Alignment disks, and the creation thereof

Tony Duell ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Tue Feb 10 13:54:04 CST 2009


> The time might be better spent producing drop-in replacements for entire 
> floppy disk units. It'll be sad when big ol' 8" and 5.25" drives truly are 
> obsolete, but I suppose that day will come sooner or later.

I suspect that day will come (if ever) when the last floppy disk of that 
size is no longer useable, and there is no way to make a replacement. The 
drives themselves will be repairable (as I've said before, apart from the 
heads, just about any other part can be made or repaired in a good home 
workshop).

Aren't there strictly 2 prolems, though. The first is keeping machines 
with flopyp drives running, assuming you have the software on something 
that's still readable. And for that a solid-state replacement is one 
possible answer. I seem to remember reading about some open-source floppy 
emulator on the web, the prolem being it only had enough memory for a 
single-sided (5.25" or 3.5") disk image. Which somewhat limits the 
usefulness.

The second iproblem is that you find a floppy disk in good condition (not 
shedding oxide, etc) and you need to read it. To do that you could use an 
accurately aligned floppy drive, which means you need the alignment disk.

-tony



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