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Old Floppies - Zer Netmouse
August 30th, 2006
11:54 am

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Old Floppies
Is there any point in keeping 3 1/2" floppy disks that none of my computers can read? Is it possible the data is still readable on there (these are over 10 years old), and I just need an older computer (or in some cases a mac) to read them?

Edited to add: so if you have an 1980s/early 1990s mac or other computer, please let me know. I'd like to use the disc drive...

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From:atdt1991
Date:August 30th, 2006 03:52 pm (UTC)
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Very possible to read them if they've been stored well. 5 1/4"?
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From:xdaemon
Date:August 30th, 2006 03:52 pm (UTC)
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Not the mac discs...
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From:atdt1991
Date:August 30th, 2006 03:53 pm (UTC)
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Clearly
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From:netmouse
Date:August 30th, 2006 04:09 pm (UTC)
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no, 3 1/2 ", mostly HD. might be some ED.
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From:atdt1991
Date:August 30th, 2006 04:14 pm (UTC)
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There are plenty of drives to read that. Heck, I might still have one attached on my desktop. I thought you meant -really- tough - I once had to go through my old computer junk to find 5 1/4" floppies so I could copy "Loom" (a game) onto my desktop.

I have to admit it was kinda fun :D
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From:xdaemon
Date:August 30th, 2006 03:53 pm (UTC)
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Better question... is there any chance there's anything on there you care to read? I pitched a mountain of floppies last time I came across them simply because there is no chance I care about the contents.
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From:dd_b
Date:August 30th, 2006 04:00 pm (UTC)
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I always wonder how people can be so confident of that, without know what the contents *are*.
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From:xdaemon
Date:August 30th, 2006 04:04 pm (UTC)
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You didn't clearly label your floppies? I must be more anal-retentive than you are ;-)
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From:netmouse
Date:August 30th, 2006 04:11 pm (UTC)
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Oh, yes, these have my high school and college papers and other writing on them - a lot of it I should let go of but I'd be very curious to see them and would like to create an optical backup if I can recover the data.
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From:dd_b
Date:August 30th, 2006 03:59 pm (UTC)
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Floppies have a decent chance of being unreadable (short of heroic == expensive measures) in 10 years. If you *do* think you want to try to rescue the data, don't delay. Keeping them for possible future rescue is not a wise choice.

There's a decent shot some of them will be fine right now. If it's old variable-speed Mac disks you pretty much have to find one of those old machines, otherwise modern drives should read them.
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From:mishamish
Date:August 30th, 2006 04:53 pm (UTC)
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Hmm... is it that PCs can read Mac floppies but not vice versa or... uhm... vice versa? It's been too long since I've worked with Macs to remember...
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From:sleigh
Date:August 30th, 2006 07:45 pm (UTC)
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The other way around. Macs could always read PC disks, cbut PCs couldn't read Mac-formatted disks.
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From:encorecrazay
Date:August 30th, 2006 05:26 pm (UTC)
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I just tossed about 20 boxes of floppies, that I checked for anything I might want first. I keep one box for sentimental reasons - I found an old IBM keypunch card that I've keep for the same reason in one of my statistics books that I brought into work because of a modelling problem I'll probably have to solve rather than the statisticians in the police department.
From:tlatoani
Date:August 30th, 2006 05:59 pm (UTC)
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We've got an old Mac around that should be able to read them.
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From:thatguychuck
Date:August 30th, 2006 09:30 pm (UTC)
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Not Mac, but there's a handfull of systems around here that have floppy drives. If you want bring them by Corsa and we'll see what we can do.
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