hard drive history

smaller, faster: early 3.5 inch drives

Lapine Titan 3532

Photo: Red Hill.

Lapine Titan 3532

Lapine made modest volumes of very high-quality drives which were presumably quite expensive.

Lapine hard drives were certainly beautifully engineered. Notice the care that has gone into sculpting the casting (upper left) and the unique spring-loaded brass rods (centre) which lift the heads safely off the surface to provide a shock resistance system which was not matched by the mainstream brands until early the following century.

Surviving documentation on the Lapine models is sparse: my assumption is that the 3532 illustrated was most likely an RLL version of the better-known 20MB Lapine LT200.

Lapine still exists, curiously enough. (As of 2022.) These days the company sells ruggedised external drives. They are quite expensive and I've never bought one just to pull it apart and see what they put inside, but economies of scale pretty much ensure that it will be the working core of a drive from one of the big manufacturers. Whether they really are extra rugged I don't know.

Performance0.2Reliabilityno data
Data rate7.5 Mbit/secSpin rate3600 RPM
Seek time65msActuatorDual loop stepper
Platter capacity10MBInterfaceRLL
AT drive type2Form3½ inch half height
353232MB4 heads1986