Wow; $192 for a 5.25" floppy disk drive
julesrichardsonuk at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Oct 19 10:20:49 CDT 2006
David Griffith wrote:
> On Wed, 18 Oct 2006, Barry Watzman wrote:
>> Don't know if any of you saw this, but a 5.25" floppy disk drive just went
>> for $192 on E-Bay tonight (Wed., 10/18).
>> It was a "backpack" external parallel port drive, New Old Stock in Box,
>> still shrink wrapped.
>> I am strongly of the opinion that there is a far bigger market than is
>> generally perceived for a USB floppy disk controller that will support 5.25"
>> and even 8" drives, if only someone would develop the product.
> I agree. Perhaps one can start with one of the open-source FPGA
> implementations of floppy controllers known to support 5.25" and 3.5"
> drives. Couple that with (mumble)'s 8" converter gizmo. Add to that a
> general-purpose USB controller chip.
I know we go around this issue every few months, but it is worth considering
your target market.
If the aim is for this to be more useful to classic computing enthusiasts
(which the inclusion of 8" support suggests) then I would expect as a group
we're more likely to have knowledge of programming / building gadgets based
around classic 8-bit CPUs and some EPROM, or maybe PIC microcontrollers, than
we are of FPGA technology.
Same goes for the use of USB for an interface - witness the recent posts from
people who much prefer to have RS232 serial around on their systems.
Of course maybe the solution is two parallel projects which share the same
design philosophy and a lot of the high-level stuff, even though the low-level
hardware and interface is different?
Either way, I'd say it's probably not worth making a 'classic' floppy
controller. We (as a community) badly need a gadget that can read/write raw
data at the track level across the interface boundary (be it USB, serial, or
something else) - given that need it'd be sensible to make that a design goal
from day 1.
More information about the cctalk