…SuperDrive comes twice

SuperDrive (DVD-RW/CD-RW) to Macs, including “household” and “educational” in 2002 – a fact remarkable in itself. But the history of this brand even more interesting, and it deserves a more detailed story. SuperDrive trademark was registered by Apple Computer in 1988. True, if in doubt – check. That designated this name, worked on all Macs except the Mac 128K, Mac 512K, Mac 512Ke and Mac Plus, and Mac SE and Mac II compatibility was required for the special upgrade.

What was called the SuperDrive since 1988, was originally developed for the Apple II, as FDHD (Floppy Drive High Density). Drive 3.5-inch flexible disks (floppies) with capacity of 1.4 Megabytes compatible floppy disks the same physical size with a capacity of 400 and 800 kilobytes.

SuperDrive for floppy disks used in Apple products from 1988 to 1999, and from 2001 he began a new life. Now the so-called optical disc drive that can play and record DVD and CD.

At the time, optical drives were something infinitely advanced and progressive, but Steve has publicly questioned the fact that the future belongs to them. According to him, it belonged to the technology that is nowadays called “cloud”.

Optical discs, in his opinion, nothing more than a temporary measure. But while they had nowhere to go.

To touch the future? Easy.

Funny: the first external optical drive from Apple came to light in 1988, simultaneously with the SuperDrive for floppy disks. A coincidence, of course…

Passion Apple laser technology began in the mid-80s, in 1987, John sculley predicted them a great future and an important role in the computer industry. Apple was one of the world’s first computer companies to implement this technology.

The optical drive from Apple was called the AppleCD SC, connected to any Mac of the time through the SCSI interface. Technical characteristics of the device was more than modest – by the standards of the early 90s, but for 1988 it was a breakthrough.

The drive was a 1-fold (i.e., his speed was equal to 150 kilobytes per second), and, of course, none of what you write or rewrite CDs speech in those days was not even. To download the CD used a plastic caddy liner.

Understand this drive five formats, CD–Audio, CD-ROM, HFS, Pro-DOS and High Sierra. What is 650 Megabytes of information in 1989, when most marketable size of the hard drive was 40 Megabytes, I will not tell.

Breathtaking. To read your CD, I went to another area of the plant, where was the Macintosh II and the only one available to me AppleCD SC, even with the fan…

In 1990, the design made a minor change: it turned out, the fan is not needed. It was removed on the reliability is actually not affected.

In 1991, replaced the AppleCD SC AppleCD Plus came with advanced features, also single and with download CD-ROM with caddy.

AppleCD SC model was produced for almost ten years: SC AppleCD 150, 300, 300e, 300i plus, 600i, 600e plus and 1200i. The model designation self-explanatory. Apple considered vulgar designation of the data transfer rate CD-drives some unknown “multiplicity” instead of the names of the models used the number of kilobytes per second, alphabetic indexes “e” and “i” denotes, respectively, the external and internal AppleCD.

The second coming of the SuperDrive at the time of the second coming of Steve jobs

After the capture of the jobs in authorities companies, Amateur tools for creating videos has become one of the most promising directions. For a number of reasons: Steve was not a dilettante in this area (he owned and ran one of the major animation studios in the world, Pixar Studios), computer technology was already ready, and most important: it’s very interesting!

But on the way home-grown Directors remained serious obstacles: the videos are not even too high quality and do not feature the duration took a lot of space on disks. Urgently required an inexpensive storage of enormous size.

At least CD.

Professional video delivered on Video DVD, homegrown filmmakers were ready to pay any money for the opportunity to do the same.

In those days, CD drives, writable was considered a luxury and were rare, and about the possibility of burning DVDs at home could only dream of. But for Apple to try and make these luxury goods in more or less peripheral devices has become a matter of paramount importance.

The path to the DVD-RW/CD-RW was not easy – first in expensive versions serial Macs to replace the CD-ROM came DVD-ROM and CD-RW. Compared to other companies, this was not something special and unusual. iMac roused the household segment of the computer industry and the competitors of Apple’s opportunities were rather big.

Then it’s time to Combo drives (DVD-ROM/CD-RW), now the “cheap” versions of home and professional computers from Apple packaged with a CD-ROM, and their “expensive” options – drives Combo.

In early 2001 Apple released the first computer with a DVD-RW/CD-RW, it was PowerMac G4. At the same time the drive for the first time called a new old name, SuperDrive. According to Wikipedia, and most reference works, this first SuperDrive supports all the required modes…

How true this is – I don’t know. Other sources believe that up to mid 2002 DVD-RW in a relatively cheap drives from Apple were not supported. On devices in late 2002 I successfully “burn” their DVDs.

Along with this PowerMac’Ohm in the online Apple Store appeared DVD-R discs, they are not so easy to find – a box with 5 discs cost $ 50. This is exactly I saw it with my own eyes.

The first coming SuperDrive

For quite a long period of time, the word SuperDrive in Apple circles, it was almost abusive. And it was what.

On the boxes with a 3.5-inch floppy disks (400K or 800K “rigid flexible disks), we were warned that they are subject to all sorts of terrible dangers – for example, in the strong electromagnetic field they can easily lose data, but from experience we believe in them. Plastic cover well enough to protect them from most hazards.

800K was, of course, not enough – but in the late ’80s and early’ 90s on a floppy disk with this volume easily fits the operating system that can start the Mac, plus one or two programs.

But drives SuperDrive, capable of floppies that support HD (High Density, high density) storage of 1.4 Megabytes, were a disaster.

Introduced them in 1988, they got in 1989 or 1990 – I can’t quite tell. Along with the new Mac AMI.

Don’t know if this is due to technical problems in the drives, or floppy disks were not up to the required level, but these drives refused to read the floppy disk with 1.4 Megabytes almost every third case. From the reliable way to store data floppy disk turned into a complete misunderstanding.

The intent of the developers SuperDrive was great: drive supported floppy disks with a capacity of 400 and 800 To the formatted MFC and HFC, was able to distinguish the floppy disk that cannot be formatted as 1.4 M…

Often, floppy disks, hard unreadable on one device was able to read on the other. That is, something was wrong with the drives themselves?

In a year or two, forget about the problem.

SuperDrive for floppy disks (floppies) used the Apple to 1 999. Within 11 years.

To discuss the history of Apple you can in our Telegram chat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *