Old 3.5" floppy discs of personal work

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sa_scott
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Old 3.5" floppy discs of personal work

Post by sa_scott » Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:05 am

Hi all, and belated Seasons Greetings!

I've come across a set of about 20 3.5" discs with personal work myself and my brother created, and was wondering whether anyone locally had an Acorn machine for me to attempt to read them?

I've honestly no idea if any of them will work, as they've been stored in pretty cold and dusty conditions.

I'm in the SW Surrey area, local assistance is preferable. Postage rates are very high given the risk that these discs may be unreadable to start with!

Do get in touch via email at sa_scott AT yahoo.com if you can assist.

Kind Regards

Steve
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flaxcottage
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Re: Old 3.5" floppy discs of personal work

Post by flaxcottage » Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:59 pm

Why not use OmniFlop to make ADF files of the floppies and the Red Squirrel Archimedes emulator and read them yourself?
- John

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Re: Old 3.5" floppy discs of personal work

Post by thecellartroll » Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:31 am

It is a good idea to visually inspect the disk surfaces for mould etc before putting them in a disk drive. I hope you have better luck than me. I tested about a hundred 3.5" disks which had been stored in the same conditions as a big load of 5.25" disks which all still work. Nearly all the 3.5" ones were dead :(

poink
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Re: Old 3.5" floppy discs of personal work

Post by poink » Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:07 am

Also, it's a good idea to check the drive. Apparently, machines with cooling fans like to pull/push air through the drive bays, so unused drives can accumulate dirt internally, leading to damaged discs.

Certainly, reading them into disc images and using them with an emulator seems the best course of action. One may find that the original RISC OS software is needed (or at least desirable) to make sense of many of the files.

In this case, because it's ADFS (thus MFM encoded) and on 3.5" discs, it should be easier to find a suitable machine. Any PC with a proper floppy controller should be able to read it. (Perhaps with a bit of tape for convincing it about HD discs being used as DD.) If you've got something Core 2-era or older with an internal floppy drive lying around, it should do the trick here.

[1] Proper being with a 34 pin floppy connector, rather than SCSI/ATAPI/USB (which are essentially adaptations of the same protocol to different cables).

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helpful
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Re: Old 3.5" floppy discs of personal work

Post by helpful » Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:44 am

You could bring them along to the next ROUGOL meeting. Although we don't have a machine on site with a floppy drive any more (our last RiscPC finally failed :-( ) there will be people there with suitable systems at home to try reading the discs. I have two!

Bryan.
RISC OS User Group Of London - http://www.rougol.jellybaby.net/
RISC OS London Show - http://www.riscoslondonshow.co.uk/

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sa_scott
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Re: Old 3.5" floppy discs of personal work

Post by sa_scott » Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:50 am

Thanks for your suggestions guys. I am aware of Omniflop, but you need a compatible disk drive to use that. I only have an iMac, so using USB floppy drives isn't going to be an option.

I don't work in London now, so meeting up at ROUGOL will be difficult. I'll give the discs an inspection, and see whether they have mould or not.

Much of the work on these discs is written in Basic (potentially pieces of games my brother worked on), so there's a greater chance of it working on newer hardware. Sound modules or use of MemAlloc will need amending of course. No idea what's on some discs however. I really should have got them read while I had my Risc PC. It got sold to CJE back in 2008!

Steve
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sa_scott
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Re: Old 3.5" floppy discs of personal work

Post by sa_scott » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:34 pm

Thanks to those of you who got in touch. I have a potential contact - now I only need the time :D

Kind Regards

Steve
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Stephen Scott, Digital Media Professional
www.sassquad.com

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