Looking for computer and individual to read old floppy disks

Fred Cisin cisin at xenosoft.com
Fri Mar 11 21:57:47 CST 2022

>>> 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, . . .
On Fri, 11 Mar 2022, Warner Losh wrote:
> 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.

Well, it requires two different data transfer rates, two write durrents if 
you want to WRITE, enough smarts to recognize what it sees, and software 
that supports both sets of format parameters.

Nevertheless, designing a 1.4M without 720K support or a 1.2M without 
360K support would seem to be unclear on the concept.
And, a properly designed 1.4M should be even able to handle BOTH PC 1.4M 
and Mac 1.4M.

I'll cut them some slack on not supporting 160K, 180K, 320K, or being able 
to provide lower level access (INT13H equivalent) for non-PC formats.
(Although that is obviously what I would want)

There was a time about 30 years ago, . . .
a couple different companies took tiny single boards, such as Ampro Little 
Board, stuck them in a box with a floppy drive, and custom software that 
included communication through serial port, and marketed them as things 
such as "MACINTOSH drive for PC, AND OTHER, disks"!

Grumpy Ol' Fred     		cisin at xenosoft.com

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