Pursuing other developments in digital storage devices, Charles Goldstein in a presentation at ALA referred to work on high density storage peripherals for personal computers. Manufacturers are developing 5 1/4 inch floppy disks capable of storing over a million characters of data, and quasi-floppies of 3 inch diameter which will accommodate 500,000 characters of digital data. At the recent National Computer Convention, Control Data showed a 3 1/2 inch hard disk with a storage capacity of 6.3 million characters. Other companies are developing 5 1/4 inch Winchesters which provide 6.3 million characters of storage.
The miniature audio digital disks being manufactured by companies such as Sony have the capacity to store one hour of sound on a 12 cm disk. The same disk can also be used for digital storage. It is thought that this technology might be capable of holding 600 million characters of digital data on one side of a 4.7 inch disk. The technology used in players for audio digital disks is simpler than that for videodisks-the LaserData system requires that a "black box" costing some $3,000 be placed between the computer and the disk player which also costs $3,000 (for an industrial version); audio players on the other hand, cost around $800.
Goldstein also predicted that there would be significant break-throughs in telecommunications. He referred to a 2 foot antenna and "black box" capable of receiving data from satellites developed by Equatorial. The receiver costs some $2,500 and would support the low cost mass distribution of data directly to personal and microcomputers in multiple locations.