[xubuntu-users] Am I the only one who still uses floppies?

Eric Christopherson echristopherson at gmail.com
Tue Jul 28 04:37:50 UTC 2015

On Mon, Jul 27, 2015, JMZ wrote:
> Hi,
> Silly question: am I the only one who still uses floppies (ie. 1.44 MB HD
> 3.5"/90mm)?
> I use them to temporarily store shell scripts.  Since scripts are usually
> only a few kilobytes long (if that), floppies are great for storing works in
> progress.  After a week or two I make ongoing archive tarball CD backups.
> The scripts don't stay on very fragile media like a floppy for a long time.
> You'll be surprised that floppies are still available.  Here in the
> northeast USA unopened boxes of floppies can be gotten at thrift shops, junk
> stores, dollar stores etc.  Heck, I even found two unopened boxes of
> "Macintosh formatted" floppies.  I don't remember Mac formatted floppies
> even "in the day".  Weird!
> Jordan

I'm getting back into retro computing now -- my drug of choice being my
Commodore 128 with a 1581 3.5" drive. I was going to just use the SD
card reader/writer I got as a gift, but then I found out the firmware
for it doesn't (in the standard line of development) use the high-speed
protocol the C128 and 1581 are capable of, so I'm thinking of getting
some more floppies and playing with them until the drive conks out.

I saw a large box of new floppies at a yard sale recently and *almost*
bought them -- they were only 50 cents -- but that was before I realized
the SD card drive was going to be slow. Now I see that I could have even
converted them into 720KB disks (which the 1581 uses), according to
<http://www.instructables.com/id/Convert-a-144mb-floppy-to-720k/>. Too
bad I didn't buy them.

But I can't think of a good reason to use them on actual PCs. I do have
a bad habit of storing one-off scripts in any directory I happen to be
using in the shell, even though I know I should put them in source
control somewhere.

        Eric Christopherson

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