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Thread: Floppies

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    Floppies

    According to today's (5/17/05) Lockergnome Tech News Watch, Sony -- the inventor of the 3.5" floppy diskette -- is discontinuing making floppies. Other makers will continue to manufacture 3.5" floppy diskettes, but for how long? Personally, as much as I dislike the floppy's tendency to fail -- as well as their relatively small data capacity -- I feel that floppies are essential for those of us who build and repair computers, and I'm going to image each and every floppy I own immediately. What do you think? Can you live without floppy diskettes? Are they going the way of the dodo?

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    Re: Floppies

    Hi, and welcome to the Lounge! <img src=/S/hello.gif border=0 alt=hello width=25 height=29>

    As someone else who builds & repairs computers in my spare time, I still find a use for floppies. 99% of the time, a CD or USB drive are a lot better, but on the odd occasion when a CDROM has gone on the fritz or USB ports aren't working, the good ol' floppy has been a life-saver.

    It will be sad to see them go, but times (must) move on.
    <font color=448800><font face="Comic Sans MS"><big>Lyra J </font color=448800></font face=comic></big>
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    Re: Floppies

    You will remember that if you want to add in drivers (say for a RAID controller) right at the beginning of installing Windows XP, these will only be accepted from a diskette. No CD or anything more complicated.

    John
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    Re: Floppies

    And given that I've read a number of statements here in The Lounge and elsewhere about new machines being manufactured without floppy drives, I guess it really is happening. I must admit that of all the floppy-based things I have stored, about the only thing I've USED in recent years is SpinRite and my trusty old Win98SE DOS boot floppy (customized with a few apps I added). I plan to keep several copies of that boot floppy around for as long as I can still use them. Whenever I build a machine or rework one from the ground up, I always boot the thing with this floppy just to review the BIOS and make sure the motherboard IS bootable and seems to be working. Then I start adding hard drives, CDs and other peripherals to complete the hardware, prior to installing Windows. I still remember how emotional it was when the old (BIG) floppies (were they 8" ?) were replaced with the 3.5" version. Many of us still have some of those old ones in boxes in the closet.

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    Re: Floppies

    I agree with booting from a floppy when building a machine in order to make sure everything's working correctly. Incidentally, the two floppies I use the most are the same two you mentioned. They are essential tools, no doubt. I also use the NT4 boot floppies frequently. As to the remainder of my floppies -- several shoeboxes full, including 5 1/4" DOS floppies -- I plan on using Anders Rungren's Floppy Image program to make bit for bit duplicate images, then burn them to a CD. The Floppy Image program is excellent, by the way, and is, I think, still only fifteen dollars for a perpetual license. If anyone's interested, I can post the URL.
    Liberty

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    Re: Floppies

    Why don't you go ahead a post the URL for some future Lounger searcher to find. Thanks.

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    Re: Floppies

    Al

    Unless you're thinking of the 8" floppies that came with the IBM 3274 terminal controllers, the PC ones were 5
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

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    Re: Floppies

    Here ya go Al. http://www.rundegren.com/products/floppyimage/. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/DocWatson_sig.gif>

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    Re: Floppies

    Thanks John. I was thinking of the 5.25" variety but my brain slipped into low gear on the dimension. But now that you mention it, we did have 8" floppy diskettes on other products too. It seems to me that the early word processing equipment used in our plant was the DisplayWriter series, out of our Austin, Texas plant if I'm not mistaken. (IBM Archives: IBM Displaywriter)

    Doc: Thanks for the link. No wonder I couldn't find it - misspelled name!

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    Re: Floppies

    To add to the other posts regarding floppies. I also still find them useful for smaller apps and like Al to use to boot to real DOS mode troubleshooting.
    I've even gone the route of buying an extra drive just to keep in my hardware archive box. Just in case.
    I bought it new for $4.98US.
    BOB
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    Re: Floppies

    Yes, the Displaywriter had 8" diskettes too. I have no idea why the operator in the photo looks so pleased -- all our secretaries used to curse them as being far too slow and inflexible (but of course they had never used WordStar!).

    John
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    Re: Floppies

    Thanks, Doc, for posting the link -- I hadn't realized that I'd spelled the name wrong.

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    Re: Floppies

    I didn't either ... until Google told me. <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>
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    Re: Floppies

    I don't know about most others, but I LOVED WordStar...

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    Re: Floppies

    ...and the good old IBM System/36. Ah, happy memories of when life was so much more simple.
    Granville

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