In getting ready for a project that involves a ~30 year old computer, I found myself working through a heap of old 3.5″ diskettes. Simple mount it, make sure it’s blank, and do a trivial I/O test; repeat that a few times on several and do a heavy I/O test on a few. To make the process go faster, I wrote a quick shell script so I could cycle through the heap.

Signs that I am getting old may include:

  1. Finding 720 K diskettes mixed in with the 1440 K floppies.
  2. Remembering what Double Density (DD) and High Density (HD) means.
  3. Finding unlabeled MS-DOS 5.0 upgrade disks among the 720 K collection.
  4. Wondering if I’m the only one who used to label their damn disks.
  5. Wondering how much a pack of floppy disk labels costs nowadays.
Oh, and did I mention being sad that at least one looks like it failed? That’s not counting the ones I chucked in the “Not sure I wanna test this” bin for the quality of tape for fear they’ll muck up the drive head. Nor another that I suspect is either failed, or that someone did cpio > floppy off a SCO or Xenix box and don’t care to determine which.
Yeah, there’s something clearly wrong with this picture.