hard drive history

1998: a year of transition

Quantum Bigfoot TX 8.0 with other drives

Photo: Red Hill.

Quantum Bigfoot TX

The Bigfoot TX replaced the Bigfoot CY and maintained the Bigfoot tradition. It was quite cheap, available in some remarkably large sizes (Wikipedia claims that the TX was the first IDE drive over 10GB, which I don't remember, but nobody paid much attention to new Bigfoot releases and it sounds about right), moderately reliable, common only in low-quality mass-market machines from the usual consumer junk-box makers, and horribly slow.

The TX introduced a slightly faster 4000 RPM spin rate, and this together with a significant increase in areal density produced an excellent data transfer rate, but DTR on its own is rarely terribly useful, and never provides that sense of instant compliance which comes with a bit of RAM and a fast access time.

As with all the Bigfoot drives, we never sold the TX new, and were a bit reluctant to use them even as trade-ins because of their poor performance, but often saw them in the workshop when third-party machines came in for upgrade.

Illustration: a Bigfoot TX 8.0 with, for scale, a 2.5 inch laptop drive, on a variety of Quantum 3.5 inch drives.

Performance0.97Reliabilityno data
Data rate142 Mbit/secSpin rate4000 RPM
Seek time12msBuffer128k
Platter capacity4GBEncodingPRML
Form5¼ quarter or third heightInterfaceATA-33
TX 4.04GB2 MR heads
TX 6.06GB3 MR heads
TX 8.08GB4 MR heads
TX 12.012GB6 MR heads