“Hey, do any of you guys have an old, full-height hard disk lying around?”

This was a relatively new person from another group in our organization. People occasionally come looking for random old equipment to use for training & examples, because they know we have things like original IBM PCs, Cisco AGS+ routers, token ring MAUs, and 1200 baud Multitech Multimodems on hand.

“Sure, I’ve got a full height drive, one second.” I produce a full-height 600 MB Imprimis SCSI disk. Made in the USA, so it’s pretty old. It’s a bookend on my bookshelf.

600 MB Imprimis SCSI drive, full height

“What in the heck is that?” he asks.

“Um, a full-height drive?” I reply, really wondering what he thinks he’s asking for.

“No, man, I don’t know what that’s out of but it’s wicked. Full-height is like a couple inches tall, though.”

“And 3.5″ form factor, right?”


“Dude, that’s half height.”

“Nah, that’s full height, at least that’s what I’ve been told. So what is that?” he asks, as he points to my impressive specimen of early 1990s drive technology.

“What you were looking for is half height. This is a full height 600 MB SCSI fixed disk. Final answer.” I hope he didn’t learn full height vs. half height from someone he paid.

“I’ve never seen one of those before. Can I borrow it? The other guys will flip out when they see this thing.”

I wonder what they’d think if they saw 8″ floppy disks. Freakin’ kids.

7 thoughts on “Youth”

  1. The way I learned it, a normal 3.5″ HDD isn’t even half height. AFAIK a normal CD/DVD/BR drive is half height, any full height devices would occupy 2 5.25″ slots. (And yes, I still have some of those around somewhere, even though I just turned 30.

  2. @Jinks — yeah, that’s the way I learned it, too. A lot of the original 3.5″ form factor drives were half height tall, 3.5″ wide, like the Micropolis 9 GB drives were. Little black whiny bricks.

  3. Kids these days. Probably never even been run over by a Fujitsu Eagle walking itself across the platform.

  4. Ha! I still have a 1/2″ reel tape of my home directory off the university VAX 11/780 and a platter from the drive when we retired one if the washing machine sized drives.

    Good times!

  5. I still laugh when I think about the first time we showed our museum of old stuff to a new kid we’d just hired. He was stunned at the 8inch floppy and couldn’t believe any of us had ever used a full height drive.

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