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Old 19-10-19, 10:30 AM   #1
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Default 8 inch floppy disks

When I first started work and up to the early 1990s I used 8 inch floppy disks. Apparently the US nuclear force still does but is about to stop:

https://gizmodo.com/u-s-military-wil...e-i-1839166219

On a side note, the first image is credited as a Seeker video, I don't recall ever making one.
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Old 19-10-19, 12:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: 8 inch floppy disks

Moving to 3 1/2 floppies I should imagine
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Old 19-10-19, 04:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: 8 inch floppy disks

I used to think a 3-1/2" floppy was a medical complaint.........
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Old 19-10-19, 06:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: 8 inch floppy disks

No idea what you are on about.

An 8 inch floppy though - THAT I can relate to
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Old 20-10-19, 01:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: 8 inch floppy disks

This is not unusual, there is a lot of very old technology out there running some very, very, important systems. More then you would ever believe. On the one hand if it isn't broke why fix it, the investment could be better spent elsewhere. On the other lack of maintenance, lack of support, lack of resource will create issues.

Its comes down to return on investment while balancing risk. And unfortunately something I have to deal with daily.
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Old 22-10-19, 06:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: 8 inch floppy disks

I worked on PDP11 based systems for a highly accurate data logger integrated into a cab crush system in the early 80 that used a pair of 8 inch floppies to boot the DEC RT11 operating system, spent a lot of time playing Adventure.

But at the same time I was using a programmable function generator to give an input to Electro Hydraulic rams (Fancy wave forms, sine, sawtooth etc with various frequency/amplitude etc) that had to be bootstrapped from the front panel switches sufficient to IPL (Initial Program Load) from paper tape.

But for the old stuff, even I was surprised to be invited into the data centre of an adjacent business to discover a Ferranti Argus. Whilst the Dounray reactor was still live, that Argus would be kept running doing the reactor safety critical simulation!
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Old 22-10-19, 06:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: 8 inch floppy disks

Quote:
Originally Posted by squirrel_hunter View Post
This is not unusual, there is a lot of very old technology out there running some very, very, important systems. More then you would ever believe. On the one hand if it isn't broke why fix it, the investment could be better spent elsewhere. On the other lack of maintenance, lack of support, lack of resource will create issues.

Its comes down to return on investment while balancing risk. And unfortunately something I have to deal with daily.
That attitude kept me busy with the run up to y2k
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Old 23-10-19, 06:12 AM   #8
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Default Re: 8 inch floppy disks

Quote:
Originally Posted by timwilky View Post
I worked on PDP11 based systems... (that used) 8 inch floppies to boot the DEC RT11 operating system.

me, too. Only we used ours as part of a Pagination system (as they were called then) - basically it was what we now think of as Photoshop. The display generator alone consisted of 18 TTL boards connected to the front of a backplane with another 18 ECL boards connected to the back of the same backplane. The ECL boards also had miniature co-ax cabling running between them since all boards were 18inch square and it took too long for some signals to go from the front of the board to the backplane and onto the next board. This system would cost about 250k (if you bought the airbrush option), it had 2 PDP11s, one for file management (3 x 300Mb removable pack disk drives) and one for display. A laptop running Photoshop will now do the same. I think the display side used RSX11 OS.

I vividly remember the PDP11 failing to boot and having to pull out all the boards except CPU and memory and replace the missing boards with the bus chip (a blank board that allowed continuity on the bus) to see which board was causing the hangup. Usually, taking the boards out and refitting them either solved the problem or led you down an endless path of illogical conclusions.
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Last edited by Seeker; 23-10-19 at 06:14 AM.
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Old 23-10-19, 07:21 AM   #9
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Default Re: 8 inch floppy disks

I worked in a job where the gamma ray spectrometer in the QA lab still used an 8" floppy in the 1990s. It probably had less CPU power than my phone, but all the hard work was done by the attached electronics so it wasn't much more than a glorified data logger.

It kept on working and the calibration was spot on, so there was no point replacing it.
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