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PosterThread
mdr 
A love letter to the floppy disk
Posted on 30-Dec-2019 13:29:34
#1 ]
Member
Joined: 3-Oct-2018
Posts: 27
From: Unknown

I just updated my blog with a new post. It's an exploration of adding a floppy drive back into my A1200 and all the nostalgia and thoughts around the early scene that generated. Thought you might enjoy it and maybe it'll bring back some memories for you too!

Happy (belated) Xmas to all in Amiga Land!

-Mark

_________________
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My hardware: X5000 running OS4.1; A1200 030@50Mhz,16MB,OS 3.9/KS 3.1.4

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MEGA_RJ_MICAL 
Re: A love letter to the floppy disk
Posted on 30-Dec-2019 14:12:23
#2 ]
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Joined: 13-Dec-2019
Posts: 162
From: AMIGAWORLD.NET WAS ORIGINALLY FOUNDED BY DAVID DOYLE

@mdr

Masterpiece.

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pavlor 
Re: A love letter to the floppy disk
Posted on 30-Dec-2019 15:23:05
#3 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 10-Jul-2005
Posts: 9094
From: Unknown

@mdr

Few years ago, I wore (unintentionally) two floppies in my backpack. One was MS-DOS boot disk, the another WB3.0. I don´t remember, why I put these there, but glad to be prepared to use any old computer available.

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-Sam- 
Re: A love letter to the floppy disk
Posted on 30-Dec-2019 17:50:37
#4 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 18-Apr-2003
Posts: 3008
From: Yorkshire Dales, United Knigdom

@MEGA_RJ_MICAL

I agree. Great article.

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OldAmigan 
Re: A love letter to the floppy disk
Posted on 30-Dec-2019 18:07:08
#5 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 25-Dec-2003
Posts: 614
From: Dumfries, Scotland

@mdr

I enjoyed the read, Mark.

Thanks for sharing it with us

Fred

_________________
Fred Booth
========================================
A500, A600, A1200 c/w Mediator and 030
AmigaOne and OS4.1
Mac LCII, G4 Powermac running OSX + Amigakit and MorphOS 3.0
Dell Mini 10 Netbook running IcAros and AmigaForever+Amikit+AmigaSys
2006 Macb

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Zylesea 
Re: A love letter to the floppy disk
Posted on 30-Dec-2019 22:58:24
#6 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 16-Mar-2004
Posts: 2171
From: Ostwestfalen, FRG

@mdr
I really enjoyed reading that blog post. Very nice!

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mdr 
Re: A love letter to the floppy disk
Posted on 2-Jan-2020 9:15:05
#7 ]
Member
Joined: 3-Oct-2018
Posts: 27
From: Unknown

Thanks for the comments, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

_________________
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My hardware: X5000 running OS4.1; A1200 030@50Mhz,16MB,OS 3.9/KS 3.1.4

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neoman 
Re: A love letter to the floppy disk
Posted on 1-Feb-2020 2:48:34
#8 ]
New Member
Joined: 3-Dec-2013
Posts: 3
From: Unknown

@mdr

This is really a nice article. Was fun to read. Thanks. And also lots of true, wise words :)

With a floppy you need to invest time. For yourself. And that's why it's better than having everything in WHDLoad (or Spotify. Or YouTube. Or or or)

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TiredofLife 
Re: A love letter to the floppy disk
Posted on 1-Feb-2020 10:54:35
#9 ]
Super Member
Joined: 6-Jul-2005
Posts: 1656
From: Here

@mdr

Very enjoyable read.

I was feeding a load of floppy disks into an A500+ the other week just as Trevor Dickinson was saying live on stage nobody uses floppy disks anymore.

Made me laugh.

Cheers

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OldAmigan 
Re: A love letter to the floppy disk
Posted on 1-Feb-2020 12:43:33
#10 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 25-Dec-2003
Posts: 614
From: Dumfries, Scotland

@thread

I know the disks are the same/compatible but formatted differently but are the floppy mechanisms (and controller boards) the same as old PC units or physically different?

