I am pretty sure that Shugart lumped the 900, 901 and 801 into one family
for counting purposes so that there would only be a single one millionth
drive of one model number from that family, and I am also pretty sure that
this was the first disk drive family to achieve 1 million units produced. I
doubt if the 900, 901 or 851 achieved one million in and of themselves; the
volume was in the 801.
BTW I am pretty sure the Smithsonian drive was gold plated.
BTW the whole concept of one millionth is fairly ambiguous given the
distinction between built, shipped, gross sales and net sales. I suspect
these were manufactured on a single day based upon lot sequence number and a
calculation of the date from gross prior sales and finished goods inventory.
It maybe they pulled finished goods and remanufactured them with the plated
To the best of my recollection the early FDDs used pin and socket connectors
such as the Ampex M series but went to flat ribbon cable for cost. By the
late 70s I think the 801 became standard and everyone offered a Shugart
interface compatible drive.
FWIW, I joined Shugart just after all this and have asked some of the more
senior alumni for comments
From: dwight elvey [mailto:dkelvey at hotmail.com
Sent: Sunday, February 17, 2013 9:07 AM
To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
Subject: RE: Shugart's 1,000,000 901 8" Floppy
It could easily be the 1000000th 901. There would also be aone millionth
801, 802 as well as 800.The 900's had the wider pins ( I think 44 but
would have to look )The 800 used the 50 pin.I wonder who determined which
connector to use? What didthe original IBM machines use? The Sugarts came
with differentfront plates as well.I think the 50 pin got determined by
the use of ribbon cable.Much cheaper than hand wiring or special PC
board.It seems like the 8 inch drives had all kinds of connectors.I have a
couple of other drive connector and signal typesfrom different
manufactures.They seemed to have settled down to a standard by the5 1/5