Log in

No account? Create an account
05 November 2007 @ 12:01 am
Minor Glitches and Floppy, RIP?  
My desktop appears to dislike connecting the external drive through a front USB port; I got a BSOD. I suspect that it might be a port power issue or resource conflict. Another ongoing issue is that the boot cycle stalls at the "searching for USB mass storage devices" stage unless the all-in-one unit (a Canon MP830) is turned off during the boot. On that one, I suspect a conflict between the memory card readers built into the MP830 and the ones integrated into my floppy drive.

If either or both of these are correct, disconnecting the card reader unit in the floppy drive might resolve the issues (the reader slots in the all-in-one are much easier to reach in any case). This leads to the question of whether it's worth bothering to buy and install a plain floppy drive; I can't recall the last time I used a floppy (including the one time my system had to be steam-cleaned and everything reinstalled from scratch and restored from backup for reasons unrelated to the above).

That raises my curiosity: How long has it been since anybody else actually used a floppy disk?

(I ended up disconnecting the MP830 and connecting its USB cable to the external drive to perform the backup, with no problems except the inconvenience. I may need to pick up a USB hub, if I can find room on my desk.)
Tags: ,
Current Mood: curiouscurious
madfilkentist: CarlWindowmadfilkentist on November 5th, 2007 10:38 am (UTC)
I got an external floppy drive for my Mac three or four years ago on the chance that I might need to access some old floppies. All I ever actually did was to experiment with it.
D'Glenndglenn on November 5th, 2007 01:25 pm (UTC)
"How long has it been since anybody else actually used a floppy disk?

About three months ago,for me. Would've been within the last week, if the machine I wanted to take files from had had a floppy drive (the destination machine does). And a floppy drive would've really, really come in handy about two months ago (I very nearly installed one from my stack of spares).

I don't have a good replacement for floppies yet. Thumb drives are too expensive to use the way I used to use floppies, CDs can't be written on every machine where I want to write to portable media, and aren't as reusable as floppies (and given the type of drive I've got in what few of my computers can burn a CD at all, not reusable at all for me).

From my point of view, doing away with floppy drives was premature. Inevitable, yes, but too soon because a really suitable replacement isn't in place. (If thumbdrives drop a whole lot in price, they'll become suitable; they aren't yet, at least not where I've seen them sold.)
Steve Brinich: Gwiffons On The Huntstevemb on November 5th, 2007 02:04 pm (UTC)
"Thumb drives are too expensive to use the way I used to use floppies"

I occasionally see someone selling batches of 32-64 MB thumb drives cheap, presumably wanting to clear them out because there's little demand for those sizes anymore. If you like, I'll keep an eye out.
Jimpoltr1 on November 5th, 2007 01:45 pm (UTC)
I last used one about two months ago, while trying to transfer files from my laptop to someone else's laptop. Mine's too old for a flash drive (unless it's 256 Mb or less).
Ericacatalana on November 5th, 2007 03:44 pm (UTC)
I used one to back my grades up regularly until about July when I moved and the floppy that used to live half in my disk drive disappeared. Now I back up to my flash drive. (It's just slightly less convenient because the USB ports are lower on the computer and hence more likely to get covered with...stuff. Papers, bills, whatever else is on my desk.)
Selkiselki on November 5th, 2007 08:17 pm (UTC)
I think the last time I used a floppy drive was when I was checking to see if I could read some old backups of resumes, so that would probably be around 2003.
hillarysherwoodhillarysherwood on November 6th, 2007 05:06 am (UTC)
The last time I used a floppy for myself was 7 - 8 years ago. I used to troubleshoot them sometimes at work for my boss, before that job went away.

You can get USB/thumb drives inexpensively if you keep an eye out for sales. I got a 1 GB one for less than $20 on sale at Target a couple of months ago.