Vermont Research 5017

Tom Gardner t.gardner at
Sun May 10 14:11:11 CDT 2015

FWIW ZIP, Jaz, SyQuest and Tulin are much later, into the 80's or 90s.  The
first SyQuest was not really an embedded servo; one burst per revolution for
thermal correction as I recall.

The early announced embedded servo drives were more or less in order
1975 - Vermont Research 5017
1976? - Burroughs 9383
1976 - CII D120 (Cynthia)
1976 - Diablo 400 series (which may never have shipped)
1977 - DEC RL01

FWIW the servo technology was patented about 1961 and assigned to IBM
Plated media had a troubled life in HDDs, see the Ampex Alar story at 


-----Original Message-----
From: jwsmobile [mailto:jws at] 
Sent: Saturday, May 09, 2015 9:35 PM
To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
Subject: Re: Vermont Research 5017

On 5/9/2015 6:08 PM, Tom Gardner wrote:
> Anyone have any literature on the Vermont Research 5017?
> It was a cartridge drive shipped from 1975 until 1985 probably 
> rebadged and sold under some system manufacturer's label.
I have Syquest drives, as well as Jazz drives which both had embedded
servos.  No literature on them at my fingertips.
>    Most likely the first HDD to
> use embedded servo in a production drive.
First embedded servo drive I saw was a Tulin 1/2 high 5 1/4" form factor,
40mb RLL.  Mine was still functional last time I fired it up.  
It worked longer than a lot of other drives with servo tracks. They largely
died due to media (probably stuck) or servo problems though.  I think the
Tulin and it's successors were plated media as well, rather than oxide.

I am not sure that the difference is because of plated media vs. oxide,
anyone have a track record to discuss that?
> Tom

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