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khoraski
March 18th, 2011, 03:29 AM
In the Startup-Manager, you click the "advanced" tab, and then you can create a rescue floppy. Really? A floppy? Who uses floppies anymore?! I have one but none of my computers can use it.

TechSupportx86
March 18th, 2011, 04:59 AM
Really? A floppy?

First off, That's what she said, and second... it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it? I'm guessing the rescue files aren't large enough to use a USB drive or a CD, since on a CD you would be wasting 698mb, and not all computers can boot from a USB drive (modern boards can, older ones cannot). if it fit's on a floppy then why not.

piquat
March 18th, 2011, 06:25 AM
if it fit's on a floppy then why not.

In a word, lifespan.

They thought the same thing where I work.

We'll just put these files on a floppy and let them sit in a drawer for a few years. What?!?! It's trash when we really need it?!?!

Johnsie
March 18th, 2011, 11:12 AM
You may not need it, but there are alot of legacy computers being used by businesess that might need it.

Sporkman
March 18th, 2011, 05:53 PM
First off, That's what she said

:lol:

psusi
March 18th, 2011, 07:14 PM
Nobody has floppy drives any more, and good riddance to bad rubbish! If you want to have a rescue disc, just keep the Ubuntu LiveCd or USB handy.

CharlesA
March 18th, 2011, 07:17 PM
Nobody has floppy drives any more, and good riddance to bad rubbish! If you want to have a rescue disc, just keep the Ubuntu LiveCd or USB handy.
+1. I only have 1 machine at home that has a floppy drive (and that machine is an old P4 Dell). At work, however, there are only a few machines with no floppy drive.

It all depends on how old the tech is.

Dr. C
March 19th, 2011, 03:34 AM
Nobody has floppy drives any more, and good riddance to bad rubbish! If you want to have a rescue disc, just keep the Ubuntu LiveCd or USB handy.

Some of us still do. My main system that I built in 2008 has a 3.5in floppy drive and an BD/DVD/CD reader / burner. I use the BD/DVD/CD reader / burner about as frequently as the floppy drive which is very occasionally.

Floppy disks still after a quarter of a century have uses that no other technology can match, especially when working with files that are 50 KB - 100 KB

inobe
March 19th, 2011, 04:04 AM
In the Startup-Manager, you click the "advanced" tab, and then you can create a rescue floppy. Really? A floppy? Who uses floppies anymore?! I have one but none of my computers can use it.

you'd be surprised, there are folks that have relics with up to date operating systems.

beew
March 19th, 2011, 04:17 AM
Floppy disks still after a quarter of a century have uses that no other technology can match, especially when working with files that are 50 KB - 100 KB


Now here are some good uses of the floppy. :)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8651750.stm

wormyblackburny
March 19th, 2011, 04:25 AM
That's what she said.... LOL! Awesome. As for why....backwards compatibility, gotta have it.

lisati
March 19th, 2011, 04:31 AM
Nobody has floppy drives any more, and good riddance to bad rubbish! If you want to have a rescue disc, just keep the Ubuntu LiveCd or USB handy.

Not exactly true. I have a "legacy" machine (about 12+ years old) with a floppy drive. The only way I could get Ubuntu on to it was to create a boot floppy using a USB floppy drive on another machine so the old machine could boot from the Ubuntu CD. Granted, it was an old version of Ubuntu, and granted, I hardly ever turn on the machine, but, I sometimes use floppies.

That reminds me, I must transfer the floppies I picked up at the library to my laptop......

racie
March 19th, 2011, 04:34 AM
Nobody has floppy drives anymore? Most of the computers at my house have floppy drives! :P

Copper Bezel
March 19th, 2011, 04:55 AM
Almost all of the computers at my school, too, although they're slowly rolling them over to new towers over the next few months. A computer-illiterate fellow adjunct came into the office with a floppy about a month back to print something off, as if it were the most natural thing in the world, and although he was a bit computer illiterate and a friend and I had to actually help him through the process of using the (XP!) machine he plugged it into, he got his files.

lisati
March 19th, 2011, 05:06 AM
I just did an experiment. A few months back I picked up some floppies from my local library with a Samoan language course on them. Out with the USB floppy, plug into laptop, insert disk, and reboot. It was quite strange seeing "Starting MS-DOS" on my 2-year-old laptop's screen.

The program interface was horrible by today's standards (sorry, no screenshots available at present) and when I told it that I had sound, the software made a horrible beep reminiscent of something from 30 or more years ago. Horrible by even 1995's standards, when the disks were made. Yuck!

