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Old 01 February 2020, 11:46   #1001
Hewitson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Abbott View Post
Using 2.5" laptop drives was an awesome idea
It was a shit idea. The drives were extremely expensive compared to their 3.5" equivalents, and many 1200 users went without a HDD because they couldn't afford one of the 2.5" drives. Others did ugly hacks to their case to enable a 3.5" drive to be installed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by redblade
Any reason on why HD disks are not as reliable as DD disks?
They're storing twice the data on the same media.

It's not unlike how a Blu Ray is much more sensitive to damage than a CD or DVD.
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Old 01 February 2020, 12:53   #1002
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Others did ugly hacks to their case to enable a 3.5" drive to be installed.
But 3.5" drives fit (tightly) you just leave the cradle out. No need to hack anything.
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Old 01 February 2020, 13:27   #1003
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Originally Posted by -Acid- View Post
But 3.5" drives fit (tightly) you just leave the cradle out. No need to hack anything.
If there was no way to get a 3.5" HDD in without breaking the case, I'd say it was a good call for Commodore to go with something that fits in there instead. But as we all know, there is.

In practise though retrofitting one meant for most of the users brute forcing it in, consequently making it much more of a hassle than it ever needed to be if Commodore had designed the machine to support this.

Offering users a limited number of smaller, pricier and slower drives was not an awesome idea, but just another needless way to needlessly handicap the machine.
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Old 01 February 2020, 13:49   #1004
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[QUOTE=Bruce Abbott;1375485]
Quote:
Originally Posted by -Acid- View Post
But 3.5" drives fit (tightly) you just leave the cradle out. No need to hack anything.
No?
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Old 01 February 2020, 14:10   #1005
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Originally Posted by Bruce Abbott View Post
Using 2.5" laptop drives was an awesome idea - small enough to comfortably fit inside the awesome A1200 (or A600) case, simple installation with a single cable, and much lower power consumption so you didn't need to upgrade your power supply. Usually quieter as well, and many shut down after a few minutes of inactivity for even lower power consumption and zero noise.
I think it was a terrible idea. I had a 3.5" drive running outside my A1200 in a wooden box, having to cut the case slightly to get the IDE cable out, while the power came from an Y-adapter to the floppy cable; and even with a second floppy drive, an 030 turbo board + RAM the stock power supply never generated any problems.

Making the case some millimeters bigger wouldn't have cost Commodore anything; including a slightly more powerful power supply maybe a low one-digit figure - and that probably wouldn't have been even necessary, because they could have picked 3.5" drives with low power consumption for their factory HD models.

The pricey 2.5" drives made their A1200HD models expensive. The A1200 was a budget computer with a really good price, but if you wanted a HDD (absolutely necessary already in 1992 for any serious work) it wasn't looking that attractive anymore compared to PCs. IMHO they shoot themselves in the foot with that decision.
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Old 01 February 2020, 17:38   #1006
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Isn't the 2.5HD drives much better (physical) quality then 3.5, or it is a myth?
I always thought (as a kid), that Commodore chooses 2.5 because of quality, but now I am not so convinced about C= decisions.
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Old 01 February 2020, 17:51   #1007
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Isn't the 2.5HD drives much better (physical) quality then 3.5, or it is a myth?
Myth.
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Old 01 February 2020, 18:23   #1008
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I have a 3.5" 1.2 GB HDD in my A1200. It fits inside, and it was actually installed in the shop I bought it from, but yeah, it's tight with the space inside. 2.5" HDDs were more expensive, had smaller capacity, and were slower than 3.5" HDD drives at the time when A1200's were still being sold in shops. Same with the accelerator board expansion slot, could have had a little bit more space with the trapdoor.
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Old 01 February 2020, 18:49   #1009
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I'm in the "2.5-inch-was-a-huge-mistake" camp. I spent 800DM in 1994 for a 330MB 2.5" harddisk. That was an insane amount of money. The A1200 had more than enough PCB real estate to put a 3.5" IDE socket and power plug on it.

