OT -- keeping old floppy disks

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On 02/19/2012 04:34 PM, nobody wrote:

[snip]
The original PC floppy controller allowed 4 floppy drives. DOS would address these with the letters A:, B:, C:, D: (note that later DOS would address the 3rd and 4th floppies after hard drives).
Drive letters don't exist on the hardware or disks, but only in SOME operating systems (DOS / Windows).
BTW, I have an old 8-inch floppy. IIRC, the capacity (single-sided) was just over 1MB.
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us
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On 2/20/2012 7:06 PM, nobody wrote:

hell if it's 8" floppy, all he needs is a tongue depressor and some duct tape.
--
Steve Barker
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But, make sure you're married to a floppy drive. No sense having a hard drive all alone.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

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It's been my experience that the floppy drive doesn't work as well after the wedding as it did before. Personally, I'd never buy another floppy drive...I'd just lease one when I needed it.

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On 2/19/2012 2:25 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

i tried that a few months ago with some that were about 8 or 10 years old. Only would read about 5%. You'd better try soon if you think there's something on them you want.
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Steve Barker
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I'm guessing it's already too late. IIRC, you could get read errors just looking at a floppy the wrong way, even if it was written the day before. Add years worth ot time and cosmic radiation exposure and your 5% rate could even be considered "good." (-:
-- Bobby G.
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I'm sure you're right, the data is probably decomposing.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
i tried that a few months ago with some that were about 8 or 10 years old. Only would read about 5%. You'd better try soon if you think there's something on them you want.
--
Steve Barker
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Maybe 6 months ago, a neighbor desperately tried to recover data from (what looked to me like) maybe 6 or 7 hundred old 3.5" floppies.
Even after buying, borrowing and or otherwise acquiring numerous drives, she claims to have only have recovered a low single digit percentage of her data.
But (and you didn't hear it from me), those floppies weren't stored well at all... just huge loose dusty piles on a table in a house reeking of cigarette smoke; parts of the heap had received over a decade of direct Sunlight as well.
Erik
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<stuff snipped>

Poor storage can't help, but I've seen low recovery rates like that from floppies stored under pretty good conditions. Although I'm certainly not a recording engineer, from what I've read the thin plastic magnetic film just wasn't designed for archival storage.
I can remember getting boxes of IBM and other "name brand" disks early on that wouldn't format out to full capacity. I used to mark them -5K or whatever in the corner of the disk to let me know they wouldn't "diskcopy" reliably. Guess what the recovery rate for those disks is? Big fat zero. They weren't any good when they were new and they didn't age into a better state. (-:
My Win 3.1 install disks all went bad except for one, and they were stored in a dark closet in the original box. Ah, for the manly days of DOS when you *had* to know the magic words to get anything out of the C: prompt.
-- Bobby G.
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wrote:

I had a programmer that worked for me that could do things with batch files that were astounding. We were having trouble at an installation run by a data tyrant who was always making changes that would screw up our software. This kid wrote batch files that scanned the network each day and created an "image" of the system through directory commands, piping, etc. The next time it was run, it would compare the last snapshot with the current one, revealing which files had changed. That gave us some excellent ammo to confront the data manager. "I see you changed so-and-so. Why?" After enough of that, he stopped screwing with us.
I've saved a notebook of all the batch files this guy wrote because they were so amazing. The DOS batchfile language was enormously powerful, although 99% of the people that used batch files never got past anything more simple than a serial list of commands to execute.
I miss it in the sense that you could tell right away whether someone knew what they were doing based on how well they could navigate around from the C:> prompt. Now, they can just click around and *look* like they know what they're doing. About the same as the switch from manual to automatic cameras.
-- Bobby G.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Put 'em on Ebay. Who knows what might develop?
If you find someone to buy them, let me know. We have several thousand.
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Don't count on floppies to last forever. If they are more than about 10 years old they are no longer reliable. If you really want to keep the data on them better copy it all onto a hard drive or flash drive now. Even if every floppy is completely full, it's only about 300 MB, not much space on today's storage devices.
--
Better to be stuck up in a tree than tied to one.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar.org
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Yes, I could copy that all to my (old computer's) hard drive. Burn it all onto one CD, and pitch the lot of floppies into the burn barrel.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Don't count on floppies to last forever. If they are more than about 10 years old they are no longer reliable. If you really want to keep the data on them better copy it all onto a hard drive or flash drive now. Even if every floppy is completely full, it's only about 300 MB, not much space on today's storage devices.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Optical-burn CDs degrade with time. While their life-time is long, it is not forever.
If you do put vital, historical, data on a CD, you also need a recycling program wherein the data on the CD is copied afresh to a new one.
Every three years, say, devote a day to refreshing your CD collection.
Commercial CDs don't have this problem in that they are not "burnt," they are created physically by mechanical pressing.
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Thanks, I've heard that about CD and DVD made at home.
Good advice.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Stormin Mormon wrote:

Optical-burn CDs degrade with time. While their life-time is long, it is not forever.
If you do put vital, historical, data on a CD, you also need a recycling program wherein the data on the CD is copied afresh to a new one.
Every three years, say, devote a day to refreshing your CD collection.
Commercial CDs don't have this problem in that they are not "burnt," they are created physically by mechanical pressing.
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Some CDs are certainly better than others from the archival standpoint. Here's the article that's been my guideline on the subject for the past few years: http://www.rense.com/general52/themythofthe100year.htm Has anybody looked into the so-called archival "Gold" CDs? The claim for them is a 300 year life.
Tomsic
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wrote:

There were optical drives that were "archival", 100 year predicted lifetime. Unfortunately the drives themselves were only around for about 5 years. I had 2 good drives and 2 boxes of blank media I couldn't give away last year
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One problem with the old disks, they may have shrunk. There is no centering like CDs. One might tweak the alignment to get important info. I'm just throwing in, something I just thought of.
I used to make mobiles with old CDs. I don't think floppies would look cool.
Greg
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I've seen web pages of deviced made with AOHell disks. Floppies don't have the artistic value.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
One problem with the old disks, they may have shrunk. There is no centering like CDs. One might tweak the alignment to get important info. I'm just throwing in, something I just thought of.
I used to make mobiles with old CDs. I don't think floppies would look cool.
Greg
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