[sebhc] At long last... Media has arrived!

Lee Hart leeahart at earthlink.net
Fri Sep 10 12:29:07 CDT 2004

Mark Garlanger wrote:
> That's one way to look at it. The other way, is that you can usually
> find a 50 pack of CD-RW for less than $10, so that would be about
> $0.20 each for 650M, to get that much space on the hard-sectored
> disks, it would cost 6500 * $1.85, or about $12,000 and would take
> up a lot more space.

Except that you can't use CD-RW disks in your H89. So the comparison is
logical, but useless.

The true value of these new $1.85 H17 disks lies in what you can do with
them. What do they let you do that you can't do now? And, what is that
worth to you?

You have to remember that the H17 is a *very* simple hardware and
software design -- this allowed it to be designed very quickly. That's
why it was the first one out. The trade-off is a higher cost per bit
(more expensive disks, and low storage capacity per disk).

The CD-ROM is the opposite extreme. Very expensive hardware and
software, that took a tremendous amount of time and money to invent --
in return for which it yields a very low cost per bit and very cheap

To me, it is important to note that the 25-year-old H17 system still
works today, with zero adjustments and repairs. Out of a dozen H89s,
I've never had to fix or replace any H17 controller. In contrast, the
Heath H37 (soft-sector) controller was the *last* one to come out, has
the *most* complicated PC board, and needs the *largest* software driver
to work. I've found it to be the least reliable controller board, and
very difficult to fix (I've been struggling for months to get one
working for Mark Garlanger, in fact)!

Quite frankly, I have just about zero confidence that a modern PC with
its CD-RW will work in 25 years. While I can just about guarantee that
an H89 with those new H17 disks will still work. After all, we already
*know* these disks hold data for 25+ years!
"Never doubt that the work of a small group of thoughtful, committed
citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever
has!" -- Margaret Mead
Lee A. Hart  814 8th Ave N  Sartell MN 56377  leeahart_at_earthlink.net

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