Magneto-Optical drives ??

Magneto-Optical drives ??

Post by Bob OBri » Fri, 11 Oct 1996 04:00:00



I have seen a lot of postings on this group about Syquest and
Zip drives.  Very informative!  However, there would seem to be
a third solution to the large removable media requirement.
This is the Magneto-optical drives.  I have seen the disks in a
few stores, but never a drive for sale.  Now have I seen any
discussion in this group.

Would anyone care to comment on these devices?

 
 
 

Magneto-Optical drives ??

Post by Brandon Fish » Fri, 11 Oct 1996 04:00:00



> I have seen a lot of postings on this group about Syquest and
> Zip drives.  Very informative!  However, there would seem to be
> a third solution to the large removable media requirement.
> This is the Magneto-optical drives.  I have seen the disks in a
> few stores, but never a drive for sale.  Now have I seen any
> discussion in this group.

> Would anyone care to comment on these devices?

Check out www.onsale.com!  They are auctioning off a SCSI Maxoptix Tahiti
II 1 GB MO Drive with 4MB Cache.  I bought one last week for $310.  I
haven't received it yet, so I don't know how well it works under Linux.
Here are the specs they give with it.

This NEW Tahiti II Drive for Mac or PC Features:

       Drive in external SCSI enclosure with fan and power supply
       4 MB Cache for increased performance
       Reads 650MB and 1 GB Cartridges
       Compatible with both MAC and PC
       Accepts MO, WORM or Polycarbonate media
       No cartridge included

It comes with a SCSI cable too.  The current top bid is $265.  I checked
on the media and it is about $120/cart, a little high.  Check it out.  It
beats using a tape drive.

My $0.02

Brandon Fisher


 
 
 

Magneto-Optical drives ??

Post by Bear Gil » Sun, 13 Oct 1996 04:00:00




>Check out www.onsale.com!  They are auctioning off a SCSI Maxoptix Tahiti
>II 1 GB MO Drive with 4MB Cache.  I bought one last week for $310.  I
>haven't received it yet, so I don't know how well it works under Linux.
>Here are the specs they give with it.

I'm finishing a contract for a company which rebuilds these drives to
mil-spec (e.g., they work from -20C to 50C!) for the past few months.
My short-term contract was working on the Unix (SunOS, not Linux)
UDF/ISO 13346 filesystem.  (ISO 13346 is a superset of ISO 9660,
with several major extensions and support for rewritable media.)

Anyway... see my earlier post.  For reasons I won't go into here
I tried connecting the MO drive to my Linux box with a new SIIG PCI
SCSI controller.  It recognizes the drive, but when I try to do
anything (e.g., "fdisk /dev/sda"), I get repeated SCSI timeouts,
a panic, an "aiee, killing interrupt handler" and then the system is
locked.

It's not the drive, since it works fine on the Sun.  Several
coworkers have internal drives and use them for routine backup,
project disks, etc.

This might be the controller; I haven't had a chance to check
it against other SCSI devices yet.  Or it might be a configuration
issue which could be easily changed.  Or it might be something
more substantial....

Quote:>       No cartridge included

That sounds odd; I've only seen them in the cartridge.  You do
_not_ want to handle these disks with your bare hands!

--
Bear Giles             To treat your facts with imagination is one thing,

                                                       -- John Burroughs

 
 
 

Magneto-Optical drives ??

Post by Paul Kell » Mon, 14 Oct 1996 04:00:00



> I have seen a lot of postings on this group about Syquest and
> Zip drives.  Very informative!  However, there would seem to be
> a third solution to the large removable media requirement.
> This is the Magneto-optical drives.  I have seen the disks in a
> few stores, but never a drive for sale.  Now have I seen any
> discussion in this group.

> Would anyone care to comment on these devices?

I work for RTE, Ireland's national TV & Radio broadcaster. We're
developing in-house a high quality audio record-edit-playback device for
radio. We have player boxes based on standard PC parts with a
superfloppy type drive which look like professional minidisk players and
standard PCs with Windows 95 non-destructive audio editors. We're
looking to eliminate magnetic tape entirely from our radio centre.

For the project we evaluated Zip, Syquest EZ drives, Jaz, and numerous
optical drives. 3.5" opticals won hands down. They're damned near
indestructable. Zip and Syquest were both too small and too delicate.
Jaz was big and fast but not robust. Right now we're using Olympus 3.5"
230MB MO drives. The drives are dirt cheap at 225 over here and the
disks are cheaper than any magnetic media will ever be. Currently around
ten pounds for a 230MB disk.

We're also looking to 640MB MO drives based around the same technology
and backwards compatible. The only problem is they use 2048 byte sectors
rather than the usual 512 bytes. DOS has to be lied to on a grand scale
through the device driver. Currently the only 640MB drives are produced
by Fujitsu and cost somewhere around the 400 mark. Mitsubishi, Epson,
and Olympus are also due to produce 640MB drives. 640MB disks cost 30.
In terms of speed, we're getting well over 1MB/sec on reads and around
700KB/sec on writes. The latest 230MB drives seem to deliver the same
level of performance as the 640MB drives. Both drives are the same size
as a floppy drive.

In short MO drives are wonderful, cheap, near indestructable, big, fast,
reliable, and available from more than one manufacturer. The only minor
drawback is you need a SCSI card.

Any questions?

Paul.