While we are now happy to have PCMCIA on the A600/A1200, that also was a mistake because it was mostly useless at the time. With 3.5" IDE, no PCMCIA, no onboard 68020 (but only CPU-cards) and a scan-doubler it would have been close to perfect.
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Old 01 February 2020, 18:53   #1010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d4rk3lf View Post
...that Commodore chooses [...] because of quality...
That definitely never ever happened.
Joking aside, 2.5" drives were more shockproof, because they were made for laptops and had smaller discs; but unless you were dropping your Amiga regularly from the table, I guess that wasn't such an important aspect.
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Old 02 February 2020, 00:17   #1011
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If there was no way to get a 3.5" HDD in without breaking the case
You are mistaken, I had a 1gb 3.5" drive in my case properly screwed together for years. They fit.
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Old 02 February 2020, 02:47   #1012
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3.5 inch hard drives can be different heights. It's nice that you had a nice slim 1gb hard drive but the drive casings used to be taller, and the pcb underneath also took up more space. Back in the day i hooked up a 20mb hard drive using a kit, (specially made ide cable and floppy drive power splitter) and had to cut holes in the case for the ide and power cables because it would not fit. The grille at the back of the A1200 case would not close down over the drive.
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Old 02 February 2020, 09:16   #1013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Acid- View Post
You are mistaken, I had a 1gb 3.5" drive in my case properly screwed together for years. They fit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jizmo View Post
If there was no way to get a 3.5" HDD in without breaking the case [...] But as we all know, there is.
Like I said, there is – but it's a far cry from just opening the case up and popping one in.

I've seen more hacky, bulky, dremelled solutions than I care to count. It's all needless struggle that could've been avoided if the issue was properly addressed by Commodore.

Last edited by jizmo; 02 February 2020 at 09:46.
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Old 02 February 2020, 10:12   #1014
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Don't forget that 3.5in drives needed more power than their smaller counterparts, and tended to run hotter. Plenty of people might have got away with using such a drive, but there's a big difference between "will probably be fine" and "solution that we're prepared to support with a warranty".
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Old 02 February 2020, 11:38   #1015
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Don't forget that 3.5in drives needed more power than their smaller counterparts, and tended to run hotter. Plenty of people might have got away with using such a drive, but there's a big difference between "will probably be fine" and "solution that we're prepared to support with a warranty".
Absolutely. The point I'm trying to make though, is that the machine should have been designed for (and shipped with) 3.5" drives in the first place.

It would have reduced the cost of the HD models considerably, and provided better performance as well.
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Old 02 February 2020, 11:58   #1016
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Installed a 3.5" HDD in 1996, no modifications to the chassis were needed.
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Old 02 February 2020, 17:19   #1017
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Originally Posted by robinsonb5 View Post
Don't forget that 3.5in drives needed more power than their smaller counterparts, and tended to run hotter. Plenty of people might have got away with using such a drive, but there's a big difference between "will probably be fine" and "solution that we're prepared to support with a warranty".
That's certainly a valid aspect; also all other integrated-keyboard computers of that time that I'm aware of with internal HDD had 2.5" internal drives (Atari Falcon 030, A600/A1200, Acorn A3020), so they were not the only ones to go that route.

Still, I think Commodore and the other manufacturers made a miscalculation. They probably thought that prices would approach those of standard drives pretty fast, which didn't happen - similar thinking may have lead to the inclusion of the PCMCIA port, that, even if it had worked perfectly, would have given access mainly to laptop extensions that carried a prohibitively high price tag for still some years after release of the A1200. And last but not least, by testing the drives for their factory models they could have ensured that they worked reliably by picking suitable drives. I haven't heard of people having problems with their internal 3.5" drives (and some retailers even included them), but of course that may have been already some years later when drives had improved.

And hindsight is of course always 20/20...
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Old 03 February 2020, 21:59   #1018
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Reusing the A500 case could have made it easy enough for a HDD floppy and a 3.5 inch HD for the C=.

I towered up my A1200 so I could get a CD-ROM drive and HDD via IDE, the PCMCIA version of the Squirrel CD-ROM would have cost as much as the whole tower project alone IIRC.
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Old 03 February 2020, 22:16   #1019
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Yeah. In 2020 having the 2.5" drive bay looks like a GREAT idea because 2.5" drives are cheap and SSDs come in 2.5" by *default*.

But in 1992 laptop drives cost 3X more than their desktop equivalent and most stores wouldn't even sell them. In 1993-1994 they still cost at least twice as much and not heavily advertised.

All it would have taken is just a *slight* increase in case size. It would have still been smaller than the A500 by a lot, for the cost of just a little bit extra plastic.
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Old 04 March 2020, 23:18   #1020
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Too little too late, should have had 2 or 4 meg fastram from the start :-/ And better CPU. (030) and updated audio and there should have been a 3,5 HD enclosure for PCMCIA similar to the A500 ones. (I mean "on the side").
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