Fred Thomas was a principal inventor of the Floptical laser servo writer - LightSaber.

Floptical refers to a type of floppy disk drive that combines magnetic and optical technologies to store data on media similar to standard 3+1⁄2-inch floppy disks. The name is a portmanteau of the words "floppy" and "optical". It refers specifically to one brand of drive and disk system, but is also used more generically to refer to any system using similar techniques.

The original Floptical technology was announced in 1988[1][2][3] and introduced late in 1991[citation needed] by Insite Peripherals, a venture funded company set up by Jim Adkisson, one of the key engineers behind the original 5+1⁄4-inch floppy disk drive development at Shugart Associates in 1976. The main shareholders were MaxellIomega and 3M.


About Fred C Thomas III

Fred Charles Thomas III - Engineer and Inventor

Fred Thomas received a BS in Mechanical Engineering with a Minor in Physics from Bucknell University in 1982. In 1990 he received a MS in Mechanical Engineering specializing in Control Systems and Non-linear Dynamics.

His awards include the International Design Excellence Award in 2009, Industrial Forum Product Design Award in 2008, "Nano50 Award" for "Subwavelength Optical Data Storage" in 2005, Lemelson-MIT "Inventor of the Week" Award in 2004, Iomega "Exceptional Invention Award" in 1999, and Laser Focus World "Electro-Optic Application of the Year Award" in 1994. 

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