Yahoo! News Story - Floppy Disk Becoming Relic of the Past (fwd)

From: Fred Cisin <>
Date: Mon Sep 20 20:01:41 2004

> > 12", if it ever existed, was NEVER common.

On Mon, 20 Sep 2004, Ronald Wayne wrote:
> Okay, I cannot find the original references so I make a retraction.
> For what it's worth: the original reference was in the context of
> Apple II systems, and both 8" and 12" floppies were mentioned. It was
> also second hand information.

Apple ][ was 5.25".
There were some aftermarket add-ons for 8" (Sorrento Valley Associates)
There was no 12" floppy.

> > In addition to the physical varieties, there are thousands of physically
> > similar disks with mutually incompatible formats.
> <snip>
> > YOU might not care, but that is pretty damn insensitive towards those of
> > us who DO need and use them.
> Sorry for the sweeping, and personal, statement. Nah. I'll retract
> that apology too. I am allowed to have my own opinion after all. ;)
> To reiterate, I was only concerned about transfering data between
> different platforms. The "mutually incompatible formats" is a big
> problem there.

Not caring about the end of floppies must also take into account the other
uses besides disk format conversion. Although THAT IS an issue for me:

This is the third PC that I have been on today. (I teach, and use a lot
of machines in the labs at the college) There are a handful of files that
I need access to on at least three machines today. Therefore, I have
a few floppies in my pocket.

I was going to check and see what model our latest HPaq machines are,
but all that it says on the front (above the 3.5" floppy) is:
"hp Compaq"! So,... "Compaq" is now the name of a model of hp?

OB_CC: When the < 5.25" disks came out, there was a big battle
between 3", 3.25", 3.5", and 3.9" as to which one would become
"Shirt Pocket Diskettes". George Morrow said (NOT in his book
of quotes) that the answer was for the computer industry to cut
a deal with the clothing industry to enlarge shirt pockets up to
5.25" or 8".

> Splitting files across multiple floppies is also a pain, because
> floppies don't have enough capacity in most cases these days (I will
> acknowledge that some people may differ on that point).

MS-DOS is seriously lacking in good ways to split a file!
BACKUP would do it, but the early versions of BACKUP prepended a header
that made it inconvenient to reassemble the file without using RESTORE.

A C compiler or Assembler for demo use in class fits easily
on a floppy with plenty of room for sample files.
But for CAB (Computer Assisted Bloat), such as Visual C++,
a floppy is, indeed, woefully too small for anything past "Hello, world".

Grumpy Ol' Fred
Received on Mon Sep 20 2004 - 20:01:41 BST

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