IBM 9331-011 8" External Floppy Drive - eBay 183038271095

Fred Cisin cisin at
Thu Feb 1 20:27:33 CST 2018

> Exactly what does a FDADP do for *reading*?  Nothing that I can figure, 
> other than re-arrange the 50 line SA-800 interface to a 34-line SA-400 
> type.

"Current" versions ("since 2009") have two small 7-segment LEDs that 
display current track number.
THAT might be handy sometime, although most such times are amenable to 
software methods.

Analagous example:  When installing the beta version of Windows 3.10, it 
would hit an unrecoverable error at a certain point.  But, SMARTDRV 
wouldn't permit anything other then futile further retries (since 
SMARTDRV had already reported SUCCESS), or abort the installation, at 
which time, it destroyed all indication of where on the 
disk the problem was.  Neither SSTOR nor Spinrite could find the 
consistent bad spot.  If I had known cylinder and head, I could have 
trivially mapped out the bad spot.  I should have written a TSR to be able 
to interrupt and find out!   (Without SMARTDRV, I could have done 
an "Ignore" and renamed the specific file that failed into "BADSECS", and 
written another copy of that file to another location.)  I told MS Win31 
beta support that write-cacheing of SMARTDRV (which at that point could 
not be turned off!) was capable of creating disasters that would 
ultimately force recalls (DOS 6.00 to 6.20 replacement); they said that it 
was a HARDWARE problem, not THEIR problem, and that it was not the 
responsibility of the OS to find, work around, nor recover gracefully from 
hardware problems.

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