Standard Cocktail Napkin Size [WAS: RE: history is hard (was: Microsoft open sources GWBASIC)}

Fred Cisin cisin at
Mon May 25 14:56:15 CDT 2020

>>> The final media size was determined by Shugart Engineering led by Al
>>> Chou from the size of the 8-track tape drive that the 5¼-inch FDD was
>>> to replace in Wang and other systems.  As near as I can tell it was
>>> not the same size as a “standard” cocktail napkin.
>> "standard"??!?
>> "I believe in standards.  Everyone should have [a unique] one [of their
>> own]." - George Morrow I have seen napkins that are about 5.25".

On Mon, 25 May 2020, Tom Gardner via cctalk wrote:
> I did attempt to see if there is a "standard" cocktail napkin size and as
> best I can tell it is today 5-inches square not 5¼-inches square.
> A friend who is a veteran of the paper products industry provided me an
> actual cocktail napkin circa 1980 (a promotional give away for his business)
> that he recalls was procured to the then standard size which I measured as
> 5-inches square.  Apparently cocktail napkins have not deflated over the
> intervening 40 years :-)
> This supports Adkisson's recollection that the customer wanted something
> about the size of a cocktail napkin and Chou's description of the
> development process that tried to maximize the size of the disk that could
> be received in a drive which in turn was designed to fit into the then
> existing 8-track tape drive slot.

While 5" seems to be "standard", here is 5.25":

and here is 5" x 5.25"

Cocktail napkin HOLDERS seem to be 5.25", supporting 5" for the napkin.

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