Retro Tech Nibble: What was the Rotronics WafaDrive?

21 jun 2018
27 656 visningar

● Support RMC on Patreon:
● Treat me to a Coffee with Ko-Fi:
● MonsterJoysticks:
● 1ClickPrint:
● Cave Links
RMC Shop:
● Description
The Rotronics Wafadrive is one of those curious things we all saw in the pages of magazines but rarely saw in action before it vanished, superseded by superior storage devices. Which makes it perfect for a byte sized look at today. What was it, how did it work and...does it still work?
● Music
Jazz Piano Bar - Doug Maxwell/Media Right Productions
Must Be Something - Jingle Punks
Tango Bango - E's Jammy Jams
Under Cover - Wayne Jones

  • Thank you for watching, please take a complimentary wafer thin mint. Did you use the Wafadrive or a similar tech oddity on your system? Did you stump up for a floppy drive or like me, suffer the loading times of cassette tapes? I'd love to hear your stories. Neil - RMC

    RMC - The CaveRMC - The Cave2 år sedan
    • My Sepctrum ZX had a tape drive. My following Apple Le had a 5 1/4 floppy. Oh the speed!

      Well that went badlyWell that went badly23 dagar sedan
    • I was cassettes all the way on all my Home computers I owned at the different times of my childhood till I got a Master System then I never looked back, well I say never, I still held a lot of Nostalgia for my Amstrad, Speccy and C64 even just a year or two after not owning them anymore. I think I was born to be nostalgic

      Poppy DogePoppy DogeÅr sedan
    • Drooled over these, but was forced to stick with tape till I got my +3. Nice kit...

      BlahBlahBlahBlahBlahBlah2 år sedan
    • Pretty similar to me. I used to be able to tell the name of a game just by listening to the tape noise. I-Ball was very distinctive!

      yogibear2k2yogibear2k22 år sedan
    • (Erupts in a corpulent explosion)

      1973Washu1973Washu2 år sedan
  • I was actually the Technical Director for Rotronics and conceived the specification of the Wafadrive back in 1984. You will find my name on the manuals included with the WD. The main problem with the device was that powering down the speccy with the wafers in situ could cause a random flow of current through the heads, which could corrupt the data stored - the main cause of the dreaded Bad Sector messages. A fix for this was developed, but by then several thousand had already been made. Unfortunately, in the scramble to get the product onto market, there were no prototypes to evaluate for this kind of issue. The word processor bundled with the product was called Spectral Writer. Rotronics was unfortunately forced out of business when the £ crashed against the $ and they could not he sold at the originally intended price without incurring a loss. Graham Booth

    Graham BoothGraham Booth5 månader sedan
    • It's fantastic to see you hear Graham, thank you for sharing those insights

      RMC - The CaveRMC - The Cave5 månader sedan
  • By fall 1988 the WafaDrive was selling for just £15 (bankruptcy clearance sale):

    TelexToTexelTelexToTexel6 månader sedan
  • mint

    griftereckgriftereck11 månader sedan
  • I am about to eat that one last wafer thin mint lol! I have just snagged one of these Rotronics devices, boxed with a bunch of wafa's. I have always wanted one, way way back when I had a rubber-keyed 48k spectrum (my first computer).

    RetroJay1974RetroJay1974År sedan
  • That was the drive proposed initially for the ColecoVision as an expansion module as well as the tape system considered for the Adam.

    mgabrysSFmgabrysSFÅr sedan
  • I always thought the sinclair computers were a joke, I mean they are totally a joke, but what amazes me is that people actually used them.

