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33010Re: [midatlanticretro] RE: SCSI ZIP Drive Question

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  • Ray Sills
    Oct 28, 2013
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      HI Gang:

      Following up on Herb's observations on Zip disks:

      For a long time, we used Zip disks where I worked in a slightly
      unusual manner: There were used to store audio recordings. A company
      called 360 Systems manufactured an audio recorder/player that took the
      place of what was the industry standard audio recording and playback
      device: the NAB audio cartridge. Audio "carts" are still used in some
      broadcast facilities to this day.

      But the 360 Systems Digicart offered many advantages: much longer
      recording time, ability to trim the start and end of the recording
      after the fact, and almost instant access to whatever was on the
      disk. The company originally used 44 mb removable disks, but went to
      the iomega Zip format soon on. The Zip disks could record in full
      bandwidth digital recording (48K sampling) or a data compressed mode,
      AC2 that reduced file size by a factor of about 4, with virtually
      indistinguishable quality from the original.

      The Zip disks were handy and often used to send important audio
      recordings, like "Theme Packages" to remote sites for use in a sports

      The gist of it is that we almost -never- had any failures. And, once
      the disk was on site, the audio operator could transfer the content to
      an internal hard drive, if his Digicart had one (most did). It was a
      simple, easy to use, and reliable system.

      We also have some Jaz drives, which were used for temporary storage of
      audio tracks in an audio for video post production system. In this
      case, the Jaz would hold the dialog of an hour-long soap opera, as it
      was moved along in various stages of post production. After the
      episode was broadcast, the Jaz disk would be erased and used for a new

      It was the case that we used the iomega formatting software to erase
      the disks. With the Digicarts however, the recorder itself could
      erase a disk, likely with licensed code from iomega.

      Bottom line: the Zip and Jaz disks did yeoman work, with few failures.

      73 de Ray
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