Have a thing for old disks? FLOPPYFlash, for those who like it at 3.5"

Subject: General Tech | September 2, 2016 - 12:48 PM |
Tagged: FLOPPYFlash, Compact Flash

It may be masochism or an extremely dated OS or piece of software you support but there are some people out there still using 3.5" floppy disks.  Trying to source new disks which are not yet dead to replace the ones that die on you will be a frustrating experience but there is hope thanks to Solid State Disks Ltd.  Their FLOPPYFlash drives use Compact Flash as their storage medium and connect to your machine using the old 34 pin floppy disk ribbon cable, or even the rarer 26 pin or 34 pin slim and Shugart connections. You can also set your data rates, 125 and 500 Kbit/s being the norm; which should successfully convince your machine it is reading from its old pal, but you will know better and likely sleep better at night.

Pop over to The Register for a look.

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"Floppy disk sales have, well, flopped but there are still masses of PCs and old embedded PC-based systems out there with floppy disk slots and drives. Now this near-dead space can be made usable again, with a 32GB FLOPPYFlash drive from Solid State Disks Ltd."

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Source: The Register

September 2, 2016 | 01:04 PM - Posted by flippityfloppit...

Is the title correct?
"Have a think for old disks?"

September 2, 2016 | 01:08 PM - Posted by funandjam

did you mean "Have a think..." or "Have a thing.."?

September 2, 2016 | 01:26 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

What's the NIC for? My imagination runs wild with legacy PCs that can receive files sent over the network through the floppy connector.

September 2, 2016 | 02:47 PM - Posted by John H (not verified)

The NIC is awesome actually! --

TCP/IP networking via standard RJ45 Ethernet connection is also supported, allowing FLOPPYFlash to be connected to any existing local area network for remote configuration, control, diagnostics, backup and restore.


There are two others i've used -- the HxC emulator is probably the most advanced floppy emulator.. Has supports for all kinds of old computers, MIDI keyboards, sequencing equipment, etc..

There's also a cheap "GoTek" drive you can get on Ebay.. made in China.. some of these can be upgraded to have better firmware that support more platforms (i.e. the Amiga, Atari ST).

September 2, 2016 | 04:40 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

There are still a lot of industrial machines around being controlled by old computers that may still have need for floppy disk or other stuff generally considered to be dead technology by the general computer market.

September 2, 2016 | 06:18 PM - Posted by D1RTYD1Z619

I will go on record saying this is one of the greatest pieces of computer hardware of all time.

September 2, 2016 | 09:03 PM - Posted by furmom (not verified)


September 2, 2016 | 11:00 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

they have these things called "card readers" that fit in those slots..and they've been around for as long as CDROMs have.

September 3, 2016 | 12:45 AM - Posted by D1RTYD1Z619

Someone didn't read the article. No no no

September 5, 2016 | 10:58 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

what am I missing except the fact that it uses the actual FLOPPY connector on the board instead of USB.

because I have a computer that still "press to boot from A" ???

September 6, 2016 | 01:07 PM - Posted by serpico (not verified)

Your not missing anything. It uses the actual FLOPPY connector on the board instead of USB.

It presents itself to the system as a floppy drive with floppy drive like speeds using the old floppy drive connectors.

If you have a system that depends on floppy drives using the old connectors and you're finding it harder and harder to find floppy disks (or more and more annoying to use them) then this might be for you.

September 7, 2016 | 12:20 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

its time for jcpenny to upgrade their cash registers!

jesus god if you are finding this hard what the hell are you running?!?1

September 7, 2016 | 12:33 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

Oh, say the majority of nuclear power plants for an example.

September 3, 2016 | 08:12 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Other than requiring you to dig out a Compact Flash drive from somewhere, how does this differ from the USB floppy emulators that have been commonplace for the last decade in equipment designed to take floppy drives (e.g. sound and lighting mixing desks, industrial equipment, etc)?

September 3, 2016 | 10:52 PM - Posted by serpico (not verified)

I guess cause it's not usb?

September 6, 2016 | 01:22 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

Boot from USB ... not an option on old hardware and OSes, nor with certain security measures in place.

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