thinking of the "ultimate" retro x86 PCs - what bits to seek/keep ?

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Thu Jun 2 18:16:14 CDT 2016

On 06/02/2016 03:13 PM, Swift Griggs wrote:
> On Thu, 2 Jun 2016, Fred Cisin wrote:
>> MOST of the "2.88M" drives (2.81MiB) drives could also do 1.4M;
>> same FDC but needed device driver and twice the data transfer rate
>> for 2.8M.
> Heh, 2.88" disks were like unicorns. I heard all about them, but I
> never saw them for sale or people using them. That was probably just
> my limited view at the time. The 20M floptical in the SGI Indy is
> like a tooth fairy riding a unicorn, I've seen pictures, but I've
> never actually seen one (or the disks) in person.

2.88M 3.5" floppies were a huge mistake (there were also 2.88M 5.25"
ones as well).  The media was expensive (I think I paid nearly $50 for
box of 10 DSED floppies and the drives needed FDC support.  That being
said, most P2 and later boxes did have 2.88M FDC support.  Drives were
uncommon (e.g. Teac FD235J).  I think that I've seen all of about five
floppies in for conversion over the last 20 years in 2.88M format.

Not sure about the need for drivers, however.  I guess it depends upon
the type and version of your OS.  I never had the need of them.  Simply
declaring the drive as such in the BIOS setup was sufficient.

There were 3.5" flopticals, and then there were the 3.5" WORM
drives--both at about the same time.  The WORM drives were write-once
and could not compete with CD-R when those came out.


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