Captain Burgess

Rickb stops by my office with this weird thing in his hand that looks like something out of StarTrek. Then he waves it at me, and I realize he’s looking for a floppy drive. He was halfway down the corridor when I noticed that one of my machines *does* have a floppy drive, so we gave it a shot – in the unlikely case it was plugged in.

Have you used a floppy drive recently? We hadn’t. He put the disk in, I copied the files off for him, he reached to press the eject button, and we both did a bit of a double take. The green light means something right?

The files we were copying were less than 2kb in total, and it took longer than copying a 10mb file across the network or downloading a 1mb file from the internet.

How freakin’ weird :)


I hope you mean he had a 3.5″ disk… not a 8 inch one!!!!!

Yeah, but I turned “safe search” off on google to find that horse picture the other day, and searching for “+babe +floppy” nearly cost me my lunch.

floppy drive formaly known as sneaker net. It was ans still is the slowest form of data shsring ther is. IF

Slowest form? I’ll take a floppy (5 1/4 inch – although we had 8 inchers with the old Wang Word Processing systems…) and the USPS over a 300 baud modem anyday.

Ah the old 8inch floppies!

Remember using them on a Taylor mainfame when doing work experience at British Gas in 1991!!!

YEP, 1991, heck my ST & Amiga at the time had many times the processing power of that main-frame!

Totally offtopic, but… why RickB stopped from blogging?
We miss some of his great discussions.

agree with cid250 and another question…
what in the world did you get off this floppy?

I still have a pre-standards TEAC high density 5.25″ on my computer-junk shelves that allowed me to choose the number of sectors and number of tracks, and write up to 2.1M per disk. It wrote at low current in order to achieve high track densities, so standard drives didn’t always see its disks as having anything written to them.

Of course, I also have a 10M HD, and a couple of motherboards with Z80s and 8088s on them. 8^)

I remember writing basic programs on a paper tape punching machine in High School in 1973 and thinking how much that sucked. When I saw the wall full of paper tape spools my uncle had for his surveying firm the next year I was amazed that the technology was in use. Then I went to college and the psychology department was using programs written in FORTRAN punched onto cards. People carried whole boxes of cards around with their programs on them.

When I got into the Computer Science department in 1979 they were using spools of magnetic tape and had one 300 baud modem to dial up. What high tech!

I still have a floppy disk drive on my computer to screw with the BIOS on this motherboard but have not upgraded them in a long time.

At least it wasn’t a cassette. “Wanna come over and play Zork? Cool, can you be here in 2 hours?”

Gnasche, you didn’t have a turbo loader for your datasette? Man, I used to load up “Raid over Moscow” in under 5 minutes.

Rote, that’s a pretty sweet setup. How much did it run you…an extra $200?

No, as far as I remember it was around 50 Mark der DDR ;o) The funny thing is, there was a boot screen that said “Schleife 88”
I always wondered what that means.

Years later at the university I met a pretty girl and visited here at home for the first time. She lived in Schleife and her father was the guy who adapted the design for the circuitry available in the GDR and wrote the bootloader for it. Sometimes the world is a village.

Stuff my parents still at my parent’s house:

Commodore Vic 20. Still works, has one cartridge: Jupiter Lander. Can’t play it though, no joystick.

IBM PC with 8086 chip and a very small hard drive. Have a shoebox fulla 5.25’s. Loaded up DOS 2.1 and played pool of radiance last time I was home some months ago. I think the HD drive died about 2 hours into the session. The last copy of DOS 2.1 died when I found it stuck to the fridge with a magnet the next day with a note from my dad: “Throw this ancient crap out.”

I ran a bulletin board on a BBC Micro with a single 5.25in diskette drive, eventually got the BBS blown to a chip so I could reboot and fire it up without having to swap from the software to data CDs :)

Ran a not-very-successful BBS on my Atari ST with a single 720k drive.

Later on I ran a BBS on my Amiga with four daisy-chained 880k floppies. After a while I started using PowerPacker to get around 1.2Mb average per disk. Sometimes the software would crash at night and I’d be woken up by a “red alert” effect (the red ‘guru’ LED on the top of the Amiga was damn bright, so I’d wake up with my ceiling flashing red; still can’t sleep with a blinking red light in the room even today)

They have teens doing the technical investigation? Scary!

Someone needs to tell them about Contiki.

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