Scor­pio News


January–March 1988 – Volume 2. Issue 1.

Page 21 of 39

I understand that Verbatim are selling comparable drives at £370 pounds plus VAT, and at that price they are really not worth considering for the amateur (or even the professional, unless someone else is paying) with Winchesters-on-a-card available for less for IBM compatible machines.

At the price offered, they are excellent value. Many thanks, Scorpio, for giving me many hours of innocent fun, and my elderly NASCOM 2 a substantial new lease of life!

Post Script

It took a week or two of routine use before I came across another problem, which was more obscure, and I still do not fully understand. During the course of an editing session, records of 128 bytes were being written to a file, which might be closed then re-opened for use by a “chained” program. If the drive motors had timed out in the interim, some records were lost in the middle of this file, while later records were written at the correct relative position in the file.

This problem was solved by ensuring that the routine which checked for motor-on status would load the heads, and wait for a short settling time before proceeding, if the motors had stopped. This appeared to duplicate a head-load and delay section in the sector write routine. I had expected that if the heads were not properly loaded, the relevant physical sector would not be found, a sector-write would not be attempted, and an error flag returned to the BIOS. In this instance, the write failure was not flagged.

I am still not happy with this explanation, but so far all seems to be well!

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