Q(not) for each Flip Flop
Built in power supply cable requires +250volt, +/- 150volt, +/-15volt
At 19" x 3.5" x 15" = 998 cu in and 3 pounds,
a modern PC with 256 Mbytes RAM would need
256x8x1024x1024/2 = 1,073,741,824 of these rack mount flip flops
taking up 620 million cubic feet of space
and weighing 3.2 billion pounds...
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TTL 7474 Dual Flip Flop circa 1970's
14 pin DIP (dual in-line package) IC
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256 MByte SDRAM 168 pin PC100 circa 2001
Common memory device in modern PC
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Various Floppy Disk Drives
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Various floppy disk drives and diskettes shown including 8", 5.25", and 3.5". The 8 inch drives were used in DEC PDP-11 and other computer systems that predate the IBM PC. The "full height" drives using 360 kbyte 5.25" disks were used in the original IBM PCs that sometimes had two floppy drives and no hard drive. Later PCs starting with '286 and '386 machines were supplied with "half height" drives that occupied half the vertical space of the drive bay. The later 1.44 MByte 3.5" disks and drives measuring 1" high had their own drive bays in '386, and '486 and later machines.

8 Inch Floppy Disk
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This 8 inch floppy contains the HP Basic programs I wrote in 1980 to test circuit boards using HPIB instrumentation. The floppy drive used was a desktop unit costing $5,000 that was connected to an HP 9835 Desktop computer costing $20,000. They were part of the Automated Test Systems (ATS) we designed with HPIB instruments, custom interfaces, programmable power supplies, custom coax switches and probes. These ATS systems cost $100,000 each and were featured in trade magazine ads by Hewlett Packard entitled "How Storage Technology uses HPIB".

Help Please! I am looking for pictures and full page, 2 page, and 3 page fold out ads entitled "How Storage Technology uses HPIB". They had a write up on our Automated Test Systems (ATS) mentioned above. They had a large multi page picture of an ATS showing a test technician testing a circuit board. These ads were published around 1980 and 1981 in Electronics, Electronic Test, Engineering Design and others.

JA2 Preamp Card
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  Triple Preamp Semi Custom IC x Dual Amplifier Semi Custom IC x  

I designed the JA2 card and the custom ICs on it in 1981. This preamp board was used in Storage Technology 1950 and 4600 NRZI/PE/GCR Half Inch Nine Track Tape Drives that were the size of refrigerators!

The ICs were designed using SPICE circuit simulation on mainframe computers accessed by VT100 data terminals. After entering the program and waiting a while, we had to walk a 1/4 mile to the other end of building to get the printed results. The IC layout was done with pencil and a color template made of tracing paper.

The Triple Channel Preamp and Dual Channel Amplifier/Buffer IC were the FIRST semi-custom analog IC designs ever used by Storage Technology. They were fabricated by Interdesign and STC Microtechnology.

JW2 NRZI Feature Card
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Dual Bi-Gain Amplifier Semi Custom IC
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I designed the JW2 card and the custom ICs on it in 1981. This NRZI feature board was used in Storage Technology 1950 PE/GCR Tape Drives that included NRZI format capability.

The Dual Bi-Gain Amplifier ICs were designed and manufactured similar to the ones on the preamp board above. It had selectable gain for read signals of fixed at 1.0 for normal operation or adjustable for NRZI operation. The board also had adjustable time delay of digital write data in NRZI mode to compensate for head spacing anomalies.

Avalanche WR Digital Write Driver
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I designed the WR card in 1983. This card was used in Storage Technology Avalanche 2900 Half Inch Nine Track Tape Drives. It was the first write driver used on STC drives that eliminated the analog circuits used for the write current peaking method. It was an all digital write driver that required no adjustments. It included step compensation (to replace peaking) which reduced bit shift and error rates, and AC bias to reduce write-to-read head feedthrough during readback-check-after-write.

The card had an on card regulated power supply for write current circuits. It would automatically shut down all write current preventing bad data or "write splash" on tape if the system logic power was failing and dropped to 4.5 volts.

It was found that if these cards passed "In Circuit" bed of nails tests they would have 100% pass rate in functional test. Therefore this card was dropped from functional test requirements reducing its cost.

EXB 8200 8 mm Tape 2.3 GigaByte
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Pictured is an after market external version of the original black EXB-8200 Tape Drive which used helical scan recording. The tape path was similar to 8 mm video except the flying erase head became the servo head. The drive used custom designed true computer data path electronics instead of trying to patch up a VCR or DAT electronics as others did. I worked on improvements in ESD and EMI susceptibility and reduction of radiated emissions for FCC/VDE. I Designed a mixed analog/digital semicustom IC and PCB for the double density 5 Gigabyte second generation product.

O.R. Technology LS-120 a:drive™
Laser Servo 120 MByte Floppy Disk Drive
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O.R. Technology shipped its Model FD-3120A LS-120 a:drive™ Laser Servo Floppy Drives in June 1996. The drive is backward compatible with the 720KB and 1.44MB floppy disks. It uses laser servo technology and LS-120 UHD (Ultra High Density) disks with 2,490 data tracks per inch as opposed to the 135 of 1.44MB floppies. It also uses zone recording to maximize arial density. The bootable drive is plug and-play compatible with Windows 95 & NT.

The high-capacity LS-120 diskette technology was jointly developed by Matsushita-Kotobuki Electronics, Ltd. (MKE), Compaq Computer Corp., O.R. Technology and 3M (Imation). High volume manufacturing of the drive by MKE and others began one year after initial shipments.

O.R. Technology LS-120 a:drive™
Laser Servo 120 MByte Floppy Disk Drive
Half High Slim Line Drive for Notebooks x
Slim Line Drive and LS-120 Diskette x

The next generation 12.7 mm high "half height" slim-line a:drive (model FD-2120A) for notebook computers was developed in 1996-1997.

I redesigned the a:drive™ Read/Write electronics for the half high form factor drive for laptops. Extensive board layout was done to reduce crosstalk and noise. Also designed and built an automated spin stand, including write controller, preamp board, spin controller, and head positioner. Developed virtual instrumentation & data acquisition with software engineers. Qualified Head Vendors. Made cost reduction design changes to SSI Read/Write IC. Developed a 20 MByte standard on 1.44 media using LS-120™ capabilities. Helped Test Engineers develop test software for Bit Error Rate Optimization for filter, threshold & window margin in mfg. Supported HDI studies, firmware development & pilot line. Error Rate Testing and Thermal Interchange Studies.

The O.R. Technology LS-120 slim-line a:drive™ was marketed as the only bootable, high-capacity diskette solution capable of replacing the 1.44 MB floppy drive in notebook floppy drive bays with the added advantages of a low power requirement and wide operating temperature range.

The cost of 120 MByte diskettes at about $10 to $15 each along with the development of low cost Re-Writable CDs (CDRW) contributed to declining use of the LS-120 format.

Loring Design | Contact | Spanish Lady Ranch
Loring Design Custom Speakers | High End Auto Sound

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