[sdiy] Crazy Crazy Floppy give away competition.

Batz Goodfortune batzman at all-electric.com
Tue Jun 25 19:06:14 CEST 2002

Y-ellow Y'all.

At 02:48 AM 6/25/02 -0400, Machinerygod wrote:

>Bet they won't work on a shugart 8" floppy...

Yes indeedy. In fact the whole interface will work on a shugart or IBM 8" 
drive. All my old 8" drives ended up in a museum belive it or not. Along 
with my S100 system and a bunch of old microbees. But the Data100 5 by 5 
washing machine got scrapped long ago. Unfortunately I never did run that 
old IBM cake tin drive. I could have bought 2 of them for 20 bux but it 
would have cost me a shit-load to hire the forklift to move them. Err but I 

Should you ever need to run a 1.2 meg (I was nearly going to say gig) 8" 
drive just set the controller to a 1.2 meg 5.25" drive and it can't tell 
the difference. Or at least that use to work in the old days.

>And I'm afraid you're going to need hydraulic cables and steam piping
>for those babbage engines...

Interestingly I heard some time ago that the babbage engine could be reborn 
in nano technology. Apparently when you get machines that small the whole 
physics of machines changes. Where a mechanical device can reach comparable 
speeds of modern microprocessors. The only problem is that a spring that's 
only a few atoms wide tends to snap after being bent for a few nano 
seconds. But they were talking in terms of mechanical computing being 
viable at that level. I just can't think why you'd want to?

And. Since I seem to have pricked some people's curiosity. The story is this:

Every time I wanted to whack together some old toaster linux box, I could 
never find a g'damn cable to do it with. Mainly IDE cables but then I ran 
short of suitable floppy cables as well. I actually had 1 but it was 
already earmarked and I had several IDEs as well. But one was an ATA100 
type and all had the centre key-pin-hole blocked up and the g'damn osborn 
486 I was trying to bring back to life didn't have the corresponding 
missing pin. I found a single cable but I needed a Hard drive and a CD at 
the same time and the stupid thing only had 1 IDE port.

To make life a little more interesting, there aren't many 486s that will 
boot from a CD. The very last generation of them maybe but the first time I 
came across this capability was on a 586 (remember them?) So if you're 
doing a linux install on one of these boxes you've got to have a floppy and 
make a boot image disk to bring the machine up to the point where it can 
actually read a CD drive straight up.

Enter the evil eBay once more. I happened to notice that someone was 
selling a bloody great box of assorted cables. So I bid about as much as 
the cost of a couple of cable sets would cost and won the thing. 
Unfortunately about 3 quarters of the cables in the box were floppy cables. 
Some of the other cables were crap too but at least now I have a load of 
connectors when I want to squeeze a custom server cable. I don't have a 
shortage of IDC ribbon cable but I just couldn't find any g'damn connectors.

So now I've got this box that's about 2 foot square full of floppy cables. 
And whilst I'll keep a fair few of them, I thought they might be useful to 
some other people here. And this is why I thought this....

There is a widely circulated rumor that intel are trying to kill off the 
humble floppy altogether. Intel have both confirmed and denied this so who 
knows what 'n' hell they're thinking. One thing we do know from this 
however is that as insane as I am, intel are a lot crazier.

Now if it hasn't become apparent to you yet the logic here I'll nail it 
down right now. No more floppies means no more floppy cables. No more 
floppy cables means that if you want to put together some old linux toaster 
in the future and you can't connect a floppy. (even if temporarily) there's 
probably no other easy way you're ever going to be able to install it.

SO: I don't have a bucket load of floppy drives to give away but I do have 
far more cables than I'll ever need. Including the older types if anyone 
needed to retrieve data from an old 1.2meg disk or even a 360. (You think 
it won't happen?) So. apart from the space a 2 foot square box of floppy 
cables eats into my nice clean studio (Cough Cough) I thought I'd let 
everyone know here in case they also noticed this dilemma and saw the 
opportunity to own a few spares of this fine quality product.

Of course it took about 27 microseconds for me to think all of the above 
but considerably more time to put it into actuality. And not once in all 
that time did I think anyone would think I'm off my brain. The fact is, I 
AM off my brain so how 'n' hell would I know?

So there you have it. So best I can do is try and find somewhere in the 
dungeon (Which actually happens to be a sort of attic but that's another 
story) and if anyone needs a floppy cable, just sing out because I've got 

Well you didn't think I was just going to dump them in land fill or 
something did you? I have far more respect for the environment than that. 
That's why I was considering waiting for a nice sunny day and burning them. 
The kind of day when the whole neighborhood has their washing on the line.

So that's the story. Now where's my Pulitzer?

Be absolutely Icebox.

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