Let's see... a standard HD platter is 3.5" diameter so has 9.6 square inches of surface on each side. Subtract out a 1" core (I am deliberately trying to estimate high on the surface area) and that's 8.8 square inches left for data. Two sides, so 17.6 square inches of surface.The surface area is not important unless the area per bit is the important criterion. But from a safe-deposit-box, it is the volume that matters, so the space required by the core, the motor, the electronics, etc., all do matter. And the 3.5 inch drives are larger than the tapes. My tapes are 4" x 2 5/16 x 3/4" in the plastic box. A cassette tape is .15 inches wide and runs at 1.875 inches per minute, so has an area of .28 square inches per minute. So a cassette that can play 64 minutes without being turned over has approximately the same recording-surface area as a typical single-platter hard drive.I am not sure what this has to do with things. The VXA drives are helical scan, and there is no way to turn the tapes over, or to run them backwards. I do not even know if that is possible. You certainly cannot put the tapes in the drive upside down. They are 8mm tapes, not 4mm like the DDS-2 tapes I used in the distant past; those were completely unsatisfactory.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VXA
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