12 February 2007

Farewell to the floppy disk

I recently spent several days doing a boring but necessary chore: copying files off all my old floppy disks before the last computer in the house with a floppy drive finally gives up the ghost (or is given away to charity). Getting the old files onto a CD got a wee bit complicated because the computer with the floppy drive does not have a CD burner, so I have to get the files onto the computer with a CD burner. Turns out the two computers have no means of communication in common, but I have a third computer that can read a CompactFlash (CF) card (which the old computer can write to) and then write to a USB drive, which the new computer (the one that burns CDs) can read. So... copy from floppy to hard drive 1, copy from hard drive 1 to CF card, copy from CF card to hard drive 2, copy from there to USB drive, copy from there to new computer, burn CD. Whew! I thought for awhile I would have to email all the files to myself, just to get them from one computer to another. Mind you, many of these old files probably can't be opened by any programs I now own, so this may be wasted effort in the long run, but OTOH a lot of people have this problem so there probably are programs on the web that will convert from old file formats to modern ones. The photo shows a few of the floppies; I must have thrown out twice that many before I thought of taking a picture of them.