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Warpspeed
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Posted: 08 June 2018 at 8:43am | IP Logged Quote Warpspeed

If you see something with a "big old" 5 1/2 inch floppy drive in it, please grab it for me. I have been after one of those for quite a while, they are becoming quite scarce these days.

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palcal
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Posted: 08 June 2018 at 10:00am | IP Logged Quote palcal

Will do.
Paul.
edit.... 51/4" drives there are a few on Ebay fairly cheap.


Edited by palcal on 08 June 2018 at 10:05am


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Warpspeed
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Posted: 08 June 2018 at 10:39am | IP Logged Quote Warpspeed

Thanks Paul.

I must have thrown away about half a dozen of those big floppy drives over the years, but still have some very old DOS programs here I would like to play with again.

Its unlikely you will find one of those floppy drives at the tip, the stuff at my tip all seems to be much more recent. If all else fails its nice to know e-bay is an alternative.

You are much more likely to find yourself a low profile power supply, they are now becoming a lot more common.

I have also scored from the tip some very nice smaller computer cases that had a hinged lid. I then completely gutted the whole case and rebuilt them as various home brew projects.

These can turn out looking quite respectable if the whole front part is removed, and replaced with a flat aluminium panel.


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palcal
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Posted: 11 June 2018 at 3:51pm | IP Logged Quote palcal

Well after spending a lot of time checking the power supply, I put the machine away. Then it dawned on me change the CMOS battery. As I said this machine is probably 7-8 years old but never used hence the flat battery. Working fine.
Paul.


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Warpspeed
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Posted: 11 June 2018 at 4:17pm | IP Logged Quote Warpspeed

Well done !

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Phil23
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Posted: 13 June 2018 at 7:47am | IP Logged Quote Phil23

Warpspeed wrote:
I must have thrown away about half a dozen of those big floppy drives over the years, but still have some very old DOS programs here I would like to play with again.


Two old Dos Boxes sitting in the shed, Both IBM's an XT & an AT.

When you start to think about it, there's a few hurdles to overcome to extract the data from the floppies.

Can't just wack them on a USB, Lol.

Telnet & FTP came to mind, but quickly realised there's no network interface.
Probably just an RS-232 & Centronics ports.

Reminds me of the few occasions I needed to extract inventory & accounts data from a THEOS & a CPM system.

Entire process involved running a multitude of "Printed" reports with a Centronics to RS-232 Converter.

That data stream was piped into my then Win95 laptop & captured with "Supercom"; bit of a Teraterm relation.

Then it was off to scripts & queries in MS Access to create some DB's, then a few more queries to export the whole lot to CSV ready for loading on the new system.

Vaguely recall the process taking several weeks of development & testing before the live changeover. Something like 5pm to late on-site extracting data, before finally having the CSV's all imported at 3am in the morning.

It is interesting to think how much data we have stored these days that is less than simple to access...

Like the 4000+ feet of Super & Standard 8 movie film sitting on a shelf in my office.
(That's about 5 hours worth).

Cheers

Phil.
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Warpspeed
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Posted: 13 June 2018 at 8:13am | IP Logged Quote Warpspeed

We do take a lot for granted.
Today we squirrel away programs and data on something like a multi gigabyte USB memory stick.

Twenty years from now it would not surprise me if you cannot find anything anywhere that has a USB port on it.

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Posted: 15 June 2018 at 10:02am | IP Logged Quote bigmik

Lads,

I used to have a dial up modem plan with a max of 90MB download a month..

Now I think nothing of a 1GB download for an UPDATE to a single program or Windows (almost a daily occurrence with WIndows)

With how to get the data off your old floppies there are 2 possibilities that I can see.

Use an IDE-CF card adapter (about $4 on FleaBay) the CF card can then be read in a cheap USB-card reader.

Or there are 3 1/2 drive emulators that allow you to plug a standard USB flash card into it. (These I think are around $10-15).

Regards,

Mick



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Warpspeed
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Posted: 15 June 2018 at 10:33am | IP Logged Quote Warpspeed

I have an old Pentium 3 ATX that I use exclusively for DOS.

Its ideal, because its about the most recent motherboard that still has all the old original DOS features in both hardware and BIOS, such as IDE bus and a parallel printer port plus RS232. But it also has several more recent features like USB ports, solid state hard drive, and decent graphics.
A 5 1/4 floppy will plug straight in to that when I finally get one.

Just blew my piggy bank on an old HP spectrum analyser, so the big floppy drive project will have to remain on my wish list for a while.

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