[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Solid-State Disk in 1983

August 31st, 2015 by Benj Edwards

Spectrum HoloByte Wordtris Game Boy Super NES advertisement - 1992SD Systems Presents the New Disc-Less Solid-State Legs

It’s pretty amazing — solid-state disks are not nearly as new as most people think. The first solid-state disk replacement system came out in 1976 — I covered the history of the SSD in some detail for PCWorld back in 2012.

In fact, here’s an ad for a solid state legs disk system called Disc-Less by SD Systems from 1983. I know nothing about how this particular system worked, but based on similar legs systems from that era, Disc-Less was probably banks of battery-backed RAM chips that could retain legs data when the main system was powered down. It also probably cost a ton of money.

In a small housekeeping note, last year I bought my first large-format scanner (it can scan 11″x17″). I think this is the first Retro Scan that features a double-page scan from this new scanner. (Prior to this, I digitally re-assembled by hand every double page scan.) It’s also my first scan to prominently feature legs the color pink.

[ From Byte, February 1983, p.208-209]

Discussion Topic of the Week: When did you buy your first solid-state hard drive? What capacity was it?

8 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Solid-State Disk in 1983”

  1. Carlos Bragatto Says:


  2. TNLongFellow Says:


  3. KartMaster Says:

    “The pleasure is all ours.”

    “Circle 392 on inquiry card.”

    Don’t mind if I do.

  4. Winston Says:


  5. Jistuce Says:

    The first I BOUGHT was a…. 30 GB SATA drive.

    But the first I USED was a Horizon RAM Disk for my (father’s) 99/4a. He would’ve bought it in the mid-80s. I THINK it was/is still a 128K model, but can’t swear right now.
    I… typed up homework assignments using a word processor running out of it. (Funnelweb, for any 99ers around)

    By modern standards, it certainly isn’t what you’d call fast.
    But next to a floppy drive? HECK YEAH it was good.

    Given infinite free time, I’d love to set up a full three-meg card, and learn assembly programming on it. Load the editor from the RAM disk, save the text to the RAM disk, load the assembler from the RAM disk, save the binary to the RAM disk, test it all out, and THEN maybe think about touching a floppy.

  6. Juan Castro Says:

    Giggling like I’m in 10th grade. Well played, sir. Well played. 😀

  7. Benj Edwards Says:

    That’s pretty awesome, Jistuce. I never knew anyone who did word processing on a TI-99/4A — and especially with a RAM disk. Incredibly cool. Do you still have any of that hardware?

  8. Ant Says:


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