    Brad ViviviyalBrad ViviviyalÅr sedan
    • They were built to a specific price point so that the average family could afford one. A computer you actually own is far superior to one that you'll only ever see in the Argos catalogue.

      gwishartgwishart9 månader sedan
  • this video made me really hungry for wafers

    Green GuyGreen GuyÅr sedan
  • I think the Wafadrive had some merits for early software production on the platform, but in the long run it was the serial port supplied by the Interface , and later included as a standard feature in the Amsrad 128 that was the real victor

    TheTurnipKingTheTurnipKingÅr sedan
  • I bought one from Logic for the sum of £15.. they bought all their bankrupt stock.. mugsy was a game on it.. problem with the OS taking memory it cut the number of games you could use.

    fog variousfog variousÅr sedan
  • OMG that comment about the disposal of tape out of a car is brilliant!

    richard isaacsrichard isaacsÅr sedan
  • Good grief!! I thought I was the only person who even remembers these! I picked one up in a catalogue returns shop for a few quid in 1986 and attached it to my Speccy 128K. It worked fine, and I got some additional wafers, but I quickly found that while it was more convenient for finding lots of small files on a single medium, it was not really any quicker than cassette tape at loading. I believe the technology was adapted from machine control systems dating back to the 70s, and was surprisingly robust for its day.

    lordmuntaguelordmuntagueÅr sedan
  • I think I'll stick with the Sinclair microdrive. Smaller and 100+ kb storage. Cheaper too... But I'd wait for floppy drives to come down in price if I was you. Far faster and more reliable.

    PrivateSiPrivateSiÅr sedan
  • it's adorable. like a tiny 8-track.

    Drew GehringerDrew GehringerÅr sedan
  • Very good video! I just love all the history surrounding the UK home micro scene in the 80s, it's so fascinating how different it was compared to our market in the US back then. Knowing what I know now about the ZX Spectrum, I can definitely see that for all it's shortcomings and cut design corners, there really is an undeniable charm about it.

    Alan RizkallahAlan RizkallahÅr sedan
  • I had one of these beauties. I remember buying it at an Alexandra Palace Microfair, along with a Multiface. Together they were a dream. You could basically load any game by tape and hit the multiface to save the game state to a wafa. I would then spend hours with the multiface poking system to crack new games and send off my pokes to Crash Magazine in Ashby De La Zouch. I would often send them in under assumed identities as I thought what I was doing was highly illegal at the time. Oh younger me, you were such a worrier.

    ZaPpaulZaPpaulÅr sedan
  • It's sad: it seems that stringy-floppy storage might really have worked on the Spectrum had the Microdrive's design been more like that of the WafaDrive...

    Leo ComerfordLeo Comerford2 år sedan
  • In other words... a 8 track alike mechanism for loading programs and/or data.. clever!

    MK3424MK34242 år sedan
  • I'm kind of appalled that you destroyed the tape like that. =( While the data might have been bad, it could have been due to stray magnetic fields wiping the unspooled part of the tape over time. i.e. the tape itself might have been fine, and the data might have just gone bad. Rewriting the tape with fresh data might have fixed it. =( Also did you try reading the tape in both of the drives in the unit?

    NozomuYumeNozomuYume2 år sedan
  • when i was a kid i used to lust after these fast load devices, even then i was in the radio ham club and a total electronics nerd, so i and a couple of old boys in the club built our own what we did was use high quality micro cassettes and a multiface(for the snapshot), you would flick a switch on it for record mode press snapshot on multiface then dump the rom to the tape, once recorded the switch was flicked to play mode and you loaded in as normal only faster, it it recoded at one speed but played at another, which was a function of micro cassettes, normally the slower speed mode was used to get more space on the cassette but we hacked it to play and record at differing speeds, and it worked it reduced load times quite a bit but was really finicky the azimuth was a pain to set up, i was always surprised no one was playing with speed loading at the time of course now we have internet, it seems others did have similar ideas with varying results.

    aly nichollsaly nicholls2 år sedan
  • If the wafadrive manufacturers had been smart, they would have adapted it for the North American market (I lived in Canada, with the same choices of early PCs). Many home computers were cheap but their peripherals ridiculously expensive (e.g. TI99-4A $150, floppy disk $1000). A reasonably fast system with a decent amount of storage might have saved some of those early computers, and the wafadrive.

