hard drive history

size matters: especially when you can't get it

Conner Cabo

Photo: Red Hill.

Conner (Seagate) Cabo family

The Cabo 1275 was one of the very first 1.2GB drives to reach the market, and a typical late Conner product: stolid and rather slow. There was nothing much else available in this size range when it first appeared.

The smaller 1.08GB Cabo came along a little later, and it was another poor effort; despite higher areal density it was not much faster than the 1275 and had an un-Conner like high failure rate as well. We never liked it much but were more or less forced to use it because the industry was going through one of its periodic major shortage phases and drives were very hard to get for a while. Sometimes we couldn't get Seagate or IBM drives for love nor money, but there were plenty of Cabos available on the grey market with only 12 month warranties — sometimes even these were better than no drives at all!

Later on we also sold a handful of the 1.6GB Cabo. Distributors always had stocks of this drive even when they had run out of everything else in the size range — probably because it was so expensive and so slow!

Compare the Conner 1.6 to the contemporary IBM Deskstar 2 and Seagate Medalist 1720 1.7GB drives, and the Conner 1081 and 1275 to the Medalist SLs. Conner's great days were past by this time and Conner drives were falling well off the pace. Before too long Seagate bought the company, mainly to get access to Conner's huge modern disc manufacturing facilities (and to keep Samsung from buying its way into the top tier) and the last of the Cabos had Seagate badging.

Pictured above: the unlovely Conner CFS1081A.

Data rate54.9 Mbit/secSpin rate3600 RPM
Seek time14msBuffer64k
Platter capacity425MBEncodingRLL
Form3½ half heightInterfaceIDE mode 4
CFS1275A1.275GB6 thin film heads***

Data rate65.2 Mbit/secSpin rate3600 RPM
Seek time14msBuffer64k
Platter capacity540MBEncodingRLL
Form3½ half heightInterfaceIDE mode 4
CFS1081A (& ST31081A)1.08GB4 thin film heads**
CFS1621A (& ST31621A)1.62GB6 thin film heads*