In other words, can the same units be used in either type of computer?

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Fred Booth
========================================
A500, A600, A1200 c/w Mediator and 030
AmigaOne and OS4.1
Mac LCII, G4 Powermac running OSX + Amigakit and MorphOS 3.0
Dell Mini 10 Netbook running IcAros and AmigaForever+Amikit+AmigaSys
2006 Macb

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mdr 
Re: A love letter to the floppy disk
Posted on 1-Feb-2020 14:34:00
#11 ]
Member
Joined: 3-Oct-2018
Posts: 27
From: Unknown

@TiredofLife


Well, he's kind of right. Nobody in their right mind would be using floppies these days, it's just that us Amigans are a bit odd like that

_________________
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My hardware: X5000 running OS4.1; A1200 030@50Mhz,16MB,OS 3.9/KS 3.1.4

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mdr 
Re: A love letter to the floppy disk
Posted on 1-Feb-2020 18:27:25
#12 ]
Member
Joined: 3-Oct-2018
Posts: 27
From: Unknown

@OldAmigan

I'm no expert, but I don't believe so. I think whilst the physical mechanism is essentially the same, the PC and Amiga floppy controllers are completely different. This is why a PC could never read Amiga disks which were formatted at a higher capacity (880k) than PCs could support back then (720k if I recall correctly). Although the Amiga could read PC formatted disks with the CrossDOS software I used a lot back then. I remember the Acorn Archimedes computer had a similar situation: Higher capacity disk format, but could still read PC formatted floppies. Perhaps their controllers were just more advanced / flexible?

Always used to be a fun point to taunt PC owners with, although of course they moved on pretty quickly to 1.44Mb disks, which never really caught on in Amiga Land despite a few "high capacity" drives being introduced fairly late on.

There was at one point a PC expansion card called the CatWeasel which could use a standard PC floppy drive, but was essentially a programmable controller so it could read non-native floppy formats including the Amiga.

Not sure how accurate all that is, but it's what I remember

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Rose 
Re: A love letter to the floppy disk
Posted on 1-Feb-2020 18:44:29
#13 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 5-Nov-2009
Posts: 674
From: Unknown

@mdr

Quote:
There was at one point a PC expansion card called the CatWeasel which could use a standard PC floppy drive, but was essentially a programmable controller so it could read non-native floppy formats including the Amiga.


There's also this surprisingly little known Arduino project for PC read/write of Amiga disks. Also quite bit cheaper than Catweasel since you can get parts for ~$30.

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spudmiga 
Re: A love letter to the floppy disk
Posted on 1-Feb-2020 19:19:15
#14 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 12-Dec-2002
Posts: 817
From: England, United Kingdom

@mdr

Quote:

mdr wrote:
I just updated my blog with a new post. It's an exploration of adding a floppy drive back into my A1200 and all the nostalgia and thoughts around the early scene that generated. Thought you might enjoy it and maybe it'll bring back some memories for you too!

Happy (belated) Xmas to all in Amiga Land!

-Mark


Excellent article Mark,
I refuse to go down the Gotek route with the Amiga. For me ,part of the Amiga experience is sifting through a box of disks and loading them up from the drive and hearing the drive working away.
One of the beautiful things about the Amiga in its prime and is missing from modern systems is its simplicity, for the reasons you have said in your article but the actual operation of the machine itself too.

Want to load a word processor? Fine, just bung the disk in and go.
Want to load a game? Fine just bung the disk in and go.
You did not have to worry so much about the operating system, you could load the programs you need from a disk when you need them. There is something beautiful about the simplicity of that. Nowadays, even consoles are bogged down with updates and slower boot times to the 'operating system'. Gone are the days of the PS1 and PS2 where you could just bung in a CD and play the god damn game without being pestered about system updates.

Each to their own I guess!

Spud

Last edited by spudmiga on 01-Feb-2020 at 07:20 PM.

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Overflow 
Re: A love letter to the floppy disk
Posted on 1-Feb-2020 21:28:15
#15 ]
Super Member
Joined: 12-Jun-2012
Posts: 1626
From: Norway

@spudmiga

I totally agree.

