Main | Links | Downloads | Apple // Texts | Apple // Specs | The "Sider" Hard Drive

Edhel's Apple // Stuff: The "Sider" Hard Drive

Initially, the Sider family of hard drives consisted of 3 models: a 10MB model, a 20MB model, and a model with a built-in tape drive. The 10MB Sider cost $700 in November 1985. The sider comes with a Xebec SASI interface card and a Xebec 5.25" mechanism, mounted sideways in the casing.

Siders are daisychainable, can connect one Sider to another Sider, which is, in turn, connected to the SASI interface (using the same 3' D-sub 37-pin cables that you'd use in a 1-drive configuration). There's enough jumpers on the Sider to suggest that 7 or 8 (or a whole lot, if the ID jumpers imply a multi-bit ID number) drives can be chained, but the manual only mentions the 1- and 2-drive configurations. A terminator is supplied in case you "only" used the 1-drive configuration.

The really (potentially) nifty thing about the Sider is its great multi-operating system support. It supports multiple simulatneous DOS 3.3, ProDOS, Pascal, and CP/M partitions. However, there is a minimum number of partitions that must exist on the Sider. You can set up the unused partitions so that they are very small, but they still must exist.

I did some informal benchmarking on my 10MB Sider using Copy II Plus and a bunch of test files of my own creation (many tiny files and a few large files). I did 2 tests (one involving copying the tiny files, and one involving copying the large files). I ran the same tests on my Disk ][ drive (a 5.25" floppy drive), and compared the results. The results of the "tiny files test" didn't surprise me--the Sider was over twice as fast as my Disk ][. However, when it came to copying the large files, the Sider was about the same speed as my Disk ][! The only reason I can think of (besides the Sider having a really low RPM) is that maybe my 1MHz Apple //e just can't handle moving data all that quickly. I should have repeated the tests when I had the Sider connected to my Apple IIGS. Oh well.

Main | Links | Downloads | Apple // Texts | Apple // Specs | The "Sider" Hard Drive