    T OrrentT Orrent2 år sedan
    • TI promised us a Wafertape drive and other lower cost peripherals to go with their HexBus adapter. Sadly, the HexBus adapters and peripherals only made it to the almost ready to be put into production stage. A few units were sent out to reviewers before TI dropped the curtain on their Home Computer division. They had the 99/8 sitting behind the curtain at a trade show at the time, waiting for the word to introduce it. But it had to sit there forlornly while the TI crew did their presentation without mentioning it. Never know what might have happened had TI decided to just go ahead and see if a much more advanced computer would have drastically perked up sales. But that wasn't likely due to how TI had become anti-competitive with the last revision of the 4A, the QI or Quality Improved model that among it's "improvements" prevented most not made by TI Command Modules (AKA Solid-State Software) fail to work.

      greggv8greggv82 år sedan
  • I had one, I think I bought mine as they were being sold off. I could never find 128kb tapes only 64kb so essentially when I moved on to a 128k spectrum it became redundant for gaming.

    Jarrod BentleyJarrod Bentley2 år sedan
  • Someone tried to sell me one of these so I took on loan but didn't buy it. Seemed to work okay, but I tried to do something and it was clear that it wasn't going to get the support of the official microdrives, so I stuck it out and got the microdrives. I remember my mum saying "if it isn't what you want, don't buy it", the way that only mothers would.

    Ian MurrayIan Murray2 år sedan
  • I had one of these (bought second hand). It wasn't very reliable, unfortunately.

    74HC13874HC1382 år sedan
  • Now I'm wondering why the idea of just using 8 tracks as a storage medium never caught on. I imagine it'd make accessing multiple files easier, and the equipment would probably be cheaper since the medium had been around for so long already. Not unlike how some companies repurposed plants for manufacturing black-and-white TVs to make monochrome monitors.

    Pocket Fluff ProductionsPocket Fluff Productions2 år sedan
  • 0:41 Tornado Low Level from Vortex Software!

    rarbi.artrarbi.art2 år sedan
    • TLL great game

      David KennedyDavid Kennedy2 år sedan
  • Asterix? Aster-Risk! We're Brits not colonials. :-) Good video as always, though.

    Stephen BellStephen Bell2 år sedan
  • Amazingly informative as ever !! Loved the tape disposal comment ;o) Great stuff :o)

    Mike FellowsMike Fellows2 år sedan
  • Hi there, Retro! Love these old obscure storage methods! Have you heard of a device that records data onto a _video_ cassette? I seem to remember that they could store several megabytes at a time when a few hundred 'K' would be considered a lot. I believe it was made for the Amiga, but can't remember.

    JustWasted3HoursHereJustWasted3HoursHere2 år sedan
    • I found some info on it: I believe this is the producer of the hardware/software. Their "unbiased" opinion is: "The Video Backup System Amiga (VBS) lets you connect a VCR to your Commodore Amiga computer and turns it into an extremely reliable and affordable backup device." LOL!

      JustWasted3HoursHereJustWasted3HoursHere2 år sedan
    • You are correct that there was a VHS based backup system for the Amiga; i had one of those myself, however it was quite fiddly in my experience - or maybe it was just that my VHS machine was a bit long in the tooth. Either way, the system, aptly titled 'Video Backup System', was not meant as a day-to-day storage system, but solely as a backup device.

      BertyFromDKBertyFromDK2 år sedan
  • As. ter. isk. Asterix is a gaullic cartoon character.

    moofymoofy2 år sedan
  • Don't litter

    SimderZSimderZ2 år sedan
    • All in jest my friend

      RMC - The CaveRMC - The Cave2 år sedan
  • As an American, I've always wondered why people from the UK say Zed instead of Zee for the letter Z. I'm not trying to be judgmental, I'm just curious as to why.

    JackDanuls PrimeJackDanuls Prime2 år sedan
  • Always wanted one of these!

    streetsafari0streetsafari02 år sedan
  • After the wafadrive was a failure and the company rotronix went under, the old stock was sold off cheaply. I picked up one of these for less than 20 quid in the hope of a bargain...only to be disappointed and quickly realised why it failed. To say it was quite unreliable would be an understatement. Happy teenage memories though, thanks!

