Reply to post: Burroughs B5500 drives spun in the vertical plane to reduce risk of killing people

Disk drive fired 'Frisbees of death' across data centre after storage admin crossed his wires

Peter Quirk

Burroughs B5500 drives spun in the vertical plane to reduce risk of killing people

The Burroughs On-Line Disk File (as it was known) had massive 36" platters spinning in the vertical plane. My B5500 field engineer said that the advantage of this design was that if an earthquake occurred, and the platters shattered, the probability of injuring people in the machine room was much lower. You can see the product brochure at http://s3data.computerhistory.org/brochures/burroughs.onlinedisk.1962.102646217.pdf

The Illiac IV computer, also built by Burroughs, had disk drives with a similar vertical platter design. Pictures at http://www.computerhistory.org/collections/catalog/X1629.99

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