Running what I'm guessing is 16-bit software on a dual-core 64-bit-capable machine...... /me runs off and screams!

racie
March 19th, 2011, 05:26 AM
Almost all of the computers at my school, too, although they're slowly rolling them over to new towers over the next few months. A computer-illiterate fellow adjunct came into the office with a floppy about a month back to print something off, as if it were the most natural thing in the world, and although he was a bit computer illiterate and a friend and I had to actually help him through the process of using the (XP!) machine he plugged it into, he got his files.

Hahaha!! What?? If someone came into my school with a floppy disk, I would burst out laughing!

Copper Bezel
March 19th, 2011, 08:24 AM
Yeah, it was fairly surreal. It was fun trying to make him understand that yes, it was okay that he was putting it in the floppy drive of the "other computer" (our office has one tower with four terminals.) There was someone working at the server, and we had to convince him that it was okay, too. It took some fumbling as the first guy tried to insert it upside down the first time.

And none of the usual stereotypes - with a twenty-something, a forty-something, a fifty-something, and a sixty-something in the room, it was the sixty-something helping me (the twenty-something) explain the process to the other two in little, easy words.

Blind leading the blind, I guess - we're in the humanities, and I don't know a damned thing about how Windows works as a multi-user system, anyway. I was really kind of happy to find that (a) the drive still worked and (b) the disk, its provenance unknown to me, read properly and (c) it mounted properly to all user accounts.

I just kind of want to know what he had on there. It'd be a rare .pdf to fall under 1.4 megs.

TechSupportx86
March 19th, 2011, 10:21 AM
It took some fumbling as the first guy tried to insert it upside down the first time.

Sorry, i can't resist this time... :KS that's what she said :KS

On a related note, Once in a while it's kinda fun to rar an mp3 and store it 3-4 separate disks. They also make good media for storing "sensitive" material like a journal or some other personal or financial data since whoever find a floppy disk labeled "windows 95 Start-up Repair" isn't gonna say "oh hey look, secret stuff".

I still have a box of 5.25 inch floppy disks. if i had a drive i would probably use them for nostalgia's sake.

Spice Weasel
March 19th, 2011, 10:25 AM
Hahaha!! What?? If someone came into my school with a floppy disk, I would burst out laughing!

I used to quite a lot, because the CD drives had been locked and the motherboards didn't support booting from USB. Any way to get out of doing work on XP!

Then the school finally upgraded, so all I had to use was a USB stick. Muahahahaha.

mips
March 19th, 2011, 11:55 AM
I have a floppy drive and I have used it on odd occasions. I have however created a bootable dos flashkey of which I keep an image on my HDD. I'll never remove the floppy drive though, just in case...

NCLI
March 22nd, 2011, 03:28 PM
Some of us still do. My main system that I built in 2008 has a 3.5in floppy drive and an BD/DVD/CD reader / burner. I use the BD/DVD/CD reader / burner about as frequently as the floppy drive which is very occasionally.

Floppy disks still after a quarter of a century have uses that no other technology can match, especially when working with files that are 50 KB - 100 KB
What, exactly, could possibly make you prefer a floppy disc over a USB drive or a CD-RW?

walt.smith1960
March 22nd, 2011, 03:45 PM
What, exactly, could possibly make you prefer a floppy disc over a USB driver or a CD-RW?

How do you install the AHCI driver when installing Windows XP, unless you create a custom install CD? The infamous "press F6". I'd love to find a way......

psusi
March 22nd, 2011, 03:51 PM
How do you install the AHCI driver when installing Windows XP, unless you create a custom install CD? The infamous "press F6". I'd love to find a way......

You already noted the solution in your question. The other is: don't use a 7 year old broken OS.

NCLI
March 22nd, 2011, 03:53 PM
How do you install the AHCI driver when installing Windows XP, unless you create a custom install CD? The infamous "press F6". I'd love to find a way......

This has been answered, but here's my answer: I wouldn't, I'd install Windows 7.

weasel fierce
March 22nd, 2011, 05:04 PM
I keep a 5.25" floppy at my desk at work as a conversation piece :)

My amiga uses floppies, but she's from 1992 so thats standard

Dr. C
March 23rd, 2011, 02:04 AM
What, exactly, could possibly make you prefer a floppy disc over a USB drive or a CD-RW?

Actually the floppy has features of both the CD-RW and the USB drive that the CD-RW or USB drive do not have by themselves. One has a file that is say 100KB. One wishes to give it, on media, to a client and make it simple for the client to edit it. For files this small the slow speed of the floppy is not a real issue.