I'm increasingly concerned with the incessant increases in demand for energy, thanks to everybody having several streaming devices running HD, 4k, 8k etc.

So I'm returning to my roots, scriptblocking and blocking javascript for all but the few sites I need to access for finances etc.

So the nostalgia of the original poster should maybe be heeded :)

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pgf_666 
Re: A love letter to the floppy disk
Posted on 2-Feb-2020 2:06:59
#16 ]
Member
Joined: 29-Dec-2007
Posts: 44
From: Unknown

@mdr

I tend to feel the same way about old, successful tech--or art, which, when you think about it, uses a fair amount of teh--you think oil paints grow on trees?--so that even when new stuff, apparently better stuff--ain't no question that Win 7 is better than Win95, but it's a little less clear when comparing Win8 to W7. In no small part, its respect for the guys who accomplished so much with such primative tools.

As an example from a totally different field:

The 'Colt G.I. Semi-automatic Pistol, m1911 .45 Caliber' is over 100 years old as a designbut it's been given the ultimate compliment--Smith and Wesson has just released a new version.

Can us imagine Chevy releasing, fo general sale, a copy of the 1911 Ford Model T?

Or Arari rerleasing a new Amiga (legal issues asside)?

Wjhen compared to the rest of it's cohort, only the Luger is still inn production for general use, and from before that--the 1873 model Colt Single action Army, "Peacemaker"

If you're into these things, I don't need to tell you why, if not--thiink of it as the Amiga 4000T/060 of personal defense.....

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mdr 
Re: A love letter to the floppy disk
Posted on 2-Feb-2020 7:56:35
#17 ]
Member
Joined: 3-Oct-2018
Posts: 27
From: Unknown

@pgf_666

Yeah. Some things, for what ever reason, they got right on the first try. All the planets align, the right people were in the right place at the right time. Another example I guess would be the Les Paul and Stratocaster guitars from the '50s. There have been attempts to update the design and countless copies over the years, but if you ask a random person to draw an electric guitar, you'll most likely get an approximation of one of those shapes back. The design is just so perfect that it transcends being an item of utility and becomes a piece of art.

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bison 
Re: A love letter to the floppy disk
Posted on 2-Feb-2020 20:26:10
#18 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1534
From: N-Space

@mdr

The Les Paul is an icon, but far from perfect. PRS became a viable company by correcting its design flaws.

Last edited by bison on 02-Feb-2020 at 08:35 PM.

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spudmiga 
Re: A love letter to the floppy disk
Posted on 3-Feb-2020 18:55:16
#19 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 12-Dec-2002
Posts: 817
From: England, United Kingdom

@mdr

Quote:

mdr wrote:
@pgf_666

Yeah. Some things, for what ever reason, they got right on the first try. All the planets align, the right people were in the right place at the right time.


Venturing off piste a little here, I find this happened a LOT during the late 80s to early 2000s in a lot of areas besides computing...

Spud

Last edited by spudmiga on 03-Feb-2020 at 06:56 PM.

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agami 
Re: A love letter to the floppy disk
Posted on 4-Feb-2020 5:17:58
#20 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 561
From: Melbourne, Australia

@mdr

An enjoyable read. Made me want to go home (reading at work) and put some Amiga time in.

Whilst I still feel that the 5.25" floppy is the quintessential, the most elegant, and the true embodiment of the floppy; The 3.5" format definitely deserves it's own chapter in the history books.

In have both a HD (DF0) and a DD (DF1) drive in my A4000, though most of the time I'm reading and occasionally writing DD 880k disks. (HD floppies need their HD hole taped up to be read in the HD drive.)

I never went the route of solid state media for FDD and HDD replacement. I'm a bit old school that way. I do however use a more svelte and quieter 2.5" HDD in the A4000.

There is certainly something to be said about media that contains a vignette of an experience. I have recently gotten back into vinyl, and I am looking at getting a nice MiniDisc player for music on the go. I love spinning media.

Last edited by agami on 04-Feb-2020 at 05:19 AM.

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