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Old 12-01-2007, 01:55 PM
"Lamar Owen"
Default Reading old floppies under linux (was: Windows XP Sucks!)

On Friday 30 November 2007, Mikkel L. Ellertson wrote:
> Then again, I should probably archive all
> the 5-1/4" floppies while I still have a drive that reads them. I
> have so 5-1/4" 96tpi double-density drives and floppies. I guess I
> could teach Linux to read the floppies in a 5-1/4" high-density
> drive. (Data rate of a 360K floppy but the track spacing of a 1.2M
> floppy - the same format as a 720k 3-1/2" floppy.)

One word: CatWeasel. Programs are available for Linux to read and write
virtually any format floppy with a PC. Even Apple ][, Commodore, TRS-80,
PDP-11 (RX02 even if you have an eight-inch drive, RX50 for the 5.25), even
Mac formatted 3.5 inch floppies can be read and/or written. With xtrs and a
catweasel your Fedora 8 box can be the fastest TRS-80 ever made.... (yes, I
still occasionally fire up xtrs to remember just how good modern OS's like F8
are compared to the old TRSDOS I started with many years ago.)

You want the MK4 card, which isn't too hard to find. If you wanted an MK3,
well, I have one that I'm looking to seel now that I have an MK4... :-). See
http://amigakit.leamancomputing.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=42&products_id=206&osCsid=4 749689b5aa2256c81e7b077ee67bc5d
for an order page from amigakit for the MK4. The card is $123.41US. If you
have lots of old floppies to archive, this is the card to have.

The old 96TPI 5.25 inch double-density drives were pretty common on TRS-80's,
too, in the enthusiast markets at least. 80 tracks and double-sided;
aka 'quad density'.
Lamar Owen
Chief Information Officer
Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
1 PARI Drive
Rosman, NC 28772

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