    Phil WarePhil Ware2 år sedan
  • Why didn't you reformat the wafa and then try to save and reload some data, before pronouncing it dead and opening it up?

    BlitterbugBlitterbug2 år sedan
  • I'd never heard of that till today, and I've been gaming since 1982 lol

    RetroGamerVXRetroGamerVX2 år sedan
  • I'd like to see Beta Disk/ TR-DOS.

    Siana GearzSiana Gearz2 år sedan
  • Did you change byte sized to tech nibbles to avoid cluttering up other people's search results? It's such an obvious pun, but I still prefer byte sized. Millions of computer programmes back when they were on TV used it too :) I do understand though.

    Kaitlyn LKaitlyn L2 år sedan
    • Yes I chose it originally as it's a natural choice used by many tech programs over the years, but then saw loads of people also use it on YT so went with nibbles. A nibble is smaller than a byte after all 😁

      RMC - The CaveRMC - The Cave2 år sedan
  • I had one of these which I bought cheap after the company went bust and they were trying to get rid of them. It was a nice idea, but I found mine was very unreliable. I got a few 128K wafers with it, but most of them had the bad sector problem shown here, even then (mid 80's). I spent quite a lot of time getting games moved onto the wafers, but of course, with it stealing some of the RAM that meant you could only transfer games that used less than you had available, and most games used all 48K and custom loaders which needed to be converted, a time consuming and messy business!

    Anthony StewartAnthony Stewart2 år sedan
  • Another bit of old tech I knew nothing about ! -Freat- *GREAT* (even) video RMC. Keep them coming.

    Wiggysan WiggysanWiggysan Wiggysan2 år sedan
  • Yes, that's how I tended to dispose of tapes (I must shamefully admit), usually in a state of extreme fury after it jamming the cassette drive and not unusually spewing tape around the inside of the Sierra in the ensuing battle. Out you get, you ______

    kellypawskellypaws2 år sedan
  • Alwas wndered wha he intended market for these devices are, and how many manufacturers were making tapes for it?

    Larry Bundy JrLarry Bundy Jr2 år sedan
  • Wow that's like an 8-track tape, but smaller.

    CoolDudeClemCoolDudeClem2 år sedan
  • Tape disposal from a moving car. Kids these days don't know they're born.

    therushdentherushden2 år sedan
  • Opus released the discovery 5 1/4 floppy disk drive for the zx spectrum and if memory serves fuller did an after market system. Love your videos keep up the good work from an avid spectrum owner and retro collector.

    John EarnshawJohn Earnshaw2 år sedan
  • Legit tape disposal protocol. I never knew this even existed for the Spectrum until now but obviously it would've cost a bomb back in the day. The thing was that cassettes were largely reliable, unless they were massively abused, and if you used good cassettes and multiples copies (from the source) loading issues were rarely a problem, other than being bloody slow. I used to do the old loading trick of counting the load time, applicable to any 8-bit cassette loading system, on my Casio F-91W watch, and then setting a count down timer to know when to return to the computer after setting a cassette to load. Nice bit of odd-bod tech that cassette system.

    reggiep75reggiep752 år sedan
  • The wafadrive was much more reliable than the microdrive. I had both. The wafadrive had the parallel interface which is why i bought it you could copy tapes to it, but i cant remember how.

    steve whitchersteve whitcher2 år sedan
  • You say, "dead wafa" and I picture an apocalyptic scenario involving zombie storage media.

    Andy AldrichAndy Aldrich2 år sedan
  • I used to have one, but when I built a 6ch sound card and voice synth expansion I used the expansion plug and cable from the Wafer Drive.

    Denzil WilsonDenzil Wilson2 år sedan
  • Great video! Enjoyed the piano music in the background as well!

    Bolling HoltBolling Holt2 år sedan
    • RetroManCave Thanks, and you, too!

