Another monster board-scan

A reader took my lead on the polluting-Wikimedia-with-old-drive-circuit-boards idea, and came up with this most excellent image of a 44Mb MiniScribe's underside:

MiniScribe drive underside

(Now someone needs to slap an eight inch drive on an A3 scanner and make a really big file.)

Thanks to my Pocket PCRef, I know that the above drive is a 5.25 inch half height (which is to say, the same height as a modern optical drive) ST-506 3600RPM unit which reported 5 heads, 1024 cylinders and 17 sectors per track.

This information is, of course, almost perfectly useless these days, as is most of the rest of the content of even the current edition of Pocket PCRef (mine's the 1999 ninth edition). Connector pinouts and ASCII codes and such are all very well, but it's not as if all of those aren't at your fingertips anyway if you've got an Internet connection. The same goes for keyboard scan codes, paper sizes, number base conversion tables and error beep codes for various old BIOSes - though if you work with PC hardware every day, a Pocket PCRef will still probably help you out a few times a year.

More impressive is the original Pocket Ref, old editions of which are far less obsolete.

Pocket Ref has close to nothing about computers in it. It's more about every single piece of basic engineering information you'd need to reconstruct society after the inevitable happens, all in a very literally pocket-sized book.

Advertisement concludes.

5 Responses to “Another monster board-scan”

  1. kamikrae-z Says:

    The cool thing about scanners, which a friend pointed out to me a while ago, is that they let you take images that lack perspective (well, as close as is practical.)

    I guess that sorta makes it like the macro lens version of the shift lens.

  2. Daniel Rutter Says:

    A scanner picture does have perspective, in a manner of speaking - it's just that it's only in one dimension. Because the image sensor is a line, scanned images are squashed horizontally, for the same reason that the vertical slit pupil of a cat squashes the world vertically:

    Drive motor scan

    This is an old hard drive motor, shaped like a top hat; the "oval" section is actually circular, but far enough away from the scanner glass that it's distorted.

    (The picture's from my old photo tutorial.)

    The vertical rather than horizontal alignment of cat pupils, biologists are reasonably sure, is because cats are more interested in things scurrying around horizontally than things moving up and down. Slit pupils in general are desirable because they allow a bigger aperture range, so your high-sensitivity night eyes don't get dazzled during the day.

  3. dvayn Says:

    Also, whats interesting, is that if you look closely, you can see that both of the inside walls of the outer encasing are visible... Was this really scanned? It appears as though there is 1 focal point for this image.

    Or am I misunderstanding the way a scanner works? I always thought it was more like a bugs eye, where each light sensor only sees in a straight line ahead of it (and have a bunch of these in a line that moves across the image), as opposed to a pin hole where you see things in all directions?

  4. dvayn Says:

    You can see this on the chips as well; the tops of the chips are visible on the bottom, and you see less and less as you go up the image.

  5. HitScan Says:

    8" Floppy eh? I need to dig that old Shugart box of of my garage. Well, and find a scanner I suppose, heh.

Leave a Reply