What is this?

What parts? Why are they floppy?   The gist of this project is to sift through and archive the contents of old, forgotten floppy disks. Using a USB floppy disk and a handful of VM builds and side-systems, access to abandoned data is once again available.   The catalyst for this occurred in spring of 2020, after about 75 days of lockdown. I (codinginquarantine) was gearing up to jazz up my brand new Twitch streaming channel. To go along with the theme of my channel (retro games and game dev) I found a cheap eBay auction for about 20 old floppy disks. The intent was to use these as art props for the stream's visuals, and then they sat around for over two years. The intriguing titles stuck with me in the meantime, leaving me always curious on what they contained. Prodded on by needing a USB floppy disk for another tech project, we now have access to these disks (and an endless supply available through used disk sales and auctions).   The actual act of doin

CDC case #26 - christmas with a lowercase c

It's right around the corner, after all. Everyone's favorite topic - upper and lowercase letters. Blank black disk this time, was honestly expecting it to be empty. Instead it had three files on it: The first one seems like an article taken out of a college resource system - a cliffnotes about Acapulco, from an Oberlin College scholar. The second file, Christmas 1 9 01.wpd was the meat and potatoes of this disk. A truly off-the-rails assesment of the holiday season, as reported by an (assumed) eighth-grader, based on previous disk contents. Remember kids, only give because you get something out of it. That's the Catholic way. The remaining file is some homework answer sheet, but we don't have the original questions. Nothing says rent control like giant blue boxes. Highlight video here: And remember - keep those parts fl

CDC case #25 - Haunted Cover Page

Back to the homework mines, though this time it unleashes a demon. Handful of files once we open it up. Of note, there might have been an essay originally on this disk, there certainly isn't any more. The cover page may have been intended for that essay. But instead it's now all borked up, as you can see: It's 5294 pages of absolute gibberish. I'm sure it's a formatting issue but curious what it could have originally been, at this size. The remaining files are all very similiar - spreadsheets and graphs of some sort of Econ homework, portraying Don and Dom's Portfolio . Not sure why they needed to do it four times, but it's all here. The spreadsheets probably aren't haunted though. Highlight video here: And remember - keep those parts floppy

CDC case #24 - Dana's Algebra

There's honestly not much to say about thise one. It says Dana's Algebra. It is Dana's algebra. I paid real money for this disk. Highlight video here: And remember - keep those parts floppy

CDC case #23 - Ch 20

I hope you like homework, because here's another one: The disk says Ch 20 , and that's exactly what it what it contains once you open it up. And then! Guess what happens when we open that file! That's right! It's chapter 20. Also, as noted by the viewers, the working theory is this was originally in another font that when the Ubuntu system loaded it, it pushed the text off the slide. That happens in a few other slides, in addition to some typos. It goes on for 38 slides. Something something putting food in our chemicals Highlight video here: And remember - keep those parts floppy

CDC case #22 - 10%

Another short one, this just contained one piece of homework: Another disk where I ripped off the wonky shutter, lest it ruin my good disk reader. Opening it up reveals the one file, 8.1 Electric.ppt . Opening it gives us yet another Dana DiMaggio special - random words on slides with no context. There's only 16 of them this time, a few highlights below: The chat graded this homework and gave it a 10%. Highlight video here: And remember - keep those parts floppy

CDC case #21 - Toe Pics

I don't have anything clever to follow up the post title with, so let's get straight to the disk: It should be noted this disk almost broke my disk drive - that's why it doesn't have a shutter on it. Getting into it, there's two files: 17.3 the nucleus.ppt and Journal 2 9 11 00.wpd . The first is a long and poorly made science class slideshow using every shade of pink possible. It goes on for 37 slides. It appears to be notes copied directly from a book or study material. The second file is a melodramatic retelling of someone's school years (we believe to be the sibling of the author of the first file). It's pretty over the top and self-aggrandizing for being a reflective of finishing middle school . Ahh, you sweet summer child. Wait until this time the following year. Highlight video here: And remem

CDC case #20 - Gatsby Stuff

Who doesn't love The Great Gatsby ? Classic American novel about... something. I never read it. And the following disk makes me think this person never has either. F Scott Fitzgerald evidently went through a few title revisions before landing on his final choice, if the disk label is anything to go by. Though it would have been better if he just named it gatsby stuff.wpd like the first file on this disk. Someone's homework. While initially thought to be someone's essay, the formatting and spacing seems more like someone copied it off a proto-Wikipedia and saved it locally. (It's so weird to think of Wikipedia and floppy disks existing at the same time.) It goes on for six pages and is otherwise not formatted as an essay. The next two files, new york.doc and new yor1.doc are the same - some AP news article about Jupiter and northern lights. Nothing too exciting. The final file, Paul Wagner.doc is an absolute MESS of

CDC case #19 - SyQuest sidequest

This one was an honest to goodness retail disk, for SyQuest: We were able to mount it and ran the installer, but did not install the software. We didn't have any of the cable hookups and had no drives anyway. There's never a mystery when the retail disks are exactly what they say on the tin. Highlight video here: And remember - keep those parts floppy

CDC case #18 - Four icons one file

This was actually the first disk we got to load on the iMac G3 system (with after-market floppy drive). Because it was a tray-loading iMac, it did not have a video out on the back, so video was captured through a camera pointed at the screen. Sometimes you have to get fancy. The disk itself has a handwritten label New Editor Icons 1-16-96 The disk contained two files: some sort of personal money financial document that wouldn't open because it was a propietary format, and an image file. The image ended up containing some sort of rendering of four icons for...something. The context from the name and contents were not immediately helpful. Could have I gotten a better quality copy of the image file than a screen grab of a CRT monitor? Probably. But they can't all be winners. Highlight video here: And remember - keep those parts floppy