Looking for computer and individual to read old floppy disks

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Fri Mar 11 21:37:33 CST 2022

On Fri, Mar 11, 2022, 8:34 PM Fred Cisin <cisin at xenosoft.com> wrote:

> >>>> I got more details from the guy with the disks.  They are apparently
> >>>> "360K" PC floppies with XYWRITE files, and he wants to load the file
> >>>> contents into a "modern"? word processor.  So hopefully, somebody can
> >>>> help him, with a simple COPY *.*, and I think that he now understands
> >>>> that he might also need to get back a copy of XYWRITE to turn the
> >>>> file content into something usable.
> >>> It was mentioned that he would pay someone to do this.  Why not just
> >>> tell him to buy a $20 USB Floppy from Amazon and copy them himself?
> > On Fri, Mar 11, 2022 at 7:25 PM Fred Cisin via cctalk <
> cctalk at classiccmp.org>
> > wrote:
> >> 5.25" USB floppies seem to be scarce now!
> >> I didn't do any serious searching, but neither Amazon nor eBay showed
> any
> >> obvious (on first page) hits.
> >> Some of the early USB drives, even if 3.5", MIGHT separate controller
> and
> >> drive enough to be modifiable, . . .
> >> I would GUESS that the "modern" ones are too "integrated".
> On Fri, 11 Mar 2022, Warner Losh wrote:
> > There are no 5.25" USB floppies. Well, not 100% true (there are values
> > in the identifier strings that tell you it's a 1.2MB floppy vs a 1.44MB
> > floppy), but as a practical matter, you can't find them. I've looked and
> > gave up... That's how I wound up with my kyroflux + TEAC drive (though a
> > greaseweasel is a better choice these days)...
> >
> > If these are the old 360k diskettes, then you'd be out of luck the USB
> > route.. But an imager would be on the order of $30 for the greaseweasel,
> > or similar, and another $40 for a working 5.25" drive and a few hours of
> > your time to set it up and figure it all out... So anybody copying the
> > disks for < ~$100 or $150 would be cost effective for this person...
> If somebody DID make a 1.2M USB floppy, it would seem likely that they
> OUGHT TO include the 360K option within it, . . .

It ought to... but that's not defined in the standard...

But, if 1.2M USB drives exist, or ever existed, they're R at RE
> I HOPE that the USB 1.4M drives handle 720K, . . .

That's what I hoped when I bought it, but no joy. Even trying nonstandard
format values was no help. It would only read 1.44MB.


> The harder part is converting XYWRITE files into something more mordern...
> In his further detail private message, He seemd to understand that he
> might have to get a replacement copy of XYWRITE (he said that he gave his
> to Goodwill a few months ago), and do a load and SAVE-AS for each file.
> Yes, it was always fun trying to explain to people that COPYing the
> Wordstar file was NOT the cause of the "corruption of the last letter of
> each word".  Fortunately, THAT one was trivial to deal with.  I don't know
> anything about the file structure of XYWRITE.
> [This reply was delayed by a power failure]
> --
> Grumpy Ol' Fred                 cisin at xenosoft.com

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