A Conversation for 3.5 Inch Floppy Disk Maintenance

Disk Labels

Post 1

Caveman, Evil Unix Sysadmin, betting shop operative, and SuDoku addict (Its an odd mix, but someone has to do it)

As a professional sysadmin and software hacker, I never label any disks.

I don't label any video tapes either, which can be darn confusing sometimes, but you get used to it.

Anyhow, at work, all incoming media is scanned for virii by software support before they let anyone else have it. For CD's they stick a little round green label on the CD case (which is daft, because the case isn't what would have the virus on it, unless someone sneezed).

For floppies, they stick the little green sticker on the underside of the disk.

I have lost cound of the number of little green labels I have recovered from the insides of broken floppy drives. I've also found 'Warranty Void if Removed'(*) stickers inside drives, plastered over the head. Not sure exactly where they came from, so I removed them (the warranty was probably voided by me ripping the drive to bits anyway).

Repairing floppy drives isn't economically viable any more, as they cost about UKP 7.00 to buy new. However, if the choice is repairing floppy drives or working on some twenty year old FORTRAN code written by a loony, then it's time to get the toolkit out.

(*)The latest version of the 'Warranty void if removed' sticker I've seen is on the underside of Creative Labs 52x CD-ROM drives. However the wording is the very strange 'Warranty void if broken'. - Makes you think dunnit?

Disk Labels

Post 2

Wand'rin star

Why don't you label disks? Is it because the labels fall off? (Sorry to be so dumb,but beware there's an even dumber question coming) Would it ruin them if I wrote a couple of letters on them with a felt tip pen as I'm not as good at telling them apart as you obviously are. (Don't worry - I haven't done it yet)

Disk Labels

Post 3

Caveman, Evil Unix Sysadmin, betting shop operative, and SuDoku addict (Its an odd mix, but someone has to do it)

I think the main reasons are:

1. Software support don't let us have disks. I think they think we'll injure ourselves with them. That, or they are greedy, and don't want to spend money on media.(*)

2. Generally, anything that is on a floppy gets erased next time I need a floppy. I don't keep anything important on floppy disks. Unfortunately, some people do, so when I pick up a random disk, and dd of=/dev/fd0 bs=18432 if=MyWackoBootDisk.dsk all over it, they get understandably upset.

If I did label disks, I'd probably write exactly what it was I put on the disk, which given the type of stuff I write, would require a label bigger than the disk. Ten minutes later, and it's got itself zapped...

* Come to think of it, I also don't write on disk labels because the aforementioned software support group hide all the disk labels too!

We have a wonderful system when new hardware comes in. Software support take all the disks and manuals, so that they can be "kept track of". They then lock them away, where us engineers can't get them, and go to lunch. We then come to poke at the hardware, and suprise! No manual or drivers. In my department, which is mainly systems and driver development (usually in Linux), lack of drivers isn't a problem because I've either already got them, or I'm writing them. However, lack of manuals can be a real problem when you've got 48 jumpers on the board, and the only labels are things like 'J23'.

Providing you have a project ID number, you can go to support and requisition the manual you require, but Admin (another group) don't seem to think us techs need to know project ID numbers, and consequently we have to follow an extremely tortuous route to getting the manuals.

And I thought Paranoia was bad ( http://www.h2g2.com/A271144 )

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