Alan Freedman -- The Computer Language Company - Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
Longest-Running Tech Reference on the Planet

A CDE Definition

You'll love The Computer Desktop Encyclopedia (CDE) for Tech Term of the Day (TTOD)

LOOK UP ANOTHER TERM


read/write head

A device that reads (senses) and writes (records) data on a magnetic disk or tape. For writing, the surface of the disk or tape is moved past the read/write head. By discharging electrical impulses at the appropriate times, bits are recorded as tiny, magnetized spots of positive or negative polarity.

For reading, the surface is moved past the read/write head, and the bits that are present induce an electrical current across the gap.




Thin Film Read/Write Head
The read/write heads on today's magnetic disks are so tiny you need a microscope to see them. The heads are attached to a pair of aerodynamically designed rails, known as a "slider," that keep the head at the proper distance from the disk platter.






GMR and Inductive Technologies
Typical read/write heads use a giant magnetoreresistive (GMR) head for reading and an inductive coil for writing as in this illustration. (Illustration assistance courtesy of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies.)






Personal Use Only

Before/After Your Search Term
BeforeAfter
read onlyread/write memory
read-only attributeread/write rights
read-only memoryreader
read-only rightsreadme file
read receiptreadout
read rightsReadyBoost
read the f***ing manualReadyDrive
read-while-writereal address
read/writeReal Audio
read/write channelReal Mode

Terms By Topic
Click any of the following categories for a list of fundamental terms.
Computer Words You Gotta KnowSystem design
Job categoriesUnix/Linux
Interesting stuffPersonal computers
InternetIndustrial Automation/Process Control
Communications & networkingAssociations/Standards organizations
HistoryDesktop publishing
Audio/VideoGraphics
MainframesSecurity
ProgrammingHealthcare IT
System design