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Prettz
Sep 2, 2002

by Lowtax


Back before CD burners were widespread, or anywhere remotely near affordable, your only alternative to backing stuff up on shitloads of floppy disks was the iomega Zip Drive, with 100MB Zip disks.



The disks were like big floppies but with a hard magnetic disk inside. They were also very, very unreliable. About as reliable as 3 1/2 inch floppies. Bad sectors, unreadable files, and disks that one day started clicking and could never be read from again were the rule of the day. Also, since USB was a new thing, the drive connected through the printer port, the slowest connection there is in the PC universe.

But despite how much they sucked, they saved my neck once when the family computer got a virus that wiped out the hard drive's file table. The data recovery people weren't able to save more than a few plain text files. I would have lost everything if I hadn't invested in a big stack of zip disks.

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Prettz
Sep 2, 2002

by Lowtax


Dusseldorf posted:

Zip drives weren't a failed technology. They were pretty widespread and In the days before CD burners the were by far the best way to transfer files and are still useful on old computers that aren't connected to a network.

Jaz drives are what you're looking for.
No, not failed, but they're obsolete.

edit:

quote:

and are still useful on old computers that aren't connected to a network.
No.

Prettz
Sep 2, 2002

by Lowtax


Geoj posted:

I was an early adopter of MP3 players...I got an RCA Lyra player when I was in highschool:



Mine came with a 64 MB (yes, that's an M as in "megabyte") CF card. It could fit about a CD and a half of CD-quality audio, and was quite badass for the time (late 90s) as I could put my head down in study hall and fish one earbud out of my jacket pocket and listen to music without the studyhall monitor knowing. I can remember having debates with people who thought MiniDisc was going to win the "format war" and thought I was wasting my money.
I was also an early MP3 player adopter. I got the Diamond Rio, which normally came with 32MB, but I bought the Special Edition version with a whopping 64. It was incredibly expensive.



About the size of a cigarette pack and it weighed just as much too -- minus the single AA battery. And a weird thing about it: to conserve battery power it had no on/off switch. To completely turn it off you flicked open the battery well and dropped it out.

And sorry to the minidisc owners in this thread, but I used to laugh so derisively whenever I saw someone with a minidisc player. Look at you with your antiquated removable media. So very poor. I'd look down at my solid state music player and feel like a loving pimp.

Prettz
Sep 2, 2002

by Lowtax


m2pt5 posted:

I don't know about "useful", but there are still uses for it - Google 'cuecat hack'.


I had one of those too, but only the 32MB version. It still took drat forever to load and only held around 10 songs at best (unless you figured out how to re-encode them with a lower bitrate.) Who'd have thought we'd be using phones and handheld video game systems for that nowadays?
Yeah I re-ripped my songs at 112kbit just to fit in a few more songs. You could kinda hear a difference (this was with Xing's CD ripper), but not enough for it to matter; what mattered was having more songs. And yeah, I also had to connect this one through my printer port. It took a prohibitively long time to upload a new set of songs, enough that I avoided doing it.

Prettz
Sep 2, 2002

by Lowtax


Pocket Billiards posted:

My understanding was that the blank media for VHS was much cheaper than Betamax. So people adopted VHS in droves so that they could record what was on TV without it being prohibitively expensive.
Yes, the fact is that while Betamax was higher quality, VHS was much less expensive, and that's what allowed it to win out. And Pocket is correct that porn drove the early adoption of VHS more than any other factor. Porn did the same thing to drive adoption of the internet, as well. God bless porn.

But back to the betamax vs. VHS battle: thank God that digital removes the quality vs. cost battle that dominated analog recording technologies. Blu-ray is way, way superior to HD-DVD -- not just in terms of doubling capacity, the standard also allowed higher maximum bitrates, which is very important for squeezing out the last bit of visual quality given a target filesize.

Prettz
Sep 2, 2002

by Lowtax


JediTalentAgent posted:

My major complaint about BD, though, is that HD-DVD seemed like it was a better stopgap video solution, since many titles came out on the hybrid discs that allowed you to have DVD on one side and HD-DVD on the other side. It seemed that if maybe MORE movies had been released like this they could have been able to promote HD-DVD more easily to a customer base that had perhaps just jumped into DVD ownership. "Hey, you can still buy this movie as a flip-disc and watch it now, and when you buy an HD-DVD player in a few years, you ALREADY have a library of HD-DVD movies to enjoy!"
Sorry but that's a really terrible complaint, and very naive. Blu-ray IS the stop-gap solution. What's coming next, and a lot of us (including me) aren't going to like it, is media-less consumption. Digital downloads. Hopefully without the severe restrictions on compression efficiency forced on blu-ray because of the optical disk format. I don't like the idea, but optical disc media has hit a very hard physical wall and it will never overcome it. HD-DVD would have just drawn out the pain -- via inferior video quality.

It was a great relief that the BR vs HD-DVD war ended as quickly as it did. The faster such format competitions end, the more consumers win. This latest one was as mercifully short as it was because of how obviously inferior and cost-ineffective HD-DVD was versus blu-ray.

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Prettz
Sep 2, 2002

by Lowtax


Landerig posted:

Yeah that's nowhere near the very best. I think one of the developers of it died indirectly because of it. (He got fired and was later hit by a car IIRC)
Why can't this happen to the developers of CoD?

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