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Essentials of Computer Organization and Architecture, 5th Edition by Null

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7.6   DISK TECHNOLOGY

Before the advent of disk drive technology, sequential media such as punched cards and magnetic or paper tape were the only kinds of durable storage available. If the data that someone needed were written at the trailing end of a tape reel, the entire volume had to be read—one record at a time. Sluggish readers and small system memories made this an excruciatingly slow process. Tape and cards were not only slow, but they also degraded rather quickly because of the physical and environmental stresses to which they were exposed. Paper tape often stretched and broke. Open-reel magnetic tape not only stretched, but also was subject to mishandling by operators. Cards could tear, get lost, and warp.

In this technological context, ...

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