Absolutely, read write speed is critical! Although I guess it was kind of relative to the media stored too? I certainly wouldn't be making 2TB backups on to media the speed of a Floppy drive?
I remember seeing an interview with a data storage specialist once, he was asked if he wanted to back up some data for as long as physically possible. He said using a punched plastic tape would be the most reliable for a long periof of time!
I have worked with magnetic tape, paper tape, paper cards and cassette tape media.
paper tape came in high and low speed. The low speed was ten characters per second. The high speed was 300 characters per second.
Paper cards ran from ten cards/second to 300 cards per second.
Cassette tapes ran about 300 characters per second.
So it was not just storage capability, but also access speed.
I recall using an external drive which had the parallel 'Centronics' interface.
According to this reference:
there was an internal interface board to provide the parallel interface and that there were a number of different interface versions available.
1. Zip and Jaz drive was widely accepted and used, it was pretty much the standard in graphics and prepress world (dominated by Mac, hardly ever saw Zip on PC.)
2. Zip drive had SCSI interface, not Parallel (SCSI is parallel, but this should not be confused with the old PC Parallel interface.)
I recall Autodesk's first attempt with computer animation with Animator - they released a short video sequence a pair of hands opening and it fitted on the 3.5" floppy attached to the front of a magazine.
At the time it was like 'wow'.
Then there was someone else doing fractal image compression which similarly had what appeared to be a massive amount of data on a 3.5" floppy disk.
This was around 1990.
Just another memory - the early 5.25" hard disk drives used to use stepper motors to move the heads but then later changed to the voice coil actuators still in use today. They never sounded/felt the same again...
There were also the magneto optical storage drives for a while which used a combination of optical positioning and magnetic read/write.
Very nice seeing this video : )
I was just thinking the other day for a use for 3.5" disk drives (I kept a couple in case they would be needed, since servers used then for a decade longer than consumer PCs).
I remember the first time hearing an MP3... someone turned up with a 3.5" disk with Biggie Smalls and WinAmp version 1.x on it and it was the most amazing thing I'd ever heard, since I'd never imagined an entire song fitting on a disk. I remember everyone being stunned, and all crowding around the PC to see this magic : ) It was the future!
About a year or two later I took a 5 1/4" spinning hard drive (IDE!) to replicate it, using the new MP3 ICs of that time. It was fantastic fun experimenting with that stuff, but then iPod came out!