LS-120 is an advanced replacement for the floppy disk drive. Using the same media as existing 1.44MB floppies, LS-120 adds an accurate alignment system and advanced encoding to increase the capacity of a single diskette to 120MB. Many have touted it as the logical replacement for the hard drive, but it appears that the increasing capacity of solid-state devices such as USB keydrives have largely rendered LS-120 unmarketable.
The normal floppy disk has to deal with a number of mechanical problems that mean it is forced to store considerably less information than is theoretically possible. The main problems encountered are mechanical, the diskette surface cannot be accurately placed under the read/write heads, and therefore the "tracks", concentric rings of information, have to be much wider than needed.
Using a head-placement mechanism guided by a laser servo driving a much smaller head, LS-120 increases the number of tracks from to 2490 tracks per inch. The head also has the ability to read ordinary 3.5" floppy disk.
Normal floppy-disk controllers are not capable of addressing this number of tracks, and the LS-120 therefore uses the 40-pin IDE connection which is also used by hard-disk and CD-ROM.
The LS-120 standard was initially developed by Imation Corporation, Compaq Computer Corporation, Matsushita-Kotobuki Industires Ltd (also refereed to as Panasonic)and OR Technology. It has appeared as an add-on product for some time, but is rarely seen built-in to new machines. It has never reached crticial mass, largely for this reason, and is caught in an odd market space where computer manufacturers are unwilling to use it because no-one else does.
- I believe that I am correct in remembering that the word "laser" (also?) refers to the fact that LS-120 disks were formatted at the factory with a laser so as to make maximum use of the available space on the disk. The LS-120 disk could be wiped but not formatted by the user in his/her drive. The user could, however, format standard floppy disks with the drive using the Windows formatting tool. NorthCoastReader (talk) 01:44, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
I've heard rumors that LS-120 drives are able, like Macintosh floppy drives, to eject the diskettes themselves, rather than having to press a button. Can anyone verify this? I myself am interested for the casemodding opportunities (namely, "stealthed" or Mac-style drives). Vintagejonny 05:03, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
- That's how it works on our LS-120 connected to our Macintosh.
- Atlant 14:07, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
- Correct, it is a pure 'software' eject. The button is not a physical eject button like on standard 3.5" drives, and ejection can be locked by the OS. (As it is on a Macintosh by default, requiring an OS-based eject command.) On Windows, you can software eject by right-clicking on the drive in "My Computer", and selecting "Eject" from the drop-down menu. (On some setups of Windows XP and Vista, you may see an 'Eject' button in the 'Tasks' list on the left of the window, or in the toolbar on the top of the window. This works as well.) And the more commonly used term is "software eject", not "automatic eject" 220.127.116.11 03:34, 18 October 2007 (UTC) (User:ehurtley, just not logged in on this computer.)
Confirm Removal of line:
This line sounds quite outdated...
Today, the format faces heavy competition from recordable CDs and DVDs, as well as solid state USB keydrives.
...compared to this:
Matsushita continued development of the technology and released the LS-240, which was still fairly available in Asia and Australia until 2003 but is now quite rare. It has double the capacity and the added feature of being able to format regular floppy disks to 32 MB capacity. However, this higher density comes at a price—the entire disk must be rewritten any time a change is made, much like early CD-RW media.
--Debug-GED 08:02, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
The true capacity of these "100 MB" drives is 120.375 MB -what-??
The article has a sentence that reads "The true capacity of these "100 MB" drives is 120.375 MB". Isn't that wrong? I read it as the capacity is one-hundred-and-twenty thousand three hundred and seventy Megabyte. In my opinion it should either read 120,375 MB (with a comma) OR 120.375 KB, or am I missing something here? Mahjongg (talk) 00:51, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
- P.S. what might be confusing is that in the country I live in the dot, not the comma is the separator in big numbers (so a hundred thousand is written as 100.000). I Know that might not be the case in the US and a comma should be used instead, but I have never seen a long number with a dot as the divisor separating the whole numbers (on the left of the dot) from the broken numbers (to the right of the dot). So my actual question is, does "120.375" in this case mean "one-hundred-and-twenty, plus three-hundred-and-seventy-five thousands of a part" (120 + .375) in this context? If that is true then that sounds truly strange to me. Mahjongg (talk) 01:08, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
- The article seems to have been written in "U.S. English" in which the comma is used to group digits in large numbers, and, in the example you give above, "one hundred thousand" would be written 100,000. In the case of the storage capacity of the LS-120 drive, however, the number shown (while representing a truly large number of bytes of storage capacity for the form factor) uses a different expression convention - it is expressed in terms of megabytes instead of kilobytes or bytes. Because of that, the number to which you refer, "120.375 MB," has a "dot" or decimal point which separates the whole number of megabytes to the left of the decimal and a fractional portion of a megabyte to the right of the decimal. So a literal translation of the number would be: "one hundred twenty megabytes plus three hundred seventy-five thousandths of a megabyte."
Death / memories of LS-120
My LS-120 from the 1999 is still in mint condition boxed. I was short lived and we'll surely miss such a great piece of small technology. R.I.P. LS-120. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Andwan0 (talk • contribs) 15:55, 4 December 2009 (UTC)