Re: [ARMini-support] reading a (literal) disc in the future

  • From: A Rawnsley <rcomp@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: armini-support@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2015 12:51:26 GMT

In message <552295603achris.lists@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
"Chris Bell (Lists)" <chris.lists@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

On 14 Nov, Jim Nagel wrote:
Do we have to keep a RiscPC or an Iyonix in reserve, just for the
purpose of reading a floppy or an archived harddrive?

No. I use the following to access a hard-drive and floppy-discs from a
modern RO computer. They're both available from CJE Micro's...

USB hard-drive enclosure. Connect direct to RO:

http://www.cjemicros.co.uk/micros/individual/newprodpages/prodinfo.php?pro
dcode=VAR-USBHDND

USB floppy-drive. Connect to a networked M$ PC and access it via a
LanMan98 share:

http://www.cjemicros.co.uk/micros/individual/newprodpages/prodinfo.php?pro
dcode=VAR-USBFLOP

Major warning - the above will *only* work for PC formatted floppy discs,
unfortunately, as USB floppy drives are incapable of reading Acorn format
discs.


For floppies, there are software solutions that involve imaging discs. We
can do this for people if required. This can be useful for protected
discs, too (to a point - some are just horrible).

However, as a matter of urgency, we encourage *ALL* customers (SPREAD THE
WORD) to move data from floppy to (at least) hard drive, but preferably
network or USB drive.

The reason for this is that floppies were never designed with long life
expectancies. It is best to think of 3.5" floppies as 10-15yr items.
Most floppies in the RISC OS scene are *considerably* older. That means
that they *will* have decayed to a lesser/greater degree and many *will
not* be readable.

For example, one customer sent me a box of about 8 discs last month, that
he'd keep in his house, boxed and filed, containg his work documents. Of
these, only 3 read without errors, and two more were partially readable.
The other three were lost completely, even tested across multiple
computers/drives.


*I cannot stress enough just how serious this is, and how important it is
to get data off floppies onto other media.*


At least a hard disc can be mounted in a machine and data read over a
network. I recovered the whole contents of an A5000 hard drive (all 120
*megabytes* of it!) for someone last week.


In all honesty, all media decay (even recordable CDs), so there's no
"perfect win" solution, but floppies at this point represent a more or
less guaranteed "lose".


Kind wishes,

Andrew

--
R-Comp
22 Robert Moffat, High Legh, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 6PS
Tel: 01925 755043 Fax: 01925 757377 http://www.rcomp.co.uk
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