      Bolling HoltBolling Holt2 år sedan
    • Glad you liked it sir 😊 have a great weekend

      RMC - The CaveRMC - The Cave2 år sedan
  • oh...I clicked like. number 665. I wonder if Bruce Dickinson watches this channel. as he sang a little ditty, about the Number of the beast. he might click like for number 666

    griftereckgriftereck2 år sedan
  • 4:08 21Kb of storage... That's about the size of a blank Microsoft Word document these days!

    Yorick HuntYorick Hunt2 år sedan
  • I bought a Wafadrive and used it for ages until one day it just stopped responding and I ended up buying a Microdrive. I still have the Wafadrive in my loft with a few tapes.

    Mark DaviesMark Davies2 år sedan
  • Never had a Spectrum - hated the keyboard and the way you had to program it.

    Andy ParkerAndy Parker2 år sedan
  • Love these videos. Also loved the Retro Island episode with old school underground cracking groups. Being an Atari ST user in a foreign country, those were the only disks we saw. Wish you'd do more of those for The Replicants, Pompey Pirates, Automation, Was (Not Was), and others I completely forgot about (it's been 30 years).

    hasbeanhasbean2 år sedan
    • Thanks! The next episode is with Anarchy, the old demo group, really looking forward to hearing their inside stories

      RMC - The CaveRMC - The Cave2 år sedan
  • Great vid. Any chance of a micro drive video?

    G.H.CG.H.C2 år sedan
    • RetroManCave yes a much forgotten computer the QL

      G.H.CG.H.C2 år sedan
    • Yes, or perhaps a Sinclair QL some day with its built in Microdrives

      RMC - The CaveRMC - The Cave2 år sedan
  • Nice video, i feel i should be in Starbucks drinking a Latte with that music ;-)

    robbyxp1robbyxp12 år sedan
  • I so wanted one of these when they came out, but being a teenager I didn't have the cash. Wonderful little device

    David DawsonDavid Dawson2 år sedan
  • This reminded me of the weird external 3.5 inch floppy drive I had for my psion s3a. It was dog slow and took about 30s to load up some low res grey scale boobies but it made me feel like some sort of "wizkid" at school. Like you'd see on the BBC when some spotty kid had done something mildly impressive.. TL;DR; When are you doing a Psion video!

    donpalmeradonpalmera2 år sedan
  • I would kill for a punch card thingy for my Amstrad.

    Vincent GRVincent GR2 år sedan
  • I had an Opus 3.5 inch floppy coupled to a Romantic Robot Multiface 3 on the side of a DK'Tronics keyboard. It was a monster! (I also modified it to give composite video out so I could plug it into a monitor.) I could dump running programs to the aforementioned disk. Great for loading Elite without the annoying and often indecipherable Lenslock copy protection, amongst other things.

    Fred BloggsFred Bloggs2 år sedan
    • i had a romantic robot multiface +3 as well (still have it), load a game slowly from cassette, the dump it to 3" floppy, also great for cheating in games (you could find cheat codes in mags), +3 games were expensive compaired to the tape versions, i remember buying a pack of amsoft 3" floppys from "index" for £30 catalog #570019 ah good days load a pre saved snapshotted game in 10 seconds, get so far save it in case you "died", i even had (still have) the videoface (a digitiser)

      David KennedyDavid Kennedy2 år sedan
  • RMT comes through, as always. Who knew this oddity ever existed? The more I watch these videos the more ignorant I realize I am to so many interesting and unique items from days gone by.

    jaydeejaydee2 år sedan
  • Ahh, the Wafadrive I had access to was replaced a +D. 3.5" floppy drive and a muliface like snapshot button. I used load the cover tape games, then snapshot them to floppy. The best add-on the Spectrum ever got!

    Retro Box RoomRetro Box Room2 år sedan
  • I was more than a little shocked when you decided to just tear into the wafer, *before* even checking if you could wipe/reformat the tape and test if you could at least store fresh data on it. Then I was further disappointed when instead of carefully putting it back together to try the above test, you just ripped its guts out! I love your stuff... but this kind of behaviour comes dangerously close to barbarism, my good sir. ;)

    JAFOJAFO2 år sedan
  • Nice video! I love weird and forgotten media.

