8" floppy project

From: Jules Richardson <julesrichardsonuk_at_yahoo.co.uk>
Date: Wed Aug 4 10:39:24 2004

On Wed, 2004-08-04 at 14:43, John Foust wrote:
> You need an
> archiving file format that can record the fact of the known error.

Odd, but I was thinking exactly the same thing earlier.

My other random thought was that storage is cheap these days - is it
desirable to include the file format spec itself as part of the file
format? :-)

If you're going to be storing a few hundred KB of data (or tens of KB at
least) on modern hardware, then a few KB of ASCII within the file
explaining the structure is no hardship. Then in x years time when
someone's long since lost any supporting documentation, at least all
they need to do is view the data in a text editor and it'll tell them
the structure. Personally I wouldn't mind a few % of overhead on each

Taking it a step further, if there's room to define the data format
(filesystem) on the original disc too, then all the better!

> It would also be handy to have a way to store corresponding info
> such as a description of the disk's contents, as if you'd be
> able to store the label along with the archived disk image.

yep, and of course what system it's for, the date the archive was
created, name / (possibly) contact info for the person who the floppy
came from, version of the archive program used to create the archive

In the days when disk storage is aimed at people saving huge audio and
video files, 'wasteful' metadata for an archived floppy image doesn't
seem to much of a problem to me, not when it might prove useful to
someone in the years to come (possibly long after the hardware itself's
disappeared off the map)

Preferably I'd like something to cope not just with floppy images, but
hard disk images too, ROM images, and possibly even scans of paper

Some sort of tagged system springs to mind; the fact that binary and
ACSII data is being mixed suggests that maybe all the binary data should
come toward the end of the file as a continuous block, with some sort of
table as part of the file metadata information defining file offsets /
lengths for different chunks of binary data (whether they be disk
sectors or whatever). No, that's not very editable, but then this is an
archive format and not designed to be changed once created anyway.


Received on Wed Aug 04 2004 - 10:39:24 BST

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