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Magnetic disk technology has established itself as the mass storage device of choice in the commercial arena. Most often, the operating system of a hardware platform that employs this device (e.g., a UnixTM-based workstation) hides its physical attributes by conceptualizing it as an array of blocks. This abstraction expedites program development time because the programmer is no longer concerned with the working details of the mass storage device. Moreover, the final program is portable as long as a new target platform provides an identical abstraction of its magnetic disk drive.