Tag Archives: media

Media recognition – Floppy Disks part 3

3 inch Disks (Mitsumi ‘Quick Disk’)

Magnetic storage media
Used in the 1980s.
?128KB – 256KB
Requires a 3” drive appropriate to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Likely to have been individual users and small organisations. Used for word-processing, music and gaming.
File Systems:
Unknown. May vary according to use. The disks were manufactured by Mitsumi and offered as OEM to resellers and used in a range of contexts including Nintendo (Famicom), various MIDI keyboards/samplers (Roland) and the Smith Corona Personal Word Processor (PWP).
Common Manufacturers:
Disks: Mitsumi appear to have made the magnetic disk (the innards), while other manufacturers made the cases. This resulted in different case shapes and labelling. For example Sharp Corona labelled the disks as DataDisk 2.8″
Drives: Mitsumi?

The Smith Corona Personal Word Processor (PWP) variant of the disk is double sided with one side being labelled ‘A’ and the other ‘B’. Each side also had a dedicated write-protect hole, known as a ‘breakout lug’.
2.8″ Smith Corona ‘Quick Disk’
3.5″ floppy side-by-side with a 2.8″ Smith Corona ‘Quick Disk’
Nintendo Famicon disk
Some rights reserved by bochalla
High Level Formatting
Unknown. Possibly varied according to use.
3 Inch Disk Drives
Varied according to disk. The Smith Corona word processing disks are most likely to turn up in an archival collection. These were used in a Smith Corona PWP and possible models nos. include: 3,5,6, 6BL, 7, X15,X25, 40, 50LT, 55D, 60, 65D, 75D, 80, 85DLT, 100, 100C, 220, 230, 250, 270LT, 300, 350, 355, 960, 990, 2000, 2100, 3000, 3100, 5000, 5100, 7000LT, DeVille 3, DeVille 300, Mark X, Mark XXX, Mark XL LT. 

Lego mockup of a Nintendo Famicon drive

Some rights reserved by kelvin255

Useful links

 -Susan Thomas

What is this thing anyway?

The first step in doing anything useful with a digital accession is to answer just that question. The next is generally “now that I know, what ‘stuff’ do I need to recover the data and how might I do that?”. With some items, it’s easy enough. With others it can be rather more challenging. Alex Eveleigh just pointed me at Mediapedia – a database being developed at The National Library of Australia to help folk identify media. Best of all, it sounds like it’s been designed to help people find things by easily determined characteristics (e.g. physical measurements) rather than relying on the user to know, more or less, what they are looking for. Super idea.

-Susan Thomas