Episode 110: Floppy Disks

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Episode 110: Floppy Disks

Postby Flack » May 12th, 2010, 12:37 am

In light of Sony's recent decision to end production of 3 1/2 floppy disks, Episode 110 of You Don’t Know Flack is all about floppy disks -- from the history of floppies to specific memories and stories I have regarding them.

I think this is one of the better podcasts I've done. It's a little over an hour long, but I really enjoyed making this one and I hope you guys like it as well.

You Don't Know Flack Podcast: http://podcast.robohara.com
Episode 110: http://podcast.robohara.com/?p=46
Forum: http://thegaschamber.robohara.com
RSS: http://podcast.robohara.com/?feed=rss2
iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=3686042
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Re: Episode 110: Floppy Disks

Postby Flack » May 13th, 2010, 5:53 pm

No real chatter or conversation about this one. Maybe it wasn't as good as I thought.
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Re: Episode 110: Floppy Disks

Postby Gapporin » May 13th, 2010, 6:44 pm

As a DOS/early Windows game collector, I've been going back and forth about my stance of collecting floppy disks. On one hand, many of the games from that era were re-released on CD-ROM with added speech, better graphics, etc. thereby making the floppy disk version basically obsolete. Even games that made the translation to CD without any added features usually had something to fill the space, like demos, a copy of the manual on a (very early) .pdf file, etc. On the other hand, there's a whole subset of games that never got a CD treatment: Pretty much anything from the IBM booter days to the late 80's never got a second chance.

Then there's the added susceptiblity of floppies being more prone to go bad. I've already had a copy of Space Quest V with several bad floppies in it. Thank goodness for WinImage, and more people backing up their floppies into an actual 1:1 disk image. I need to find a DOS tower soon so I have a way to back up 5.25" disks (it's kind of hard to fit one of those drives into a laptop!).
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Re: Episode 110: Floppy Disks

Postby AArdvark » May 13th, 2010, 8:59 pm

(AArdvark grits teeth and clenches sweaty fists)

I will NOT buy another Commodore!

I will NOT look on Ebay for another 64!

I will RESIST temptation! RRRRRRRGH!

It's a good thing they don't sell the 64c's retail anymore....

Great podcast! I never had any copy discs except for Fast Hack 'Em and Di-Sector's hack disk. Didn't know that there were so many copy routines out there. Then again I never had half the amount of discs you describe. Imagine! Shoe-boxes full!

See, now I'm regretting (once again) that I gave all my stuff to the Sally's Army. I went and loaded the C64 theme pack (for windows 7) into my netbook as a way to assuage the loss. Even went as far as to install the Commodore system font so it even looks closer to the real thing.
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Re: Episode 110: Floppy Disks

Postby Felix » May 14th, 2010, 4:14 am

I just got around to listening to the podcast earlier today. I thought it was another great episode! I really enjoy hearing memories of retro computing.

I have fond memories of my brother and his friend bootlegging games and then I would get to play them. I also remember there were times when they copied my games and never gave anything in return. My brother's friend knew many people, locally, and always was able to get copies of the latest titles. It was great. It was also great that they hung out at his friends house and the computer was free for me to use.
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Re: Episode 110: Floppy Disks

Postby Flack » May 14th, 2010, 5:06 am

Hah! You know, I was very fortunate in the fact that my Commodore 64 was mine. It was in my room, and I didn't have to share it with anybody. The thing I did have to share was the telephone line. In the early and mid-80s, we only had one phone line, which we used both for voice and for my dad's modem on his Apple II. When the XT came out, my dad put up a BBS and we got a second phone line, which we used both for incoming and outgoing calls. By the time I got my own Commodore, I think we had three phone lines -- the main voice line, one for dad's BBS, and the kid's line for me and my sister. Eventually we set up a system where I got the phone on even hours (6pm, 8pm, 10pm) and she got it on odd hours (5pm, 7pm, 9pm). And then of course I got it all night long ...

The only system I really had to share was our family's Atari 2600. It was in the living room and not only did I have to share it with my sister, but we both also had to schedule it around my parents watching television. I remember for Christmas one year, I got The Empire Strikes Back and my sister got Strawberry Shortcake. That was brutal, sitting there in the living room holding my game while watching my sister play that god awful Strawberry Shortcake game. (Shudder ...)

That was pretty much the only console we had growing up. I didn't get an NES until December of 1990. Except for the couple of years in the early 80s we spent playing Atari 2600, most of our gaming was gone on computers. By 1985, we had a PC, an Apple, and a Commodore, so if somebody was using one you just moved to a different one.
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Re: Episode 110: Floppy Disks

Postby KHoos » October 28th, 2010, 1:05 pm

Just finished listening to this episode. Yes, I have a variable backlog in podcasts ;)

Great stuff in there. Brings back memories of arriving at school (around 1987) with boxes of 5 1/4" floppies in the schoolbag and exchanging them at the start of classes.

My own story of reliability is coloured by two major things:
- Buying 3.5" 720K floppies in bulk from someone who was sure they could be drilled to upgrade them to 1.44. Well, after after somewhat over half a year the first ones started failing, and suddenly the person who sold them to me was sure he never said anything about reliable upgrades.

- Later when hard drives and cd-roms were normal and a floppy was used once in a while to recover a broken system or install something new on a system which was just to old to boot from CD (or had no CD). I had a big box of 3.5" HD floppies and finding one or two floppies capable of being formatted, initialized with the right boot program and loading successfully took about 8 floppies from that box, all the ones with errors ending up in the trash.

Later when everything would work with a bootable CD-rom the same story repeated itself with seldom-used cd players and unreliable CDs. By that time I was sick of unreliable boot media and set up pxeboot servers with pxelinux everywhere with everything needed.

And today(!) I used a bootable USB-stick for the first time to install ubuntu on a server in a vlan where pxeboot would be a problem to install.
Koos van den Hout, http://idefix.net/
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