    Remi DupontRemi Dupont2 år sedan
  • I had a Wafadrive on my Speccy, and Tasword as well. :) FYI Wafadrive was supported by the Romantic Robot Multiface1, which allowed it to copy any cassette software including games to Wafas, for fast and quite reliable loading. The Multiface1 was a very useful device for basically copying pretty much any software and games. I bought my Wafadrive in 1985 for a reduced price at one of the London home computer shows, at the Royal Horticultural Halls.

    Michael TurnerMichael Turner2 år sedan
  • I’m pretty sure the Rotronics Wafadrive started out at around £129, then £99 and finally £49, near the end. It’s mechanism was made by BSR (Birmingham Sound Reproducers), the same people that made the mechanisms for the Sinclair ZX Microdrive, although they were different designs. Also it well predates the Amstrad FDD drive. I had one with a few carts and the supplied Spectral Writer word processor. Like the Microdrive the tape in a Wafa would stretch with use and reformatting would see it’s storage size increase, although errors would increase too.

    Steve PageSteve Page2 år sedan
  • Later tape formats abandoned the loop in favour of 2 way serpentine - and TBH, wasn't sure if the internal layout was going to be 8 track style or ripple packed

    Matthew DayMatthew Day2 år sedan
  • Good video I have a Quick drive in my C64 collection. didn’t realise is was the same drive mech and media as the wafadrive tho. There was a company in the 90's called Bull electronics and they where selling the Quick drives off at five for £1 as project boxes for electronics enthusiasts, that’s where mine came from. I may have a spare wafa if its compatible you should be able to reformat it to work on your wafadrive.

    JaysVintageJunkJaysVintageJunk2 år sedan
  • Nice machine :D I hope that you tried to record something else on it before you destroyed it. Could it be that the old data were just too faded? Glory to the cave!

    EdmanEdman2 år sedan
    • I did indeed, the wafa was beyond resurrection. Another commenter has asked me to transfer data off their old wafas so that could be a fun follow up

      RMC - The CaveRMC - The Cave2 år sedan
  • With very old audio tapes I notice the tape loses particles on 1st play and fowls the heads, so I play the tape once fully, clean the tape machine heads, and on next play the sound is clear again.

    SidneyCritic ComedyHoundSidneyCritic ComedyHound2 år sedan
  • Thank you very much for the piano lounge music and Wafadrive retrospective... I was suitably relaxed (Friday here... @ work... ha ha) and informed about a storage device I couldn't afford in its heyday. Cheers! 😁

    puggawompypuggawompy2 år sedan
  • Kind of a shame to ditch the tape though. Magnetic media typically survives if you simply reformat it. I wonder if you could rig a little cutter to spit a cassette's tape to that same tiny, tiny size and spool it onto that old wafer manually?

    NakashiiNakashii2 år sedan
    • Thanks very much for doing a video on this. It was cool to see it working for a whole 5 minutes anyway. :D

      NakashiiNakashii2 år sedan
  • Great stuff. Interesting hardware.

    Dermot SweeneyDermot Sweeney2 år sedan
  • Did I detect a reference to a bond movie?

    John DillonJohn Dillon2 år sedan
  • Don't underestimate the punch tape machines😉

    Randy WatsonRandy Watson2 år sedan
  • i think this is my favourite SEworld channel right now, thanks for the great video.

    ZedZed2 år sedan
    • Thanks Zed

      RMC - The CaveRMC - The Cave2 år sedan
  • I bought one of these back in the day from a second hand store. I remember it came with 2 wafers and whilst I could list them, they would never load. Still, a great piece of kit and this video gives me great memories. Oh how I wish I’d never sold all my Sinclair set up off so cheaply now! 😞

    Kevin WiltshireKevin Wiltshire2 år sedan
    • So, a device you paid for, and didn't work was a great piece of kit... you and I have very different ideas of what constitutes a great piece of kit

      Brad ViviviyalBrad ViviviyalÅr sedan
  • Shame you dont have anymore wafa disk, would like to see it working.

