Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What would you do with 10 extra square inches?

While studying for finals I decided to take some books out of the library (The Rutgers Pharmacy and Sciences library is thankfully free of holes in space time) to study Mechanics-Statics. I took out three books, one was the second edition of a book on dynamics and statics, the other two were the fourth and fifth editions of the same book (all three were by the same authors, but weirdly enough they covered different material). In the end I ended up teaching myself most of the material from the second edition statics/dynamics book published in 1957 (kind of shows you how "static" the subject is). The fifth edition book (published 1988) included tutorial software on a five and a quarter inch floppy disk with an awe inspiring 800 kilobytes of info which means there is a womping 29 kilobytes per square inch (nothing in comparison to the modest 281617 kilobytes per square inch of a DVD). However, unfortunately I don't have a computer to run this; not because I don't have a working computer with a working 5.25-inch floppy drive, but rather because my family's lovely and still working Commodore 128 falls short on RAM. The disk requires 256K RAM; the Commodore has only 128K of RAM. For all you college students out there happy summer vacation and to all those that this applies to happy Log B'Omer.
Extra Credit for figuring out the title of this post.

6 comments:

  1. It is more than 29kb per square inch. The disk itself is roughy 5.25 inches in diameter, giving appx. 37kb per square inch.
    When you did the calculations for the DVD did you include the hole?

    ReplyDelete
  2. the floppy has a whole, too...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I believe that I must clarify this issue. I did not calculate Kilobytes per square inch based upon actual disk space but rather the space that the whole disk casing takes up. I ignored the hole in the middle as it cannot actually be used for anything else, and the surface area of the floppy includes the case. The surface areas are calculated as such: Floppy = (5.25)^2, DVD = pi*(4.72/2)^2

    ReplyDelete
  4. Most DVDs dont come in round cases either, but rather those big retangular cases which contain two DVDs and that book about how to acccess all those special features: outtakes, games and the special director's commentary on the director's commentary. Thus, all that should also be included in the calculation.

    ReplyDelete
  5. However the case is not needed to run the disk. It simply protects it when it is not in use, and is techincaly not needed. The floppy needs its case and will not operate if it is removed from the case.

    ReplyDelete