I have just about every media they ever used, including 3 sizes of tape in several formats. My real favorite in the 3363 optical disk but, alas it is only 200 meg. It is a certified "archival" format that is supposed to last 100 years. The problem is there may only be a couple hundred working drives on the planet. It would take 10-15 cartridges to hold the music in my car. I still put floppies in my machines but I agree there is less and less that they can be used for. You need a CD to carry the drivers for most hardware these days. I am starting to migrate to DVD but I do have fears about how stable they are. I have had plenty of CD-r's go bad on me. Certainly you don't want sunlight to hit the "burned" side for very long.
#132588 - 02/06/0701:11 AMRe: Floppy disk is out of retail
The only really permanent disk storage are gold plated CD's. All other forms of digital storage, including hard drives, must be thought of as temporary. This is why it is important to backup files on multiple storage formats. This is diffently a pain but it is the only way to make your information permanent.
#132589 - 02/06/0709:48 AMRe: Floppy disk is out of retail
I still have some 5.25-inch disks, both on an old IBM AT and an even older CP/M system (different formats, of course).
I have none left myself, but I well remember using 8-inch floppies and loading programs from 1-inch paper tape via the reader on an ASR33 teletype. I must be getting old!
I also have an audio tape recorder, I dunno what it is called. It had 2 large disks, round, and you had to lead the tape in front of the head, and fix it on the other disc.
I think you're probably talking about a reel-to-reel tape recorder with standard 1/4-inch tape. There were multiple tape speeds and several different formats for the tape for single/double/quad track, mono or stereo.
#132591 - 02/06/0702:40 PMRe: Floppy disk is out of retail
Yup Paul, that is what my Roberts 1725 8L uses. 7" reels of 1/4" tape, 4 tracks (2 in each direction). At 3IPS you get about an hour of stereo going each way. This machine also records/plays 8 track tape cartridges. It was working the last time I played with it 10 years ago. IBM had a lot of machines that used 8" floppies. They invented the thing in San Jose to load microcode on disk drive controllers but it showed up first on the console of the 370/135 CPU. Later that year it was in the 3830 disk controller. That 23FD drive never went to far because of the limitations (fixed sector size, one side, low bit density) but when the 33FD came out with soft sectoring it became an industry standard. Eventually that became the dual density, dual side disk the world knows. It was still only 2 meg. IBM tried to extend the life of the 3.5" floppy with the 2.88 meg drive but it never caught on. Tape never really caught on in the consumer market. The QIC cartridge was a standard in commercial small systems for backups (topping out at 525meg) and that got replaced with the 8mm helical scan (mini VCR) cartridge that went up to 7 gig. The drives were too expensive for most homeowners. Big systems still stuck with 1/2" tape well into the 90s and I suppose some still have a few drives. IBM had predicted the death of "round tape" in the 70s but it didn't really happen. The 3480 cartridge was really the tape standard for enterprise systems but people still had huge tape libraries they didn't want to part with. They also dabbled with a couple other formats. Probably the worst was the "noodle snatcher" a machine that pulled a 3" wide strip of magnetic material on mylar out of a cartridge, wrapped it around a drum and read it. The problem was getting it back in the box without wadding it up. The most interesting was the "mass storage" that used "bullets" which contained a long ribbon of mylar about 2" wide. These were stored in a honeycomb rack inside the machine and a robot reader would go find the one it wanted and mount it. They actually worked pretty well. 500 gig disk drives for less that $200 are making all of this obsolete. I have two 250s on this machine. It is enough storage that I can afford to "mirror" them. Now days with RAID controllers that is automatic and if one drive crashes you automaticly have a backup. Replace the bad drive and the system sychronizes in the new drive so you are mirrored again.
#132592 - 02/06/0706:27 PMRe: Floppy disk is out of retail
For just "sneaker netting" files from one PC to another a thumb drive seems to be the way to go. That is one of those keychain toy looking things that plug into a USB port. Some are "gig"s of storage these days.
#132594 - 02/07/0701:11 PMRe: Floppy disk is out of retail