Saturday, August 05, 2006

Flopping through the Mists of Time

[reading: Mark Russinovich & David Solomon, "Microsoft Windows Internals (4th edn)"]

I was sorting through a box of old floppy disks the other day and I spotted one with something I wanted to keep on it. It looks to be my only soft copy of an article I wrote on Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem (and I even won a prize for it), so it would be good to get it transferred onto the hard disk.

Slight problem though—I wrote it in 1989, and the floppy disk it's on is old enough that it actually flops (I always liked the old 'floppy' versus 'crispy' distinction). A quick scan of all of the dead machines hidden away around the house failed to uncover any with a 5¼" drive, so I decided to take the bike out for a spin and see if I could find any old-fashioned PC repair shops that might have a drive.

To my surprise, I actually found a couple of places using the "randomly driving around" approach, but only one of them was open on a Saturday. When I went in, things looked hopeful at first—the kid who was behind the counter said they had a machine with a old floppy drive. However, he looked distinctly becroggled when I produced a 5¼" disk; I'm fairly sure he'd never seen one before.

On the way out, I asked the lad behind the counter how old he was. "Fourteen", he replied. "Hmm, thought so—this disk is older than you are".

So I suspect eBay may beckon.

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