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Computer History Buffs: Tandon TM-501 5MB HDD photos


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No, that's not a typo: it really is a 5 megabyte hard drive. This drive goes back to 1984 and cost thousands of $ in the day.


Now, if you have zero interest in computer history, you probably will want to just move on.


I've mentioned this drive in these forums in the past, but said I couldn't find it and thought it must have gone missing during a move or something. Yesterday, I 're-discovered' this drive while looking for something else in a storage cupboard. When I opened a Tupperware container I said, "OMG, there you are!". :)


I wanted to post a few links to images of this model of HDD but, when I searched with Bing and google, I basically found nothing except the cover of a photocopy of the user manual. So, I got busy and took a number of photographs. i think there should be some record of this drive on the Internet, so I decided to publish them here.


Here's a link to the bulk of images: http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/gallery/album/88-tandon-tm-501/.   That said, I wanted to single out a couple of images specifically:


gallery_502_88_29242.jpg   gallery_502_88_11636.jpg


The image on the left is self-explanatory, but the right-hand photo could use a little explanation. This is a close-up of the stepper motor used to move the heads of this drive. If you can believe it, that really is a synthetic rubber surround at the top. It's wrapped around a heavy metal 'flywheel'. I'm not quite sure what it's actual purpose is, but imagine how low the precision requirements must be if they permit something as imprecise as rubber. The specs don't specify it, but I recall running a hard drive testing tool on the drive many years ago and the program measured the access time as 300 milliseconds or more. Compare that to the 2 or 3 millisecond times of today's drives.

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