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Old 16 December 2005, 12:30   #1
Dastardly
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3.5" floppies - How long will they be around for?

While Im emulating Amiga for the time being, in the near future Ill be digging out my old A500 and maybe buying an A1200.

What I want to know is how long do you think 3.5" floppies will be produced for? 10 more years? more/less?

Im just wondering if I should be buying them now so I have some if they do get finished off.

Also, whats the lifespan of 3.5" disks if they are sealed and unopened?

I realise that no one knows for certain but I just wondered what you thought.

Cheers
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Old 16 December 2005, 13:12   #2
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Soon we can forget those floppies and start enjoying this:

http://www.amiga.org.ru/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1298

(I'm rather excited!)

As for your questions: floppies won't be around for too long any more, and DD floppies are getting increasingly hard to find now.

You can usually get them from people selling old synths and embroidery machines..

http://www.smrsoftware.com/disks.htm
http://www.crcsales.com/floppy_diskette.htm

The diskettes themselves aren't affected by age that much, I have several 20 year old disks that work just fine even today. Just keep them at room temperature and low ambient moisture.

I was thinking about the same things as you, but nowadays I don't have that problem any longer. :-)

Look out for piles of previously loved diskettes to be sold in the near future.
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Old 16 December 2005, 13:23   #3
lopos2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jope
Soon we can forget those floppies and start enjoying this:

http://www.amiga.org.ru/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1298

(I'm rather excited!)
That's one of a cool device. Shame I a can't read what they saying about it
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Old 16 December 2005, 15:23   #4
jmmijo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lopos2000
That's one of a cool device. Shame I a can't read what they saying about it
Try using Babelfish to translate that info for you

As for the floppy question, well I can say from personal experience that bit rot does occur in both DD and HD media. I'm cleaning up around the office at work and going thru the stacks of both DD and HD floppy discs. I've been reformatting them with WinImage Pro that will do a full disc verify and have found many that are plain dead now, gets so far into the format and fails to verify a certain track

Too bad I have to recycle them but there isn't much I can do to revive said media and it's not worth the time and hassle to do so IMO.

Last edited by jmmijo; 16 December 2005 at 15:33.
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Old 16 December 2005, 20:00   #5
mr_a500
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I've got a box of about 1400 DD disks that I use occasionally for writing ADF/DMS images before installing on my Amiga HD. About 1/6 of them experience some kind of "read/write error at block ..." and Disksalv always reports a hard error. This happens even on disks that were fine a couple years ago. So far, I've thrown out about 100 bad disks.

The end is near, but I'm much more worried about the actual Amiga hardware.
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Old 17 December 2005, 17:44   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_a500
The end is near, but I'm much more worried about the actual Amiga hardware.
Exactly, this is a much more important aspect even if the veneriable floppy disc goes the way of the Dodo
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Old 17 December 2005, 19:18   #7
Dastardly
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The reason I asked about the disks rather than actual Amiga hardware is I expect Amigas to be around for a long time to come, just the C64 is today.
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Old 18 December 2005, 15:38   #8
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Just be aware! If you store disk's badly they will fall over like domimoes
I have lost loads because of not lookin after them properly
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Old 18 December 2005, 15:43   #9
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I know its not such a good idea to use High Density disks for amiga stuff but anyone with a catweasel mk4 (like myself) use a standard pc disk drive to read/write adf's, it should be ok to use these HD disks and just tape over the extra hole to fool the drive into DD mode!

I might try it later and see how things go!
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Old 18 December 2005, 15:46   #10
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DD and HD disks need a different writing current.. Thus if you fool the drive into thinking it's got a DD disk in, you'll have the same problems in store later.
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