    Ashley CliffordAshley Clifford2 år sedan
    • @RMC - The Cave I have a Wafadrive and some wafas. I just bought a dodgy looking 48k to test it before selling it on. (My own 48k is long since lost.) Would you like me to send you a wafa or two?

      Michael BradshawMichael Bradshaw5 månader sedan
    • Another commenter has asked if I may transfer date for them off of their old of that happens I'll be sure to film the process

      RMC - The CaveRMC - The Cave2 år sedan
  • Very interesting video, but the background music drove me crazy.

    helo 72helo 722 år sedan
  • Well, it was cheap, I'll give you that half...

    thedungeondelverthedungeondelver2 år sedan
  • JSWII could mean Jet Set Willy 2, the second release of a popular ZX Spectrum game.

    JORGETECH JorgeJORGETECH Jorge2 år sedan
    • I seem to recall Sinclair user published a type in patcher that rearranged some of the rooms in JSW. I wonder if the 1k program is that and the guy who typed it in just named it JSW2 as a kind of joke?

      meetoo594meetoo5942 år sedan
    • JORGETECH Jorge it could, but 1k seems a little small. Not that we should entirely trust it with its bad sectors

      RMC - The CaveRMC - The Cave2 år sedan
  • How on earth does this channel have only 43k subs?!

    Nelson CabreraNelson Cabrera2 år sedan
  • Nuts.

    Bike VidsBike Vids2 år sedan
  • Wow, This stuff NEVER reached us in Australia thank goodness. This looks like it took a lot of cues from the 8-Track tapes, but since it only required 1 track they could make the tape "skinnier" than an 8 track, hence they probably were prone to stretching which screws up the wow & flutter characteristics in a regular tape, so you can only imagine what it did to your data. They would've been better off copying the magnetic wire recording devices of the 60's era, it wouldn't have stretched as badly. I love the comment at 6:20 - Hehehe, I have seen a few in my time. :)

    SIDSID2 år sedan
  • I had myself one of them along with a DKTronics keyboard. They both were great. I miss the simplicity of the Spectrum but love the speed of my PC!

    DoglegDogleg2 år sedan
    • That was a pretty swish setup you had there

      RMC - The CaveRMC - The Cave2 år sedan
  • I really like learning about storage formats that I had no idea existed

    SuperJet SpadeSuperJet Spade2 år sedan
  • Neat! I have only heard of these from books and occasionally magazines from the time period here in the US, though, I guess from the video they're pretty rare over where you're at too.

    tom611tom6112 år sedan
  • Always wanted one of these, friend from school had a microdrive and I was blown away by how fast it loaded games.

    webchimpwebchimp2 år sedan
  • I had a microdrive, and loved it.. was a cute little thing :)

    baz zabaz za2 år sedan
  • Interesting. I knew and had the Microdrives, but never heard about this device (that looks pretty much as a microdrive, I mean, a cassette disguised as a disk).

    Tormenta de plomoTormenta de plomo2 år sedan
  • I'm curious about that 5 1/4 disk there. You show us the back side twice makes me wonder what embarrassing phrase is written on the front.

    El GuapoEl Guapo2 år sedan
    • That's a homebrew remake of Akalabeth for the C64. And definately not Sam Fox strip poker.

      RMC - The CaveRMC - The Cave2 år sedan
  • I is like an 8-Track cartridge also used on the SINCLAIR QL.

    • It is. The QL had the Sinclair Microdrive shown on the leaflet so a very similar Stringy Tape technology

      RMC - The CaveRMC - The Cave2 år sedan
  • I excitedly saved up for one of these, when I was still in high school. Hooked it up to my 48K Speccy, and it blew the Speccy's motherboard. Tried it on the school's 16K model, and it worked - but when I formatted the included wafa, the drive chewed up the tape. I didn't bother buying a replacement!

