TheRef (tm), Version 4.5x

TheRef (tm) is a comprehensive Directory of Hard Drives, Floppy Drives, Optical Drives, and Drive Controllers & Host Adapters. It is designed to help the novice and pro alike with integration problems and system setups. It has been traditionally distributed in ZIP format from Bulletin Boards, and FTP Sites. In ZIP format, information is provided in two handy formats; Portrait mode, for those who prefer a normal book-binding type print format, and(or) do not have a printer with Landscape capability. And Landscape mode, for those who prefer a computer-printout type format.

For printing, a Laserjet is preferred, but not necessary, and setup info is provided. For viewing, LIST(tm) by Vernon Buerg, will provide an excellent result, and allow text searches for finding specific models.


VERSION 1.00 (early '89)
This version was a preliminary attempt to start to compile a list of drives in ASCII. It was intended for in-house use only, not released publicly.
VERSION 2.00 (mid '89)
Decided to change to a Database program instead of ASCII for building a listing of drives and controllers. Used portrait mode for all specs. Still an in-house publication.
VERSION 3.00 (11-21-89)
Changed to Landscape mode for the Drives List. Stayed with portrait mode for controllers. First distribution to close friends. Listed 431 drives and 134 controllers.
VERSION 3.10 (no date)
Not released to the Public.
VERSION 3.20 (04-01-90)
First official public release on BBSs. Went to landscape mode for both listings. Listed 973 drives and 231 controllers.
VERSION 4.00 (07-25-90)
This major release was formatted to support Laserjet type printers, for maximum impact and clarity. Portrait and Landscape of printing were included for each file. The file "Diagrams.Doc" was started after the initial release, but found it's way public, and so was released as an unfinished, "running" document with all future releases of TheRef (tm). This version listed 1,055 drives and 286 controllers.
VERSION 4.10 (01-04-91)
This version brought sections on Floppy Drives and Optical Drives. "Diagrams.Doc" was offically released with this version. The Manufacturers Directory was expanded to four parts to cover the new sections, and page 5 was added to the Diagrams.doc file. This version listed 1,282 Hard Drives, 86 Floppy Drives, 140 Optical Drives, and 315 Controllers.
VERSION 4.11 (no date)
Important correction to Diagrams.doc file. A "bug fix" file was sent to distribution points for insertion.
VERSION 4.12 (no date)
Minor correction to Diagrams.doc file. No corrections sent out.
VERSION 4.20 (10-01-91)
More of everything. Added "logical" specs for IDE type drives, per the suggestion of many. Added the Landing Zone field, but forgot to label it in the header! The DOC file was expanded to 7 pages. TheRef (tm) now has only one Manufacturer's section,...something I have doubts about, since some Mfrs have different addresses for HDs, Floppys, etc. This version listed 192 Manufacturers, 1,553 Hard Drives, 432 Controllers, 95 Floppys, and 152 Opticals.
VERSION 4.21 (10-02-91)
Minor corrections to 4.20... This was the version generally released.
VERSION 4.23 (no date)
BBS On-Line version in Portrait mode, formatted for a BBS viewing program. Released only through KADET BBS (closed down).
VERSION 4.30 (05-01-93)
Lots of little changes. Access times changed from "mS" to "ms", weights are now standardized in grams (g). The Head Parking (P?) was dropped, since this is now reflected in the Landing Zone entry. The COMMENTS section has been cleaned up...It was previously 2 fields combined into 1 for Landscape mode. Now it is one in both modes, and a little easier to understand (hopefully). The MFM designation is now gone. I know I'll get objections here, but since MFM is really 1,3RLL, I've decided to use that instead. Some of the sizes are now being converted to metric. The drive heights for new entries are now being entered in millimeters. Manufacturers phone numbers are now in International format (000.000.0000) and shouldn't be too much of a headache to those of us in the US & CAN. There's a change in the format for the landscape mode of the Hard Drives section. I needed more room for the additional entries, so I moved the Mfr's name to the start of each section. Of course there's more info in each section. This version marks the introduction of the Contributors Page, where people who added to TheRef (tm) get my Thank You. If you see them on the nets, let them know that you appreciate their help in making TheRef(tm) a better product. For those into statistics, this version of TheRef(tm) has 1,905 Hard Drives, 533 Controllers, 218 Opticals, and 110 Floppy Drives listed. (Not to mention 217 Manufacturers.) This version also marks the first time I've included work by others. Included are three files from Steven Case to allow easier setting of Laser printers for Portrait and Landscape modes when (or if) you decide to make a hardcopy. My thanks to Steven, and if you see him out there on the Electronic Airways, give him a big THANK YOU! One other small thing... This version includes a new section designed to help configure controllers. There are only a few with this version, and I hope to double or triple the number in the next release. This section is a direct outgrowth of requests I received. Of course, I also received requests for drive layouts, but for the near future, I'll leave that part for those Companies who are looking to make a living selling that type of information. :) -bob-
VERSION 4.40 (??-??-??)
I've renamed "Diagrams.doc" to "TechTalk", in keeping with the general flavor of how it's progressing. The last version added quite a bit of confusion due to my terminology, centering around the encoding schemes used on hard drives. I had dropped the old MFM descriptor in favor of (1,3)RLL, which seems to have really confused people. In v4.4, I've gone to a hybrid, and will now use (1,3)MFM instead. As this reference gets bigger, it seems to swallow up the changes made between versions. I've added a small update indicator to my database to let me know when an item was last updated. I'm not exactly sure how I'll implement this indicator in the BBS (paper) version. I have decided to publish a World Wide Web HomePage for TheRef (tm), and updates will first appear there, though each major update will be simultaneous.
VERSION 4.5x (05-06-1996)
The Web Homepage is going strong, with additional drives, controllers, & manufacturers. This is the last time frame entry unless something major changes in how TheRef(tm) is published, or presented. Each web page now has a revision number built-in to indicate when the last update touched it. I've decided to use tables for all the spec. sheets, and this decision will ripple down through all the entries as they are updated. I've also added active links to the Manufacturers Page, as requested by many people.
VERSION 4.5A (05-06-96)
Updated some sections to the paper version of TheRef(tm) so that people who don't have steady connections can still have a local copy.
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