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Bottom Feeder

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Bottom Feeder

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Those two little square holes at the bottom remind me of what they are — a R/W lock and an indicator of it being a 1.44MB disk or a 720KB one. Back in the daze the 1.44 disks would cost 2, 3 times what the 720 disks costs. So BF got out his eighth inch drill, drilled a hole in the 720 disks and made them 1.44s.

They worked just fine because there was no difference in the medium they used to make each disk by then.

BF
 

EricTheCat

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Yep, I remember that trick. Fun times. Those disks actually bring back a lot of fun memories.

I still have a Sony Mavica camera that can write 640x480 images directly to the 1.44 MB disks.

My web server still has a drive for those. Yeah a little overdue for a hardware refresh.

I used to do unconventional things with those disks. Like using a hex editor to put ascii 7 (beep) character in file names so a dir on the disk would cause it to beep. Or putting ANSI control codes in file names I would have it re-map the keyboard so the next time you hit a particular letter it would type a few back spaces and then the path to a batch file + enter (only worked if ANSI.SYS was loaded). Or my favorite, what I called Tron OS. I wrote a very simple tron game in assembly and it was small enough to write directly to the boot sector of a floppy. So I could boot to the floppy and play tron with no OS. :D

(Didn't mean to write a novel. Once you get me going...) lol
 

Unca Walt

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Those two little square holes at the bottom remind me of what they are — a R/W lock and an indicator of it being a 1.44MB disk or a 720KB one. Back in the daze the 1.44 disks would cost 2, 3 times what the 720 disks costs. So BF got out his eighth inch drill, drilled a hole in the 720 disks and made them 1.44s.

They worked just fine because there was no difference in the medium they used to make each disk by then.

BF

Not quite true, BF. The grading hole (that you can cover with metal tape) to double the disk's "size" is there for a real reason: If the disk has not met the QC parameters to be a 1.44MB, it gets the set to 720KB.

This in no way means they will not work just fine. It does mean that the quality engineering and quality assurance group had the final say back then. Their failure rate -- while very low -- was NOT viable to be sold.

That failure rate would have caused a lot of trouble for the mfr.
 

Bottom Feeder

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thats how it started, Walter, but they continued doing it when that was no longer an issue.
BF
 

Unca Walt

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thats how it started, Walter, but they continued doing it when that was no longer an issue.
BF

I do believe you are absolutely correct. I was on the fargin design team for the PS/2. Which means that what we had to prove was the best possibobble results. Hence 1.44MB only for stuff we could use for testing. But... that wasn't ever thought of again (by us Engrs.) after it went out there.

Dem sneeky Sales bastages. In this age, such a simple fixeroo would never stay unknown to anybody at all.
 

the_shootist

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I do believe you are absolutely correct. I was on the fargin design team for the PS/2. Which means that what we had to prove was the best possibobble results. Hence 1.44MB only for stuff we could use for testing. But... that wasn't ever thought of again (by us Engrs.) after it went out there.

Dem sneeky Sales bastages. In this age, such a simple fixeroo would never stay unknown to anybody at all.
IBM's MCA (Micro Channel Architecture) bus was light years ahead of its time...at the time :)
 

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"Bleeding" edge. There were bodies of EE's laying all over the floors.
 

Bottom Feeder

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IBM's MCA (Micro Channel Architecture) bus was light years ahead of its time...at the time :)
Ha Ha Ha, yes it was — but
IBM tried to force everyone onto their proprietary architecture and collect royalties on it's use.
Where the 8/16 bit buss was open architecture.
FAIL!!

BF
 

the_shootist

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Ha Ha Ha, yes it was — but
IBM tried to force everyone onto their proprietary architecture and collect royalties on it's use.
Where the 8/16 bit buss was open architecture.
FAIL!!

BF
Precisely
 

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You guys ever watch the series "Halt and catch fire"? Really fun series based around the early days of personal computers. Great for nostalgic computer geeks like myself.
 

Bottom Feeder

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PS/2
Was a great day they replaced that stupid interface with USB.
Even RS-232 has lasted beyond PS/2
 

the_shootist

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That is awesome. Just wanted to say that. Plugged in more PS/2 keyboards than I could count over the years. :beer:
It was still better than that huge standard keyboard connector. I remember when USB was first introduced. It seemed like pie in the sky to me at the time but it's lived up to the hype over the years
 

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It was still better than that huge standard keyboard connector. I remember when USB was first introduced. It seemed like pie in the sky to me at the time but it's lived up to the hype over the years

I have to admit I was one of those people extremely skeptical about USB. I was afraid that it was going to bring us further from standardization as new standards kept being added. Time proved me wrong on that one.
 

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USB is great, I just wish there wasn't 55 different connectors. And I was recently introduced to how usb 3 kills 2.4 mHz wifi.
 

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IBM's MCA (Micro Channel Architecture) bus was light years ahead of its time...at the time :)

Spent around 10K on a micro channel in the early 90's then it was tough getting a graphics card for it.
It was like a 486 50mh with 32 ram.
 

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