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My floppy drive

Picture one

Picture two

HIdes behind a little door. I forget it's even there. Probably been 2 years since I opened that little door. Seems the dust of time has built up in it. Poor lonely floppy drive, gets no respect anymore, no visitors, no happy whirring of oxide film discs to cheerfully report the contents. Maybe time to box it away and put a $10 media center for flashcards in there instead? Oddly enough, I think the floppy drive only cost me $11-12 when I put it in there years ago. Surely the day I do, I'll run across some old floppy I want to access and see what's on it. Some years ago I took all my floppies and burned their data to CD, even my old win98 boot disc, created a win98 boot CD with it.

I recently bought a 64 GB USB3 flashdrive for $22.50, which when when floppies were about 15 cents each would have bought 150 floppies, all of which would have held only 210 MB of data. It was the CD-R which killed the floppies along with help from the ZIP tape drives. It's the flashdrives now killing off the CD's and eventually DVD's too.

A moment of quiet reflection upon the humble floppy, and it's demise. It gave it's all for computing. Now just a dusty reminder of bygone days, abandoned and hiding in a dusty corner of my older computer case.
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Yep, Those Old BIOS Set To Boot From A:\Floppy Drive First

In reply to: My floppy drive

I was also resistant to getting rid of our floppy drives but eventually it just seemed like a waste of space and usefulness.

Because I used to take care of all our agency machines which used McAfee AV, and because the virus definitions didn't take up much space on old versions of McAfee, I believe I still have a 1.44 MB 3.5 inch floppy which contained ALL of McAfee's virus def updates.. But that was a LONG time ago and definitions for all AV programs take up a lot of space..

Thanks for the flashback.

Grif

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And . . .

In reply to: My floppy drive

Fun, sadly.

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Genius!

In reply to: My floppy drive

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I had forgotten the really big true floppies

In reply to: Genius!

I do still have stored away an old 1.2 floppy drive for 5" bays, with the contacs on the back edge of card. Do you remember the reason for the little hole on the older floppies, and the trick we used at times for one going bad, unable to access? If so, then you are an old, old fart, LOL!!

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The little hole was the index hole.

In reply to: I had forgotten the really big true floppies

Or "start of the track." Even older drives and disks were "hard sectored" with more holes.

I rarely lost anything back them but had good backup habits and more than one drive to try out.
Here's a well of information: http://www.retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/drive.html

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Yep

In reply to: The little hole was the index hole.

We used to rescue data when that part of the disc was worn out by punching a new hole a bit outward from that one. Sometimes that trick worked on a 3.5" hard floppy, if you were very careful. The latter was rare and more problematic. On those old 11-12" reels we used to use those silver tape strips on the front and end of the tapes. I used to cheat and put two strips on both front and end of the mag tapes, LOL. I'd manually wind the reel past the start area and then it worked OK. I never could remember which side (left or right) the damn shiny strip went on between the front one and the back one. LOL, someone still has archives with my double shiny strips at the front and end of tape.

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BT/ET

In reply to: Yep

Remember 1" mag tape?
18 tracks across, hi-tech stuff at the time.

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We started at (from memory) 2400 BPI

In reply to: BT/ET

That was 2,400 bits per inch and later had the (wow) 9600 BPI upgrade.

At 2400 BPI we would get about 25 megabytes per reel.
At 9600 BPI it was just over 100 megabytes.

Cost? About 10 bucks a reel today.

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Bpi

In reply to: We started at (from memory) 2400 BPI

When we switched to 1/2" tape it was 800bpi/nrz.

Later they upgraded to 1600bpi/pe.

Later they upgraded to 6500bpi/gcr.

Then I got out of the business, got a little old having to spend 30-90 days every year in some training class for one device or another.

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NRZ (non return to zero)

In reply to: Bpi

Wow, that was the trailing edge back then. Cool

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Edge

In reply to: NRZ (non return to zero)

Actually it was leading/bleeding edge at the time.

Big step up from that 1" mag tape.

Tech does not stop, things get bigger or faster or both.

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That was a technical pun.

In reply to: Edge

NRZ is all about what happens at the end of the packet.

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Edge

In reply to: That was a technical pun.

If your referring to crc and lrc then I suppose it is trailing edge.

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Now I'm going in circles.

In reply to: Edge

This thread is rich in targets.

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I never measured their width

In reply to: BT/ET

I do remember having to punch 15-16 buttons with about 15-16 instructions into the key inloader on front of the main frame to reboot it. About the only place you can see a similar type now are in old "I dream of Jeanie" episodes. Closest one I can find on google to the one I used is this picture, but it's lacking the 4 tape drives for data collection beside it.

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Yup

In reply to: I never measured their width

https://www.google.com/search?q=rca+501&hl=en&site=webhp&tbm=isch&imgil=kEOARfxlrXpAGM%253A%253BN-7abMN5IUQOvM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.ed-thelen.org%25252Fcomp-hist%25252FBRL61-r.html&source=iu&pf=m&fir=kEOARfxlrXpAGM%253A%252CN-7abMN5IUQOvM%252C_&usg=__N3t84GMeV55tlRZTckZ36UUKpgU%3D&biw=1536&bih=734&dpr=1.25&ved=0ahUKEwj7it6dzvjUAhUF8z4KHbwjD9MQyjcIRQ&ei=rj9gWfv7KoXm-wG8x7yYDQ#imgrc=tuhQAmLkH4CajM:

That entire panel was illuminated switches or indicators.

If you turned the lights off in the room the panel was a blinking display when the machine was running, very impressive.

You had to manually set 6 or 8 different registers to be able to boot.

Later machines had 3 rotary switches on the front panel.
Channel/controller/device, press the ipl button.
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Yours must have been 8 bit

In reply to: Yup

The one I ran and interacted/interfaced with using an KSR was 16 bit, and 15-16 instruction set. I'd hear the drive drop out, indicating a crash, and have to set the registers,then run the boot tape and finally get the data collection restarted, then gather hard copy from users and manually enter it.

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Yup

In reply to: Yours must have been 8 bit

There was no tty input all commands were entered via that operator panel by setting registers and such.

The tty input came on later machines.

There was no disk, all storage was on that 1" mag tape.

Memory was doughnuts with the three wires running through them.

Amazing how much things have changed.

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(NT) Remembering BEFORE Hard Drives.....

In reply to: Genius!

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