    AstragaliAstragali2 år sedan
    • I got one at a huge discount at one of the last sinclair user fairs in London, but if you plugged it in with the computer on, it blew the motherboard - I managed to do that twice. had to send my spectrum off for repair - it was good, if you wanted faster load times on software that you could break into and save to a wafer, which mostly meant storing BASIC titles. But I did use it quite a bit.

      UrbanAgogeUrbanAgogeÅr sedan
    • That's real sad my man! I bet you was just literally without a computer for ages then? Because back in our day (Well my day anyways...) if you broke anything it was gone, Unlike my 11 year old twin boys who so far have gotten through £250+ worth of Xbox one Joypads due to the hard bedroom floor. I remember I pissed about and broke my Amstrad CPC464 motherboard when I was a lad. That meant I went without a computer for a long time! My parents didn't care!

      Poppy DogePoppy DogeÅr sedan
    • This is a sorry tale indeed :(

      RMC - The CaveRMC - The Cave2 år sedan
  • You are in the right direction for becoming huge. Keep improving but never change your style and format.

    Peter CPeter C2 år sedan
    • I'm staring at your avatar and feel compelled to never change my style or format. 😁 thank you for the words of encouragement

      RMC - The CaveRMC - The Cave2 år sedan
  • Seems all it needed is a good tape to waver copy program. But that might have got the company sued in those days.

    infopackratinfopackrat2 år sedan
    • There is a wafadrive utility wafa you can buy separately with such useful tools. Another commenter has asked if I can transfer data off some old wafa's for them, so I may need to track it down

      RMC - The CaveRMC - The Cave2 år sedan
  • Nothing beats the Opus Discovery 1

    GalacticusXGalacticusX2 år sedan
  • It's been a long time since I've seen magnetic tape decorating the bushes going down a street. Used to be a pretty common thing.

    Keith FulkersonKeith Fulkerson2 år sedan
    • People would just throw out the window cassettes they didn't like anymore or got cheap or broke

      Carlos GutierrezCarlos Gutierrez2 år sedan
  • Can't you just replace the tape in the wafer, using the old leader to allow the start of tape detection to work? Is it even the same width as "normal tape"? If you _could_ swap it out, are you able to then format it to make it usable?

    EscapeMCPEscapeMCP2 år sedan
    • Grab a ruler and knife and crack open a video.... :) Does it have a format option though? I'd imagine not and that all tapes come pre-formatted. I'd imagine finding another tape would be harder than finding hen's teeth in rocking horse poo.

      EscapeMCPEscapeMCP2 år sedan
    • It's 1.8mm wide and described in the gumph as video tape as opposed to audio tape quality, without elaborating on the exact specifications which would have been nice to know

      RMC - The CaveRMC - The Cave2 år sedan
  • I still have one of this double drivers and several tapes! But it worked rather well until I found a kind of real bad problem because of an absolutely bad and unforegivable design flaw! A tape drive allways have at least one spinning driving pins and that special pin with a sharp end rotating like an screwdriver in the bottom of the tape casette leaving a pointed deeper and deeper mark in the bottom of the cartridge shell. Treatening to make a hole to the iniards of the casette so I stopped using the driver. A real sloppy d design. But I loved my TWO Spectrums. I guess they still work and I stored them together with my TWO ZX 81, Amiga 500,Amiga 500 plus and a couple of Amiga 1200. My ac elerated Amiga 1200 in a big tower is still a good working friend together with one of three Commodore and Philips Colour displays and an OLD PC monitor in my bedroom together with my PC! Once I even conected my beöoved Tower Amiga 1200 to my PC with the help of a cable and Siameese Twins so I could use the PC grafics, mouse, display and keyboard on my PC by opening window on the PC for my conected Amiga! I love those times and my son and daughter used them to and they made my don becoming an engineer in computer and computing - just like me. But now Im retired but still intersted in computers and gaming consoles😁

    Per-Henrik PerssonPer-Henrik Persson2 år sedan