1) Cost of Media: (ballpark)
Floppy around $0.30
CD-RW around $0.30
USB drive around $6.00

USB Drive fails because it is too expensive to hand out.

2) Ease of editing:
Floppy: Open, edit and save right from your application
USB drive: Open, edit and save right from your application
CD-RW: Needs specialized software to write changes

CD-RW fails because of the extra steps and software required to "burn" the changes.

So after one quarter of a century the floppy still has this unique niche. The floppy will only be truly obsolete when one can purchase a USB drive for a few cents, even if that USB drive can only store a few megabytes of data.

cookiecloud
March 23rd, 2011, 02:42 AM
One word: legacy. On that point, does Ubuntu/Linux support EGS/CGA still? :/

NCLI
March 23rd, 2011, 03:26 AM
Actually the floppy has features of both the CD-RW and the USB drive that the CD-RW or USB drive do not have by themselves. One has a file that is say 100KB. One wishes to give it, on media, to a client and make it simple for the client to edit it. For files this small the slow speed of the floppy is not a real issue.

1) Cost of Media: (ballpark)
Floppy around $0.30
CD-RW around $0.30
USB drive around $6.00

USB Drive fails because it is too expensive to hand out.

2) Ease of editing:
Floppy: Open, edit and save right from your application
USB drive: Open, edit and save right from your application
CD-RW: Needs specialized software to write changes

CD-RW fails because of the extra steps and software required to "burn" the changes.

So after one quarter of a century the floppy still has this unique niche. The floppy will only be truly obsolete when one can purchase a USB drive for a few cents, even if that USB drive can only store a few megabytes of data.

Why would you not send that client an email with the file?? It just seems so silly to me.

psusi
March 23rd, 2011, 03:05 PM
Probability that customer has a cd-rw drive: very high
Probability that customer has a floppy drive: low, and falling as time goes on
Probability that customer will laugh at you when you hand them a floppy: fairly high
Probability that floppy will fail/error: fairly high ( no error correction )
Probability that cd will fail/error: much lower


2) Ease of editing:
Floppy: Open, edit and save right from your application
USB drive: Open, edit and save right from your application
CD-RW: Needs specialized software to write changes


Such "specialized software" comes with the drive and is preinstalled on the PC when they got it. I bet it is even built into Windows 7 these days. It's built into Ubuntu.

Dr. C
March 23rd, 2011, 03:15 PM
Why would you not send that client an email with the file?? It just seems so silly to me.

Email is again a partial solution only. For starters:

What if the client does not have Internet access or is on dial-up? The floppy transfer rate is easily 10x faster than a typical dial-up connection.
What if the file contains sensitive or confidential information that cannot be emailed for security reasons?

Sell me USB drives for $0.25 each, and I will declare the floppy obsolete, but until then it remains the king of its niche.

RiceMonster
March 23rd, 2011, 03:26 PM
Email is again a partial solution only. For starters:

What if the client does not have Internet access or is on dial-up? The floppy transfer rate is easily 10x faster than a typical dial-up connection.
What if the file contains sensitive or confidential information that cannot be emailed for security reasons?

Sell me USB drives for $0.25 each, and I will declare the floppy obsolete, but until then it remains the king of its niche.

What if said person has no floppy drive? After all, floppy drives are becoming more and more rare on computers. Plus, I think that if you're emailing someone a 50-100KB document, they'll be fine on dial up.

Dr. C
March 23rd, 2011, 03:48 PM
The simplest solution is when the client has their own USB key, or a non Apple music player. In these cases we simply transfer the file to their device. Email is also a choice if the file is not sensitive.

However there still remains situations where a floppy is the best solution.

Optical media have been around for close to 20 years and have not fully replaced the floppy. That is why floppies are still around! USB drives will fully replace the floppy once the price of the media drops down to the $0.25 range.

psusi
March 23rd, 2011, 04:56 PM
You said yourself that optical media is now just as cheap. Even taking a whole minute to download a 300k file on dial up is faster than physically going to your office and picking up a floppy. If it is sensitive, then you can encrypt it.

Seeing as how your average new PC these days does not come with a floppy drive, your assertion that optical drives still have not replaced floppies seems like standing on the beach with the water up to your knees and insisting that the tide is not coming in.

NCLI
March 24th, 2011, 09:39 AM
Email is again a partial solution only. For starters:
[QUOTE]
What if the client does not have Internet access or is on dial-up?
Very unlikely nowadays, but the storage space on a floppy is so small that a dial-up connection should be sufficient.


What if the file contains sensitive or confidential information that cannot be emailed for security reasons?
That's stupid, just encrypt it.


