Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Typically of Sinclair Research, the Microdrive was very cheap and technologically innovative but also rather limited. Connection of a ZX Microdrive to a ZX Spectrum was done via the special ZX Interface 1 device, which had to be purchased separately. However, a total of eight Microdrive units could then be connected to the computer by daisy chaining one drive to the next via flat-ribbon cables.
ZX Microdrives used tiny postage-stamp sized storage cartridges containing an endless tape loop, like their earlier (audio-only) ancestor, the 8-track_cartridge. The cartridges held around 85 KB. Unfortunately, the drives were somewhat unreliable, and the media were relatively expensive. Similar technology was used in other devices, such as the Rotronics Wafadrive , and was generically known as a "stringy floppy".
The Sinclair QL version of the Microdrive was hardware compatible with the Spectrum version, but used a different logical format. ZX Microdrives also appeared in QL derivatives such as ICL's One-Per-Desk and BT's Merlin Tonto.
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