Commodore 1541-II Floppy Disk Drive

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The Commodore 1541 (aka CBM 1541, and originally called VIC-1541), made by Commodore International, was the best-known floppy disk drive for the Commodore 64 home computer. The 1541 was a single-sided 170 kilobyte drive for 5¼-inch disks. The 1541 followed the previous Commodore 1540 (meant for the VIC-20).

The disk drive used Group Code Recording (GCR) and contained a MOS 6502 microprocessor, doubling as a disk controller and on-board disk operating system processor. The number of sectors per track varied from 17 to 21 (an early implementation of Zone Bit Recording). The drive's built-in disk operating system was CBM DOS 2.6.

Each side of 170 kBs was split into 683 sectors on 35 tracks, each of the sectors holding 256 bytes; the file system made each sector individually rewritable.

The 1541 also had an internal power source, which generated some heat. The heat generation was a frequent source of humour. For example, series of humorous tips in MikroBitti 5/1989 said "When programming late, coffee and kebab keep nicely warm on top of the 1541." The MikroBitti review of the 1541-II (1988) said that its external power source "should end the jokes about toasters".

Date : 1988

Manufacturer : Commodore

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH13262. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

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