Sell me USB drives for $0.25 each, and I will declare the floppy obsolete, but until then it remains the king of its niche.
You can get one for 4.50 from Amazon, and if your files are really that important, it's not a high price to pay to minimize the risk of data loss.

Floppies are just an outdated, unreliable storage method, and very few people still have a reader in the first world.

samalex
March 24th, 2011, 02:33 PM
My old desktop at home has both a 3.5" drive and a 5.25" drive in it because I have floppies going back to the mid-80's I still sometimes find myself needing or wanting to view. Luckily I got into computers after the 8" floppy was already legacy so I don't have any of those laying around :)

But for modern computing I don't see much need of floppies anymore since USB drives are so popular. I still keep a 16 Gig thumb drive on my keyring and use it as my sneakernet much more than the floppies.

psusi
March 24th, 2011, 03:06 PM
My old desktop at home has both a 3.5" drive and a 5.25" drive in it because I have floppies going back to the mid-80's I still sometimes find myself needing or wanting to view. Luckily I got into computers after the 8" floppy was already legacy so I don't have any of those laying around :)


How often do you actually go try to read them? I'll bet it isn't very often. If you do, you will likely find that about half of them can no longer be read. You should get as much off of them as you can and store it on more reliable media and throw out the old junk.

samalex
March 24th, 2011, 06:42 PM
How often do you actually go try to read them? I'll bet it isn't very often. If you do, you will likely find that about half of them can no longer be read. You should get as much off of them as you can and store it on more reliable media and throw out the old junk.

I don't read them daily or anything, but probably every month or two I find some need to dig through my old software collection for a document, article, or even some software package that's still on floppy. The important things I have copied over to my system, but with me having probably 150 or more floppies, many of which are from my old TRS-80 and Amiga systems, I just haven't taken the time to port it all over to HD yet.

As for the disks being readable, honestly I'd say 95% of the disks I have are readable with no problems, and the few that do give me sector errors or just won't work are generally those disks created in the last decade or so. There's a noticeable difference between disks made in the 80's and early 90's compared to disks made probably around 1998 through now (or whenever floppies were finally retired).

It's funny, I read an article a while back about an AOL 1.0 disk selling on EBay for tons of money. I have probably dozens of those things since when I was a kid the free disks (anyone remember catalogs on disk?) were my best source for media :) Problem though is I'd generally poke a hole in the floppy to make it 1.44 Megs, put a blank label over the AOL label, and use it for what I needed. I don't think I have an AOL 1.0 disk that's untouched.

blueturtl
March 24th, 2011, 08:03 PM
Oh gawd, the 90s...

I remember riding my bike 10 km to see a friend with my coat pockets full of sandy floppy disks. :lol:

It is true though, the earlier floppies were considerably more reliable. Hitting 'R' for retry wasn't a waste of time back then, you just might have been able to read that file that you thought wasn't going to make it off that disk...

Also the fact that 2.88 MB drives never really took off proves that the 3.5" 1.44 MB has hit a certain economical and usability "sweet spot".

weasel fierce
March 24th, 2011, 08:19 PM
Oh gawd, the 90s...

I remember riding my bike 10 km to see a friend with my coat pockets full of sandy floppy disks. :lol:

It is true though, the earlier floppies were considerably more reliable. Hitting 'R' for retry wasn't a waste of time back then, you just might have been able to read that file that you thought wasn't going to make it off that disk...

Also the fact that 2.88 MB drives never really took off proves that the 3.5" 1.44 MB has hit a certain economical and usability "sweet spot".

1.44 MB.. phef. New fangled technology.

I guess cassette tape were the real deal :)

lisati
March 24th, 2011, 08:26 PM
What, exactly, could possibly make you prefer a floppy disc over a USB drive or a CD-RW?
Legacy. My old machine came with a floppy drive, and it doesn't reliably boot from CDs - it's fine with some, doesn't see others until the necessary drivers are loaded. I don't think it can boot from USB. Sometimes a boot floppy is useful in these situations.

I keep a 5.25" floppy at my desk at work as a conversation piece :)
I have a couple of 5.25" drives on a shelf somewhere. I did manage to get them to work with my older machine, but that was some time ago, and I think they've passed their best.

samalex
March 24th, 2011, 09:07 PM
1.44 MB.. phef. New fangled technology.

I guess cassette tape were the real deal :)

I still have about a a dozen TRS-80 cassette tapes with data on them (anyone remember Rainbow On Tape?), but my tape player died years ago so I doubt I'll ever be able to retrieve data from them. It was a huge PITA anyway to pull data from tape, so probably not a huge deal.